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Thread: Now this *is* silly...
04-03-03, 01:21 AM #1
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Now this *is* silly...
I was watching the news, and I see the home secretary has mobilised all these fast respomse NBC/decontamination units. Something like 7000 NBC suits are to be issued to *key* hospital staff (mainly in London) in the event of a gas/germ attack, presumably terrorist in origin as the Iraqi's dont have missiles that can reach us (as far as I know). However, there are an awful lot of Iraqi sympatisers on British soil. Someone else said that the public are pittifully unprepared for such an event.
I know this sounds daft, but I'm half tempted to get meself a gas mask or two.
What are your thoughts about how real this threat is? I'm inclined to think that any attack on British soil would likely take such a form, rather than a conventional weapon attack.δxδp≥h/4π
04-03-03, 01:46 AM #2
Nah, go on, you just want an excuse to start wearing rubber gear.
"Come on dear, I think we're in danger of biological attack. Talcum me up and get the latex suit out..."
Seriously though, call me naive but I reckon any such gas attack would be fairly small in nature, confined and in a prominent target area to maximise effect / publicity (central tube rail system etc.)
With predominent westerley winds and the likely target London, Staffs should be fairly safe.
You'd have to stockpile water too to avoid Anthrax chucked in the local reservoir!
04-03-03, 03:06 AM #3
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Yeah, I guess you're right. Just saw it on the TV and it worried me a little. I agree though, I seriously doubt that Saddam has anything like the resources necessary to do anything big. Like you say, localised stuff, prominent targets, fear generating propoganda.
I'll save my cash for a sebbie.δxδp≥h/4π
04-03-03, 08:07 AM #4
Not forgetting the fact that you'd have to be wearing the kit at the time of attack for it to be of any real use. And by the time the authorities deign to let the general populace know, it is too late.
A month or two ago I saw a story about a particularly stupid woman who had spent £6k on environment suits for her 6 & 8 year old kids (and wouldn't tell her husband how much they cost). Brilliant. So she makes the kids play outside in the suits this year, next year it's "Mum, the suit doesn't fit..."
There is so much scaremongering guff being talked about at the moment, I'm getting to the point of wanting to throttle journalists and politicians alike (although that may be usual). If we immunise everyone against smallpox, something else could be used. I heard there was another outbreak of ebola in Africa the other week.
Interesting that France and the US both have enough stockpiles of smallpx vaccine to immunise the entire population, and their leaders have said that they've had their shots. We don't, and TB (another disease...) won't say whether he has or not.
NBC kit is bulky, uncomfortable and only has a very limited in-use lifespan. You need spare filters, spare suits, gloves, overboots etc. - and it is still only any use if you are already wearing it at the time of attack.
Having said that, I still have a sealed NBC suit if anyone is interested.
Last edited by PS_Bond; 04-03-03 at 08:13 AM.
04-03-03, 02:31 PM #5
I know nothing much about nbc suits but have to agree that the chances of wearing it at the right time are slim to say the least...a bit like bolting the door after the horse has fled.
If key hospital workers are being issued nbc suits in London, what about other first line emergency workers like the Police,ambulance and Firebrigade?.........
In the US smallpox vaccination has been given/offered to all essential workers (police/paramedics/hospital staff etc)...and they are geared up to vaccinate the entire population. I agree that IF such a bio attack happened, it may not be small pox but something else just as lethal.....but then again, such a smallpox vac is just an insurance........the same as being vaccinated to go on holiday to some countries. IF I were offered it then I would have it...
Its not beyond the possibility that carriers of a communible disease could very easily travel to London and multiple contaminations could reach epidemic proportions VERY quickly. Can you protect your self against this type of 'attack'?......I dont think so, not unless you stay permanently locked in your house and never have any contact with any other person. Thats a bit unrealistic. Then again, it may be an air borne carried disease or maybe a chemical attack on reservoirs.......Anything could happen and I dont think it is possible to plan and protect yourself against all possibilities do you?
I think that IF such a terrorist attack in the UK happened the likely hood off massive casualties and death is likely (both short term and long term effects).............The REAL problem as I see it would be the break down of society after such a massive catastrophy......where it really would be survival of the fittest. I can imagine a complete break down in law in some areas....mass looting.....fear...assaults. I really do not think that the Police in the UK (as an example) are in any way geared to cope with such a breakdown in society.
