Dear Preppers and Survivalists,
Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Bryan Niegel
Last week, I wrote about getting out of your home, during a fire, but I forgot somethings.
First, during a fire, the hot, poisonous gases will rise to the ceiling of a room, so you and your family need to practice rolling out of bed when the fire/smoke alarm starts to beep, buzz, or sound.
If you immediately sit up and take a breath, you may breath toxic fumes causing you to become unconscious.
Next, once you, your partner, or children roll out of bed to the floor, they need to practice crawling out of the house, just in case the room has filled with smoke.
Of course, all this depends on the situation, 'cause ...
When the fire alarm goes off in your family's hotel room, you and your family immediately leave the hotel!!!
By calmly walking out of your hotel room's door (after checking the door with the back of your hand, to make sure its cool to the touch), down the hall, to the emergency evacuation exit (checking the door with the back of your hand, before opening the door), calmly walk down the stairs, and out the emergency exit, ... Right?
Then gather at your family's car because that's the emergency rally point (safe gathering place) when your family travels.
When the frying pan catches fire, causing the kitchen's beautiful curtains (your partner and children picked just for that room) to ignite, causing the kitchen cabinets to burst into flames, as the fire alarm sounds, filling the great room and kitchen with smoke ...
You yell for everyone to get out of the house, as you crouch down or crawl (very quickly) out of the house to avoid breathing the fire's toxic fumes, ... Right?
Then gather at your neighbor's front yard because that's the emergency rally point (safe gathering place) and make sure everyone in the family and all your visitors have left your burning home.
When the fire alarm sounds, at work, because a student placed a still smoking cigarette in the trash can, full of paper towels, you gather your students and shepard them to the designated rally point, doing a head count to account for all your students, even though; someone already removed the smoking trash can to the outside, ... Right?
When the fire alarm sounds, as your family watches the highly anticipated big-screen action movie, you quietly grab your children's hand and lead your family to the movie theatre's emergency exit door, slowly opening the door checking for terrorist gunners (waiting for families to rush into the outside ambush) before leaving the building and rallying at the family's car, ... Right?
All of the above situations and many others (except the frying pan, burning curtains, cabinets bursting into flames situation) have happened to my family.
Ooooh, just so you know, the frying pan incident happened to family friends.
Now, to the purpose of this article.
These United States military faces adversaries that have the capability to use chemical weapons, so they have spent millions, if not billions, of dollars developing, testing, issuing, and training with chemical weapons protective masks.
Cool, .... except these adversaries also have the capabilities to use these weapons on their citizens and us, so you and your partner (depending on the situation) may decide to purchase protective masks for your family.
You can decide to go with new or used protective masks. A new protective mask with a new filter rated to protect you from chemical weapons will set you back anywhere from $150 to $550, each.
So, ... For a family of four, providing new masks, would cost $600 to $1200.
Needless to say, it will cost a little bit more for extra filters and carrying bags, though, you can purchase surplus protective mask carriers from many different military surplus dealers.
Used masks will run about $20 to $60, sometimes more, depending on the model and where your buy it from.
Heck, there is one store selling WWII surplus masks without a filter for $300. Ouch.
You know, I was going to bring it up, so go get your family's threat analysis.
O.K. Let us look at where chemical weapons attacks, chemical spills, and chemical accidents are on your family's threat analysis.
Is it pretty far down the list, or is it near the top since you live in Iran, Syria, Jordon, Saudi Arabia, or ... Europe?
If it's far down the list and you live in some rural area of these United States, you just might not need a protective mask for you and our family.
Now, if you live near some railroad tracks, underground gas pipeline, or other industrial area, you might need protective masks for your family, but that's a different situation.
More about that, later.
Next, if a chemical weapons attack is still far down the list, but you live in a large city, (Berlin, Paris, New York, Tokyo, London, and many others) you might think about just buying several surplus Israeli protective masks with several new filters, just in case. At $30 for the Israeli civilian mask (adult or child size) and another $80 to $120 for new spare filters ($40 per filter), a family of four would spend about $600.
Lastly, if the possibility of a chemical weapons attack is a matter of "when, not if"or your family lives near a possible chemical weapons target like a military base, your family might want to spend the extra money on new, current CBRN (chemical, biological, radioactive, nuclear) protective masks. At $175, for a 'mid-grade' mask, a family of four would spend (with three filters) about $1200.
Before I begin, please understand, I don't know your family's situation, so you and your partner need to sit down and think about this because there have been chemical weapons used against civilian populations, in past and recent conflicts. Plus, several recent events (Hamburg and London), according to me, may have been practice runs for a chemical weapons attack.
What's your budget? Be reasonable.
If it's low; go with the surplus Israeli mask for $30. They are rugged and simple. Then buy one new filter (can you tell having a new filter is very, very, important) to go with the filter shipped with the protective mask. Next month buy another new filter then next month do the same thing. The next month do the same thing again, and stop there because you're going to need to practice using your protective mask.
Yes, ... Practice, Practice, Practice.
If you have a medium budget, purchase a better mask. The surplus Israeli military M-15 ($70) is better then a surplus Israeli civilian (I think it's a M-5 but I'm not sure) mask, while a Tactical Domestic Preparedness mask ($175) is better. Needless to say, the Evolution 5000 military mask ($230) would be 'top of the line' for the medium budget, just don't forget your family will need at least three filters for each mask.
For the upper budget, I'm thinking Oprah Winfrey, you might think about purchasing a 3M CBRN M40 masks ($550) or current military issue M-50 protective masks ($600) with filters ($90 each).
Needless to say, these aren't the only options for a family concerned about surviving a chemical weapons attack. Some of y'all have small children or babies that can't wear a protective mask, so your family requires, what I call, protective bags. Some of y'all have breathing difficulties, so you might require a powered unit.
Almost lastly, some of you may want to protect a whole room with a room filter ($2500 and up) to allow the whole family to be together.
Prepper: Surviving the Tough Times Ahead covers more of the issues facing a family preparing for a chemical weapons attack or a industrial chemical spill.
You can ask your questions in the comments.
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