General behaviour advice
The authorities’ emergency management plans are designed to ensure that all measures for your protection can be implemented quickly and effectively.
In addition, there are several measures you can take to protect yourself and your family members.
Please find below some general guidelines on how to behave in an emergency:
1. Stay indoors!
Radioactive material which is released following an accident in a nuclear power plant is transported through the air and deposited on the ground.
Therefore, buildings can to a large extent protect you and your children from inhaling radioactive material or other radiation emitted by radioactive material. Only go outdoors if this is absolutely necessary, and only stay outside as briefly as possible! Should your children be at school or at nursery, please do not pick them up until the emergency response authorities have given explicit instructions to do so. Your children will be taken care of in public buildings and evacuated if necessary.
2. Seek shelter in windowless basement rooms if possible!
The level of your protection against radioactive material depends on where you are inside a house. The best shielding against radiation exists in windowless rooms or basements where walls and surrounding soil prevent radiation from entering.
3. Keep windows and doors shut and switch off any air conditioning or ventilation systems!
This will minimise the exchange of air and prevent radioactive material from entering the house unobstructed.
4. Do not wear clothes that are contaminated by radioactive material and wash yourself thoroughly!
If circumstances are such that you can’t avoid going outside, it is vital that you take off your shoes and the outer layers of your clothes before or immediately after entering the house. You should then put those items in plastic bags and seal them tightly. This will help you avoid bringing radioactive material into the building.
After your return, wash your hands and head thoroughly under running water, as well as any other body parts that were not covered by clothes. Only then should you proceed to have a shower!
5. Do not harvest and eat any fruit or vegetables from your garden!
Fruit and vegetables from your garden may be contaminated by radioactive material. It is advisable to use tinned or frozen food instead. In the case of a nuclear accident you must not drink milk from animals that are kept outside. However, the consumption of dairy products from dairies will be safe because routine checks assure their edibility.
You may also to continue to drink tap water as this will be subject to rigorous controls and, if radioactive pollution is found, will not be fed into the mains water.
6. Keep up to date by listening to the radio!
Keep your radio switched on and follow the authorities’ instructions. That way, you will also find out for how long the recommendations issued by the authorities will remain valid.
7. Do not strain the emergency phone lines of police and fire brigade by making unnecessary calls!
Unnecessary calls can lead to a capacity overload of phone lines. Instead, listen out for announcements on the radio, news on teletext or loud speaker announcements - these will provide you with details on everything that is important for your safety.