Prepare for a Biological Threat

The thought of a biological attack on you, your family, or your town is a terrifying thought that you may find crossing your mind often nowadays. The world is unpredictable, as it always has been, and it pays off to be ready for anything - including biological threats.

History - Anthrax

The Amerithrax attacks that occurred soon after the events of 9/11 were a terrifying ordeal. Letters were laced with anthrax and appeared in mailboxes across the country. Five people were killed, and 17 were made ill - and to this day it remains one of the largest and most complex cases in the history of American law enforcement.

In mid September 2001, a mail carrier who had supposedly delivered one of the letters without her knowledge had begun to feel ill. Not knowing what else to do, she got herself to a hospital and reported her symptoms. She had come into contact with anthrax.

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Preparing for a Biological Threats

You prepare for biological threats the same way you prepare for other acts of terrorism - educating yourself and staying alert is one of the best ways to protect yourself and the people you love.

It's best to have a talk with your family about what to do when a biological threat is imminent. Be sure to educate yourself on the main three basic groups of biological agents that are most likely to be weaponized. Bacteria, toxins, and viruses are the main three you should stay up-to-date on.

Have a discussion with your family and go over safety guidelines without overly frightening or panicking your loved ones - take the time to create a plan together.

Biological Threats Preparedness Plan - Activity List

Preparing for a biological threat is a difficult thing to do. You never know when your family may be under threat of a biological attack, and therefore, cannot be prepared every second of every day.

But that doesn't mean that there is absolutely nothing you can do. One of the best ways to know when you need to spring into action is keeping an ear open and listening to reliable news sources. Listen to alerts and medical professionals.

  • Make an emergency plan
  • Build a kit full of emergency supplies
  • Consider investing in a HEPA filter for your home - these filters can filter out most biological agents that could enter your home
  • Check with your doctor and make sure you and your family are up to date on your shots and other immunizations

If you are under the threat of a biological attack or suspect one is underway as you read, it's important to act quickly. If you are in immediate danger, take the following steps.

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a mask or multiple layers of fabric to avoid inhaling any suspicious substances
  • If you have been exposed, remove and bag all of your clothes and follow instructions set by authorities on how to properly dispose of the affected items
  • Wash yourself off with soap and water, and put on clean clothes
  • Stay away from any suspicious substances
  • Contact authorities and medical professionals immediately if you believe you have come into contact with a dangerous substance
  • Stay up to date on all information that comes from official sources, such as areas in danger, symptoms and signs of the disease or biological attack, and where to seek medical attention in emergency situations
  • Avoid crowds
  • Avoid unnecessary trips, such as trips to the mall or gym
  • Do not share any utensils, makeup, clothes, or food with anyone
  • Follow the instructions of medical professionals
  • Continue to wear a mask just in case the threat is airborne

Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do in the aftermath of a biological attack aside from care for yourself and your family.

The best course of action is to follow any rules and guidelines set by authorities and medical professionals.

Evacuation due to a biological threat

You may find that you have been instructed to evacuate and seek temporary shelter if your area is now contaminated.

Follow instructions given to you by the proper authorities when evacuating, and make sure you have an evacuation route in mind.

Have a shelter in mind before you are under threat of a biological attack - know where public shelters are or have a family member or friend to stay with. Be sure to clear your emergency evacuation plan with whoever you will be staying with beforehand.

There are a few items you will want to take with you before evacuating that normally would not be found in a standard emergency kit. Pack the following, and never leave a pet behind in an emergency situation.

  • A change of clothes for each member of your household
  • Sleeping bags or blankets
  • Copies of important documents
  • A small game, books, or other activities for you and your children
  • A pet carrier

Feel free to adjust your list of supplies to take with you in an evacuation to fit your family's needs - and remember to have an emergency kit on hand in addition to your other essential items.

But remember: most items can be replaced - people cannot. Your main priority should be getting yourself, your pets, and the rest of your family to safety before anything else.

Emergency Gear to Prepare for Biological Threats

The gear you'll need to survive. The gear you'll need for evacuation is exactly the same as what you might need when you're staying home to weather out the storm.

  1. 72-hour kit or go Bag - your individual kit should have clothing, gear and supplies for 3-10 days minium
  2. Food Storage - Take a long food from your long term food storage

When a biological threat is imminent there won't be a lot of time to gather supplies, meaning that when you least expect it, an emergency kit full of supplies might just save your life.

Gather the supplies on our list and keep them in an easy-to-carry bag somewhere accessible. Try to keep smaller supplies on your person - such as a whistle. Do not panic-buy or hoard supplies.

  • Enough water for each member of your household, including pets.
  • Non-perishable food items
  • A can opener
  • Masks for each member of your household
  • A fully charged power bank
  • A mobile phone charger
  • Batteries
  • A battery-powered radio
  • Flashlights
  • A first-aid kit
  • Infant care supplies
  • Pet care supplies
  • Any medications you or your family may take.
  • Whistles
  • Cash
  • Comfort items for you and your children
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