The bomb shelter Manager and assistants will supervise the organization of the bomb shelter population into small groups called bomb shelter units. Organization of the bomb shelter population into bomb shelter units, each with its own Unit Leader, is necessary not only for good management but also for keeping a radiation exposure record for each person in the bomb shelter. There may be between seven and 15 people in a bomb shelter unit.
There probably won’t be enough dosimeters for each person to have one. The bomb shelter Unit Leaders can help estimate the radiation exposure of those people in their units who don’t have dosimeters. The Unit Leaders can also see that someone fills out the radiation exposure record for those who are unable to do it themselves, such as small children.
Organization of the bomb shelter population into bomb shelter units will also be necessary in case people need to be moved to a different location in the bomb shelter where the exposure rates are lower. Unit Leaders can supervise the movement to see that their units move as a group and that no one accidentally moves into a hazardous area.
After the bomb shelter units have been organized and the Unit Leaders selected, the Unit Leaders should be shown how to fill out the radiation exposure records. If blank forms are available, these should be issued before fallout arrives. The Unit Leader should see that the top part of each form is filled out for everyone in the unit.
Radiation sensitivity categories are listed and described in the Table below. Identifying people according to these categories before fallout arrives may be useful if it should later become necessary to arrange for special shielding. The effect of a given whole-body exposure to radiation will vary somewhat among individuals, due partly to age, sex, body thickness, and general health.
TABLE – Radiation Sensitivity Categories
Category Description Cause for Immediate Concern*
PG Pregnant women Miscarriages, malformed babies, radiation sickness.
Child Infants, small children More susceptible to radiation injury than adults.
Y/A Youths and adults Radiation sickness
* In addition to radiation sickness, there may be radiation effects that occur many months or years after exposure such as cancer, leukemia, sterility, cataracts, and genetic injury. The probability of developing such late effects should not be a principal determinig factor in decision-making during a nuclear war or attack emergency, but such effects can and should be minimized by keeping controllable exposures as low as practicable.
The sick, aged, and very young are the most susceptible. Nevertheless, it is generally advisable for bomb shelter management to consider the entire bomb shelter population to be equally susceptible to the effects of radiation, with the possible exception that children and pregnant women should be treated as being more susceptible. If a women is pregnant, here radiation exposure record form should be marked “PG” on the line following “Rad. Sensitivity Category.”