I think if I were still living in the UK I would have some sort of contingency plan for myself and my family....even if it was jumping in the car and going as far north as I possibly could and go and camp on some secluded Scottish mountain....However, thinking about that, the likely hood that the Police and militry would have put up road blocks to keep people travelling in or out of an area would also be quite likely so you could be stuffed anyway.
Does anyone remember that TV series years ago that was about a biological accident in a lab that spread a disease and killed most people (what was it called?...was it 'Survivors'?)......I think it was back in the 70's. It was about those that survived after a total break down in society..........I think that it was probably quite realistic...pretty frightening stuff!
04-03-03, 02:48 PM #6
The incident suggested to me was that a terrorist (Iraqi or otherwise - but I'd guess radical nut job instead) would steal a petrol tanker. Strap large quantities of Calor/Butane tanks to it (like we use for barbecues?).
Ram raid it into the Trafford centre (Metro centre/meadowhall/Bluewater).
Remember that Fuel Air Explosives are pretty scary and a big one can generate effects towards kilotonnage....
http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/dumb/fae.htmExample 1 and Example 2
Me? I'm just going to go about my normal business - and I do have to go to London and travel on the tube, too.
05-03-03, 12:46 AM #7
As already mentioned, if something is going to happen, it's going to happen, theres pretty much nothing we can do. If possible just get yourself clear (read as far away as possible) from the source of the danger.
As coutel has said, it's worth having a couple of contingency plans ready in case it does all go to pot in your home town. It could be worth leaving home and heading to some relatives in another part of the country for a couple of days. Gives you a chance to say "Hi"
It might also be worth having a few extra cans of beans :eek: , food etc, and a few bottles of water just in case. Doesn't cost very much, but it could make your lives a little easier.
I very much doubt (and hope) that there will be a event that will effect the whole country, whether it be a nuclear, biological or chemical threat. Again, there nothing we can do to stop it anyway, we can just do our best if it does.
I think you've touched on a very broad subject here Martyn, and it all depends on how far you want to take things. Check out this link for some people who have put ALOT of time and effort into it:
As they say "Plan for the worst, hope for the best".
Last edited by Orm; 05-03-03 at 12:49 AM.
05-03-03, 08:46 AM #8
To introduce a minor amount of levity - one good reason for buying a respirator is for DIY jobs. Even with out of date filters, an issue S8 or S10 respirator is pretty good for anything involving dust & particulates - grinding, sanding, sawing, spraying etc.
However, the neighbours tend to give you funny looks.
The less extreme contingency plans are worthwhile - keeping a grab bag of stuff somewhere handy is perhaps worth doing. You know, Sebenza, Surefire, blowtorch, copy of Ray Mears - that sort of thing . I went through some of that with Y2K - my biggest concern was that the water board had some exrtemely elderly systems that weren't documented or inventoried (after being written off for tax over a couple of years, they "ceased to exist"), so the majority of my planning was focussed in that area.
I think Lofty Wiseman did a book on "how to survive urban disasters" - anyone read it?
Finally - for scary, try googling on TEOTWAKI. The End Of The World As We Know It. I like them, they make me look sane.
14-04-03, 01:24 PM #9
Someone has prob already said this, but without a detector to tell you to get the mask on, its worthless...
Throwing out all fundementalist types would be a good start...:p
How to make the air travel safe? Have you seen Con Air?
(in dry humour BTW, no disrespect to any ethnic groups who want to kill all western dogs!)
30-04-03, 09:18 PM #10
01-05-03, 02:41 AM #11
Just thought I'd add my 0.02
I considerd this for a while and had a chat with some people in the know.
They said, It's pointless getting a suit, The whole point of them is for staff who have be continualy subjected to the threat, hospital workers and so forth. In the time it takes you get them on, you'd be better of evacuating.
All you need is a bar of anti-bacterial soap and a few gallons of water.
Just leave the area, upwind. Then give yourself a wash, and get into fresh clothes.
Then leave the city.
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