The RDD is nothing more then a conventional explosive dispersing a radio active substance. It is not a nuclear explosion. The chances of this kind of weapon being used in a terrorist incident is far greater then a state sponsored military first strike.
Although the SUIT CASE BOMB (a man portable low yield atomic bomb) is a real and actually threat, it is far less likely then a dirty bomb.
A dirty bomb requires just a few elements to achieve its purpose "terror". It need not do much damage or contaminate a large area. The news of the devise detonating spreads faster, farther and can do more damage then the device itself.
Waste "hot" material is carefully monitored and stored, however radioactive bulk material can be had on the black market in many countries overseas. Material may be obtained domestically from industrial or even medical labs. It is estimated by the government that over 19,000 sources of radiation exist in the U.S. alone. Most of these locations have adequate checks and procedures to guarantee the safe storage of material. The same cannot be said for the former Soviet Union.
Iraq tested a type of dirty bomb in 1987 and found it did not do extensive enough "radiological" damage to be worth their while. The UN claims Iraq gave up on the idea shortly after testing.
BUT seeing how the real worth of such a weapon is not that of mass destruction but rather "terror" even a small RDD will accomplish their mission.
It's about fear not fallout.
First steps in surviving a RDD attack is to be aware of what,where and when. This is the time your emergency alert SAME code radio will be worth it's weight in gold. Knowing where tells you how far you are from the incident and in what direction the wind (and subsequent hot cloud) is traveling.The primary damage will have been done by the explosive itself. If you are inside a building STAY THERE! Do not displace unless directed to do so by authorities. If you are outside find cover inside the first shelter you can find, it needs to be a place away from doors and windows. While moving through the streets cover your mouth and nose. This is when a filter mask rules but if you don't have one, at least breathe through your shirt or other fabric. NOT OUTER WARE! this will be dust covered.
If you think you may have been exposed to the hot cloud fallout, decontaminate as soon as you can. Get out of your clothes, wash...well...head to foot with particular attention to your hair, hair holds dust. Do not swallow wash water. Have someone lend you a jacket, sweater or whatever you can find to change into. Your clothes should be gathered and kept away from you and others. Seek medical attention ASAP.
Some experts advise us to carry KI or Potassium Iodine but this is not practical and may not protect you (or your Thyroid) from radiation exposure. Not to mention it is dangerous to some people and could actually be worse then taking nothing.
The bottom line is simply this:
If not near the blast, move across or up wind to escape the area.
If in a vehicle, stay inside, windows closed and the A/C - Heat OFF.
If near the blast, take cover inside ASAP, preferably in a lower inside room away from doors and windows.
Use a filter mask or breathe through clothing (use clothing next to your skin) don't breathe through a jacket that might have radioactive dust on it.
Baby type or non alcohol medial wipes can be kept in the office or vehicle to do a self decontamination.
Decontaminate ASAP, change and sequester clothing in bags, boxes or any container that can be closed, keep others away from your dirty clothes.
Seek medical attention as soon as its safe to do so.
Watch you six