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On thinking ahead

I bet that some of you who live in California are feeling a little paranoid right now. Can you trust the authorities to tell you what the radiation levels are? And maybe you went looking for iodine supplements and couldn’t find any because it had sold out. You’ve got to think ahead, folks.

Several years go, I bought old Civil Defense radiation detectors on eBay. They’re from the 1960s, but they’d never been used and were in great working condition. They were inexpensive then. If you can find them right now, I’m sure the price is sky high. As for iodine tablets, why not just keep kelp tablets on hand, which you can get at health food stores (though I’m sure kelp supplements are sold out right now as well).

Here’s what you need to do. When this crisis has passed, start looking for radiation meters. Keep in mind, though, that there are several models of the old Civil Defense radiation meter. The one you want is the CDV-700, which is a true Geiger counter and is the only one sensitive enough to measure background levels of radiations. Other meters, such as the CDV-715, are less sensitive and would be helpful only during high-radiation events.

You also need to educate yourself about radiation — the types of radiation, what the normal levels are, how to shield against radiation, and what the dangers are at increasing levels of radiation. This small document is a good place to start. Print it out and keep it with your radiation meters.

Here in North Carolina, I can assure you, background radiation is normal, about .02 milli-Roentgen per hour.

It’s no so much that I’m paranoid that I have things like Geiger counters, though it’s true that my trust in any kind of authority approaches zero. A bigger reason is that I’m a nerd, I have some obsessive-compulsive tendencies, and I love to measure things. I have all sorts of measuring instruments — oscilloscope, magnetometer, capacitance meters, inductance meters, frequency meters, and so on.

But as an ham radio operator, I also have an altruistic motive. I ought to be of service to the community during a crisis, able to provide information and communication.

It’s good to know some science and have a few tools.

The meter shows the current background radiation, March 20, 2:45 p.m. — .02 milli-Roentgen per hour.

One Comment

  1. Quetal wrote:

    Really interesting stuff there Mr Abbey…

    Since we live so far inland, I figure it may get me but in a low dose, and what the hell… I’m tired of looking back

    You sure come up with some fascinating stuff

    Monday, March 21, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

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