Before a Chemical Attack
As with any threat on the index, learn your risk first. Proximity to military targets and densely populated areas may slightly increase your chance of experiencing a chemical attack. Besides avoiding attacks completely by examining your location, here are a few other ideas to get prepared:
- Get a bug out bag.
- Create a specialized kit with shelter-in-place tools, and personal protective equipment such as gas masks.
- Grab some chemical detection equipment.
During a Chemical Attack
Stay calm and don your PPE if you have it. The next step is to make a quick decision on whether to bug out or shelter in place. If you are not in close proximity to the detonation point, you may have time to leave the area if you deem that the best course of action. Sheltering in place may be an option if you have the tools to do so. Turn off all HVAC and fans, and tape up all entry points with plastic sheeting to make a room air tight. Rooms at higher elevations are usually better, since most chemical agents are heavier than air. Setting up a room at a second story or higher is preferable to ground level. Bugging out should be done perpendicular to the wind direction. If the wind is blowing hard enough, you may not be able to outrun the attack downwind.
After a Chemical Attack
Most chemical agents will evaporate and dissipate during a 72 hour period. If they were disseminated in liquid form they may last slightly longer. Decontaminating all essential gear that was exposed should be a priority. Weathering is a great method of decontamination, but if you do not have time to expose the equipment to the elements, charcoal absorption, bleach baths, and other methods could be used.