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Coping With Natural & Man-Made Disasters

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CBS Detroit (con't)

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DETROIT (WWJ) – When major catastrophes occur, such as the devastation involving exposure to large amounts of radiation in Japan, the challenges of returning to a normal life can seem insurmountable.

Dr. Steve McGraw, an Emergency Room Physician at Providence Hospital in Southfield, says the first thing to do is limit people’s exposure to the contamination.

 “Do everything you can to decontaminate the environment from a distance.  Their first solution is going to be dilute whatever gets out and that’s massive amounts of sea water and then it’ll be a recovery process of trying to contain all that water and all that debris,” says McGraw.

McGraw says it’s a worst-case scenario when you lose the ability to control the heat in a nuclear reactor but from what he can tell, Japanese authorities are doing everything right.

McGraw says it’s important for Japanese authorities to carefully manage their air resources, and fly supplies and people into the devastated areas and fly the ill and injured out.

“They can’t use cell phones, they can’t use phone lines, satellite phones (there are) not a lot of those.  It’s difficult to reach areas that are in the greatest need of help because roads have been destroyed and there’s no way to get to them,” McGraw says.

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