Posts tagged: USA

How To Survive Chemical Warfare – Part I

Australian infantry small box respirators Ypres 1917

Although chemical weapons have actually been used since ancient times (for example the Chinese used Arsenic Smokes in around 1000 BC), the era of chemical warfare arguably began with WWI – almost exactly 100 years ago.

It is important to note that the rules of war are ultimately written by the perpetrators: Despite the fact that the Hague Declaration of 1899 and the Hague Convention of 1907 forbade the use of “poison or poisoned weapons” in warfare, more than 124,000 tons of poison gas were produced by the end of World War I. The French were the first to use chemical weapons during the First World War, using the tear gases ethyl bromoacetate and chloroacetone. This was followed rapidly by the development and use of chlorine and other gases by all sides and WWI even became known as “The Chemists’ War” as a result. [1]

A total 50,965 tons of pulmonary, lachrymatory, and vesicant agents were deployed by both sides in WWI, including chlorine, phosgene, and mustard gas. Official figures declare about 1.3 million casualties directly caused by chemical warfare agents during the course of the war. Of these, an estimated 100,000-260,000 casualties were civilians. [1]

The effects of chemical agents can be persistent: They’re still clearly visible in Vietnam, 40 years after the USA sprayed the deadly Agent Orange that had such hideous effects on millions of people.

Are things really different now? It’s questionable that we are any more civilized. There are more stringent legal measures in place and great steps have been made to prevent the use of chemical agents. But since when did you ever come across a terrorist who played by the rules?

I think the risks of this happening to you are pretty small overall. So it’s best not to freak out. But also, don’t think that this is just a thing of the past. Sarin was used in an attack in the Ghouta region of the Rif Dimashq Governorate of Syria during the Syrian civil war in 2013. Varying sources gave a death toll of 322 to 1,729. [1]

It makes sense simply to learn a little about it and be prepared.

genetic defects

The first thing you need to know is how to detect a chemical attack, so you can prevent contamination or decontaminate in time.

Wilderness Survival says “the best method for detecting chemical agents is the use of a chemical agent detector. If you have one, use it. However, in a survival situation, you will most likely have to rely solely on the use of all of your physical senses. You must be alert and able to detect any clues indicating the use of chemical warfare. General indicators of the presence of chemical agents are tears, difficulty breathing, choking, itching, coughing, and dizziness.”

Also, they advise us to use our sense of smell to detect chemical agents. Chlorine is obvious – it smells like bleach. Phosgene smells like freshly cut hay or grass. Mustard gas has an odor resembling mustard plants, garlic, or horseradish. However note that Sarin is odorless.

Some agents are similar to mist or have specific colors like yellow, green or even red.

Mustard gas leaves oily patches on cars and buildings and Yellow Rain is noticeable in the form of small yellow drops on the ground, on cars or trees.

young victims
photo source : flickriver.com

Beware of rashes, irritations, and burns on the skin. If you feel like scratching parts of your skin repeatedly and the feeling does not get away, or if you see an unusual color or spots on it, wash with soap and water immediately. If the symptoms are severe, get to the nearest hospital right away.

However, some agents are very hard to detect. In this case, your smell won’t help you in any way. But you can observe your surroundings, to see if there’s something unusual going on.

We’re also still at risk of chemical agents washing ashore from 20th-century dumping, a shocking practice. This really happened. For one example – after WWI, most of the unused German chemical warfare agents were dumped into the Baltic Sea, a common disposal method among all the participants in several bodies of water. Over time, the salt water causes the shell casings to corrode, and mustard gas occasionally leaks from these containers and washes onto shore as a wax-like solid resembling ambergris. [1]

ki4u.com, Nuke Prep Expertise & Solutions, make a list of the things we should watch out for:

• Dead animals/birds/fish: Numerous animals dead in the same area.

• Blisters/rashes: Many individuals experiencing unexplained rashes, bee-sting like blisters, and/or watery blisters.

• Mass casualties: Many persons exhibiting unexplained serious health problems ranging from disorientation and nausea to breathing difficulty, convulsions, and death.

• Unusual metal debris: Unexplained munitions like material, especially if the liquid is contained. (No rain recently.)

• Unexplained chemical odors: Smells may range from fruity to flowery to pungent/sharp, to horseradish/garlic-like to peach kernels/bitter almonds to new-mown hay. It should be noted, that the smell would likely be completely out of sync with its surroundings. (I.E. The smell of hay in an urban area.)

• Low-lying clouds: Low-lying fog/cloud-like condition not explained by surroundings.

• Definite pattern of casualties: Casualties distributed in a pattern that may be associated with possible agent dissemination methods.

• Illness associated with a confined geographic area: Lower rates of illness for people working outdoors versus indoors or indoors versus outdoors.

• Lack of insect life: Normal insect activity is missing. Check ground/shoreline/water surface for dead insects. Also look for dead animals/birds/fish.

• Unusual liquid droplets: Many surfaces exhibit oily droplets or film. (No rain recently.)

• Unusual spraying: Unexplained spraying of an aerosol or liquid by vehicles, persons, or aircraft.

How To Survive If You’re In The Line Of Gunfire

how to survive in the line of firephoto source: http://www.nypost.com

I was reading The Worst Case Scenario Handbook by Joshua Piven the other day and I discovered something I haven’t read in any other survival manual (at least as far as I remember). It was a chapter about survival when you’re being shot at. Very useful information, in my opinion.

I mean, when the crisis hits the USA, looters will start multiplying like you see it in zombie movies. And that’s when the shootings will start. Hungry, angry, desperate men will be on the streets, hunting for food, organizing riots that will inevitably end up in violence.

And if you look at these statistics, it’s only natural to imagine street shooting will become some sort of daily activity…

So here’s what you should do if you’re caught in the line of gunfire, according to Joshua Piven.

If you’re the primary target:

Get as far away as possible. An untrained shooter isn’t likely to be accurate at any distance greater than sixty feet.

Run fast, but do not move in a straight line—weave back and forth to make it more difficult for the shooter to draw a bead on you. The average shooter will not have the training necessary to hit a moving target at any real distance.

Do not bother to count shots. You will have no idea if the shooter has more ammunition. Counting is only for the movies.

Turn a corner as quickly as you can, particularly if your pursuer has a rifle or assault weapon. Rifles have much greater accuracy and range, and the person may be more likely to either aim or spray bullets in your direction.

If you’re not the primary target:

Get down, and stay down. If the intended target is near you or if the shooter is firing at random, get as low as possible. Do not crouch down; get flat on your stomach and stay there.

If you are outside and can get to a car, run to it and lie behind a tire on the opposite side of the car from the shooter. If no cars are present, lie in the gutter next to the curb. A car will stop or deflect a small-caliber bullet fired toward you. However, higher caliber bullets— such as those from an assault rifle or bullets that are designed to pierce armor—can easily penetrate a car and hit someone on the opposite side.

If you are inside a building and the shooter is inside, get to another room and lie flat. If you cannot get to another room, move behind any heavy, thick objects (a solid desk, filing cabinets, tables, a couch) for protection.

If you are face-to-face with the shooter, do anything you can to make yourself less of a target. Turn sideways, and stay low—stray bullets are likely to be at least a few feet above the ground.

If the shooter is outside, stay inside and stay away from doors and windows. Stay down until the shooting stops or until authorities arrive and give the all clear.

Now, I hope you won’t have to go through such an experience, but it’s better to know exactly what to do if you’re shot at or if there’s shooting going on in your perimeter. So keep these basic survival measures in mind and don’t forget to show them to your family and friends. Might save their lives someday.

For more practical information on survival topics, check out www.myfamilysurvivalplan.com.