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Chemical Weapons, Accidents And Survival


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Whether it be an industrial accident or a deliberate attack by a state or terrorist, we live in a world filled with chemical toxins. Some basic information on what they are, how they act, and how to prepare for and deal with them.

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Chemical Weapons, Accidents And Survival

  1. 1. Chemical Weapons and Accidents & Survival
  2. 2. A gas leak in Bhopal India is considered the worst industrial accident with a death toll that has never been fixed, but is definitely over 5,000. Disasters at plants like the one in Bhopal, train derailments, tanker trucker accidents and other incidents make a chemical accident a possibility anywhere. While outlawed, chemical weapons are a reality of our world. Chemical weapons can be made more easily than the other two arms of the nuclear triad: nuclear and biological. Thus they are a favorite of terrorists. They have been used. They will be used again.
  3. 3. Chemical warfare is the use of non-living toxins to incapacitate or kill humans, plants or animals. Chemical terrorism is the same, except not state- sponsored. Chemical Warfare
  4. 4. As long as there has been warfare, humans have used chemical warfare in various forms. Fire, in fact, is considered chemical warfare. Poison is another mode. An early advocate of chemical weapons argued: It is considered a legitimate mode of warfare to fill shells with molten metal which scatters among the enemy, and produced the most frightful modes of death. Why a poisonous vapor which would kill men without suffering is to be considered illegitimate warfare is incomprehensible. War is destruction, and the more destructive it can be made with the least suffering the sooner will be ended that barbarous method of protecting national rights. No doubt in time chemistry will be used to lessen the suffering of combatants, and even of criminals condemned to death. Chemical Warfare
  5. 5. Chemical Warfare was used extensively in World War I. The French were the first to employ it. It is estimated there were 1.3 million chemical weapon casualties in the war, including civilians. Like biological weapons, chemical weapons are indiscriminate in who they attack. (see slideshare on biological weapons and pandemics) Chemical Warfare
  6. 6. In World War II, the Japanese and Germans employed chemical weapons in various ways. The Allies stockpiled them for possible use in the extreme. The Japanese employed them in China. (See my slideshare on Unit 731) The Germans didn’t use them in combat, but in concentration camps for extermination and killed millions. Chemical Warfare
  7. 7. There are some unique properties to chemical weapons and agents. There are over 70 different types and they can come in solid, liquid or gas form. Some act not only through the lungs but through contact with the skin, such as mustard gas. Agents are divided into lethal and incapacitating. Chemical agents are also rated according to their persistency: how long they remain active after being deployed. Chemical Warfare and Agents
  8. 8. Non-persistent chemical agents lose their effectiveness anywhere from seconds to hours after their dispersal. Persistent chemical agents remain for days and even weeks. For most of us, the biggest problem with chemical agents is detection. Chemical Warfare and Agents
  9. 9. The reality is it’s very difficult to detect a chemical accident or attack. The most important sign is the event that initiates the accident or attack. A train derailment is one example. Often, chemical attacks are done via an initial explosion. It took three hours in the Tokyo Sarin attack before they even realized an agent had been used. Always assume the worst. Observing other people and animals often is the last resort of detection. Chemical Warfare and Agents
  10. 10. Besides industrial accidents, chemical agents can be delivered by a variety of means: Air Via the water supply Via the food supply The bottom line is a chemical agent requires direct contact Chemical Warfare and Agents
  11. 11. There are four main types of chemical agents: Nerve Agents: require ingestion, respiration or contact Blood Agents: absorbed through respiration Choking Agents: absorbed through respiration Blistering Agents: burns skin and internal tissues (mouth, throat and lungs) on contact Types of Chemical Agents
  12. 12. These agents have various effects: Nerve Agents: loss of muscle control, respiratory failure and death Blood Agents: interferes with the body’s oxygen supply leading to death Choking Agents: death from lack of oxygen Blistering Agents: causes blisters, lung damage, long term debilitating injuries including blindness Types of Chemical Agents
  13. 13. To prepare, there are several items that are of value: A gas mask. Many chemical agents act through the respiratory system. However, most of us don’t carry a gas mask around with us. Most are not trained how to use one. and gas masks require maintenance on the filters. The ones below are available on Amazon. On the right is something that is more practical and portable. How to Prepare for and Survive Chemical Warfare and Agents
  14. 14. Another way to prepare is to be ready to seal your house or part of your house off from outside air. For this you will need polyethylene sheeting and tape. It’s best to find a single room, deep inside your house for this; one with no windows and the least amount of doors. Seal any vents. Remember that agents tend to settle so going higher is better. How to Prepare for and Survive Chemical Warfare and Agents
  15. 15. Shut all air intakes into the house. Turn off AC/Heating. You can use wet towels to seal the bottom of doors. If caught in your car, stay in the car. Keep windows closed. Turn off AC/Heating. Turn off outside air circulation. Covers air vents. How to Prepare for and Survive Chemical Warfare and Agents
  16. 16. A huge mistake people make when caught in a chemical accident or attack is fleeing. This killed many during the Bhopal disaster. You are better off sealing yourself inside. Running will expose you more and also cause you to ingest the agent. How to Prepare for and Survive Chemical Warfare and Agents
  17. 17. Cover yourself completely. Remember, some agents act through the skin. Long pants, long sleeve shirts, masks, hats and gloves. While you might not have a gas mask, one item in your Grab-n-Go bag should be a surgical type mask. How to Prepare for and Survive Chemical Warfare and Agents
  18. 18. As with many other natural and man-made disasters, being prepared is key. Remember that some chemical agents linger for days and weeks. You need a safe supply of food and water. Consider everything outside contaminated until given an all clear. This is the point I emphasize in Prepare Now- Survive Later. How to Prepare for and Survive Chemical Warfare and Agents
  19. 19. Cool Gus and I hope you’ve found this information useful. How to Prepare for and Survive Chemical Warfare and Agents
  20. 20. Why Prepare Now? Do You Have A Pocket-Sized Survival Manual? Do You Know What the Acronym SURVIVAL Stands For? Rogers Rules of Rangering What is the Mindset Need To Survive? 3 Things To Get Now To Be Prepared Survival and Emergency Apps Grab-N-Go Bags What Do You Need To Know About The Five Key Elements of Life Prepare for, Survive, and Live After a Hurricane Prepare for, Survive, and Live After an Earthquake Preparing for and Surviving a Power Outage Cold Weather Preparation, Survival and Injuries Map Reading and Where to Get Free Topo Maps and Apps WATER for Living and Survival FOOD for Living and Survival FIRE for Living and Survival
  21. 21. The book on the left is how you prepare NOW. The book on the right, is your guide to surviving an emergency or catastrophe given you’ve prepared. The handbook in the center is a FREE, distilled version of both books for those who might not be able to afford purchasing this important information- click on cover for any. Print Book
  22. 22. I highly recommend getting at least one print copy of the survival manual. During an emergency you can’t count on an eBook. It’s pocket-sized— shown next to my trusty, old Ranger Handbook. I keep one in the glove compartment of each car, in every Grab-n-Go bag and also give them as gifts— the gift of life. Click on image for print version Print Book
  23. 23. I’m fascinated by history, science, myths, legends, people outside the bell curve, the power of the conscious and subconscious mind, special operations, survival and more. Cool Gus is mainly interested in food. Then sleep. Then sometimes chasing a ball. But mainly food.