Chem/Bio Prepsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread
Been away a couple days and just caught the earlier chembio discussions before they scrolled off....There was someone asking about practical preps and some others discussing whether this was all PR/spin and why.
People, my read on this is that we ought to be thinking caution here, condition yellow, at least through this year. Personally I don't think the threat will diminish on January 1, 2001 but we can always hope, and perchance prepare.
Regardless of what they do on the TeeVee (which has even less veracity during "sweeps") the top people in the fields of epidemiology and emergency medicine are very smart people and they are really scared. The threat is real and the potential effects of a bioattack are horrifying. Information about biological weapons programs in hostile countries (Iran, China, Iraq, North Korea, Libya) is building and it's developed that a number of terrorist organizations are trying to procure biological weapons. We're not talking about nation states here but independant terrorist groups that might not be subject to some of the restraints a nation would. The Russian mafia is widely believed to be in possesion of biogents and there are thousands of ex-Biopreparat bioweaponeers out of work and looking for ways to make a living. With a biotoxin or biological agent you don't need reactors to make plutonium or ICBMs for delivery systems. A pickup truck with an open bag of "cement" in the back could do. This opens the door to many more groups becoming "players" in the biowar game. The genie is out of the bottle for sure.
It's known that the Russians made biological warfare agents in huge quantities; weaponized smallpox was made at the rate of 40,000 pounds per year as were several other agents (smallpox decays and has a definite shelflife). It's known that Iraq made enough powdered botulism toxin, maybe the most deadly agent known, to cover a football field 9 feet deep. We know the Chinese have a similar program and that they are very good at genetic engineering. That coupled with their recent musings on the nature of "unlimited conflicts" and displeasure of our support for Taiwan is a cause for concern. Not too long ago one Chinese General mused as to how the U.S. was unlikely to "trade San Diego for Taiwan", a not so veiled threat.
The media is picking up the "not if but when" retoric not so much from the Feds as it is from respected experts in the field. Donald Henderson, leader of the WHO team that thought they'd eradicated smallpox, at the Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies at Hopkins opines that it's almost a certainty that we'll be hit within 10 years and possibly much sooner than that. Same thing from C.J. Peters, Special Pathogens Branch at CDC, except he's thinking maybe 5 years. That's where those numbers are coming from, not some reporter's imagination. We aren't ready for it either, that will take years and I doubt any terrorist obtaining these materials will wait for the Feds to get set-up, exactly the opposite actually. So, I think some personal preparedness is in order.
What level of preparedness is sufficient? Depends. At a minimum, if secondary as opposed to direct biological contamination is the concern (infected people spreading smallpox, ebola, brucellosis, tulermia) latex gloves, a quality paper mask and goggles along with well reasoned decontamination and quarantine steps could suffice. This would be far better than nothing at all even if direct contamination was a threat. At the high end (figuring few of us can afford Racal or Chemturion suits) a good NBC rated respirator (like the full face U.S. M40 or MCU-2P military masks made by MSA), spare filters, a Tyvek suit (with sealed seams) or Military MOPP suit, rubber boots, gloves and glove liners would be indicated. Antibiotics could be very useful to have as well; one thing all the experts agree on, there wouldn't be anywhere near enough to go around if disaster struck (antibiotics don't effect virii but do bacteria such as anthrax or bot-tox). There are some equipment deals out to be had there if you look hard so you can make meaningful preps for not much money.
I don't live near what is likely to be a prime target/delivery area which is likely my most important prep. I have NBC preps to respond to differing level threats for my son and myself, from basic to level 3+. I'm also studying decontamination procedures and things like barrier nursing techniques. I do volunteer with the local OES and expect I might be sent in harm's way if this ever arises (probably by accident but none the less). Since I have what I feel are a reasonable level of preps I don't spend a lot of time worrying about this stuff which was my objective; do what I can, get knowledgeable, keep my ears open and keep keep my fingers crossed....
Best of luck to all.....Don
Below are a few URL's for anyone in need of some more info...
http://cryptome.org/bioweap.htm "The Bioweaponeers" Article by Richard Preston http://cryptome.org/smallpox-wmd.htm "Demon in the Freezer" by Richard Preston http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/plague/ PBS Reports http://www.wsu.edu/~hurlbert/pages/101biologicalweapons.html WSU Malignant Biology
The Virus Hunter, C.J. Peters Biohazard, Ken Alibek (ex-director of research at Biopreparat in Russia) The Hot Zone, Richard Preston The Cobra Event, Richard Preston (fictional story, factual basis, highly reccomended) The Coming Plague, Laurie Garrett (former Pulitzer winner) Jane's Chem/Bio Handbook ($27.50 at Amazon) First Responders Chem/Bio Handbook Vector, Robin Cook (another fictional story backed up by fact, Alibek consulted on it)
-- Don Kulha (email@example.com), February 10, 2000
Thanks for the info.
My only question is, how will anyone know when to go into MOPP mode? With biologicals, by the time people in your area are sick it's likely too late to do much save go into quarantine. You sure can't run around MOPPed up all the time- the gear is too debilitating, and besides, people look at you funny.
I agree reasonable preps for any reasonably likely threat are justified. It is likely that other terrorist or government uses of chem/bio will happen in the future as they have in the past. Your best bet is not to be in an area where chem/bio is used. Since that's a pretty slender reed to lean on, you'd better know what the threats are and what you can do about them. It can't hurt, and it might help a lot.
-- Lee (lplapinXOUT@hotmail.com), February 12, 2000.
Don, thanks for those resources. I'ld just like to point out that the closest chem threat is your friendly interstate highway system, railroad tracks, major highway, or local chem plant. Heck, one of the local swimming pools west of here uses gaseous chlorine for their chlorine source. They had a major leak a few years back. Dozens went to the hospital for evaluation, only three were kept for any length of time. Lucky. However, a more drastic leak, like say somebody tipping an unprotected about to be connected tank and breaking the valve on a windless day? I know, they should be secured before removing the valve protector, but we are dealing with humans here.
P.S. Don, I remember calling your FIDO system long distance to download all your stuff. Thanks for hanging around all these decades.
-- Ken Seger (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 12, 2000.