March 2, 2022 — Ready.gov, a public service website operated by the U.S. government, recently updated its page on a nuclear explosion emergency.
The site provides advice for Americans to prepare for disasters and emergencies such as weather events, bioterrorism and cyberattacks. Although U.S. officials haven’t said a nuclear explosion emergency is on the horizon, the Federal Emergency Management Agency updated guidance on Friday.
“Nuclear explosions can cause significant damage and casualties from blast, heat, and radiation, but you can keep your family safe by knowing what to do and being prepared if it happens,” the webpage says. .
If a nuclear explosion occurs, people should move inside the nearest building to avoid radiation. Brick or concrete buildings are best, as well as the basement or middle of the building.
People should stay indoors for 24 hours and keep their pets indoors unless local authorities instruct otherwise.
To prepare now, people need to identify places to stay near their home, work and school. The best locations are underground and in the middle of tall buildings.
“Due to COVID-19, many places you may pass through on your way to work may be closed or may not have regular hours of operation,” the webpage reads.
With an ongoing pandemic, the council recommends keeping a distance of at least 6 feet between people from different households. If possible, people should wear masks if they are sheltering with other people who are not part of the same household.
The CDC also provides advice to go to a public disaster shelter during the pandemic, especially for severe weather events such as hurricanes. The page was last updated in June 2021.
The Ready.gov update sparked conversations online over the weekend, particularly around pandemic-related advice. But FEMA said the update was a “routine procedure” that removed a broken link to another page.
“It is not true that COVID social distancing language has been updated in response to the situation with Russia and Ukraine,” said FEMA public affairs director Jaclyn Rothenberg. said in a press release at FOX 2 Detroit.
“COVID protocols were originally added in 2020, and the pages are currently being revised to update this language based on new CDC guidelines that have just been released,” she said. “The only updates that have been made have been updates for links on the Ready.gov site. No new languages have been added or removed from this particular page.