Owning a personal dosimeter is one of the most sensible precautions that you can take against a possibly apocalyptic event. Given the current world political situation with rogue nations testing nuclear warheads on what seems like a weekly basis, it seems that the most likely cause of a TEOTWAWKI event will be an atomic bomb strike. Owning a dosimeter will be key to keeping you and your family safe from radiation sickness.
A large number of preppers talk about the need for iodine tablets or silver solution as a way of building your body's natural defenses against radiation poisoning in the case of a nuclear attack. However, these work on the assumption that you'll be in a place that is directly attacked. Most likely, you'll be out of the way of the first blast and you'll need a reliable way of measuring radiation to find out when and where it's safe to move.
This is where owning a pocket dosimeter could possibly save your life. They are small enough to fit into your pocket or backpack and will pick up even the smallest levels of gamma and x-ray radiation. On the lower end models, your personal dosimeter will simply emit an alarm when radiation levels reach a pre-set level, while if you're willing to pay more you can get accurate readings of the levels around you as well as being able to program an alarm at a level that you can set yourself.
Your personal dosimeter is an extremely sensitive piece of scientific equipment and one that you'll come to rely on heavily for the safety of you and your party. One of the main difficulties of the personalized versions of the dosimeter is that any residual charge left over when you switch it off and back on again can cause a positive reading to be missed. The extra charge can also trick the machine into giving you a false positive when there is little or no radiation around.
Owning a dosimeter charger will solve this problem. Simply attaching your dosimeter to the charger will clear any excess charge and reset the machine to its default settings. Pricier models include a charger and a data recorder, allowing you to dock your dosimeter and download the data that you've recorded throughout the day. The cheaper models will simply clear the excess charge as well as powering the device up for the next day's tasks.
Even the most basic dosimeters will come with an infra red connection allowing you to hook it up to a smart phone or computer. They will also have software that will read the data from the dosimeter and turn it into readable information. You can then relate your movements on a map with the amount of radiation that the dosimeter picked up. This will give you a very clear picture of where the radiation is in your local area. You can also use this data over a period of days and weeks to see if the affected area is spreading or contracting.
Owning a personal dosimeter is one of those purchases that you will wish that you made before in the case of a nuclear strike. However, it will be one of the more expensive purchases that you make, with even the lower end models coming in at over $300. With that in mind, you will want to make sure that your dosimeter will pick up harmful radiation levels over an extended period of time. It's not worth saving money if the device doesn't protect you in the long run.