The threat of a chemical attack is enough to send even the most steady of people into a panic - various toxic substances that you know nothing about could very quickly disrupt your way of life if a dangerous chemical falls into the wrong hands.
History - US Renounces Chemical Weapons
In 1969, U.S. President Richard Nixon renounced the use of chemical weapons - and issued a decree that halted the production and the transportation of all chemical weapons. The weapons have been destroyed, and the United States has not used chemical weapons in war since.
While war zones remain brutal, the lingering effects of chemical weapons does not stain the area or people after the conflict is over.
History - BLM and Tear Gas
During peaceful protests for the Black Lives Matter movement in late July of 2020, police used tear gas - a chemical weapon that causes pain while stimulating the nerves of one's lacrimal gland to force tears forth - on those speaking out against police brutality.
The debate rages on whether or not to use tear gas as a crowd suppressant.
It's important to be prepared for a chemical threat before a warning is issued - it pays to be prepared. Even if you think you may never need it.
Keep an eye on the news and listen to reliable sources. When a warning is issued, take it seriously, and act responsibly - even if you are under duress. Build an emergency kit for your home, and make sure your loved ones have the supplies they will need if they are caught in the middle of an attack.
During a poll, multiple participants recommended carrying a mask as well as protective eye gear with them at all times. They also found it incredibly helpful to know their local areas well to allow them to calculate the nearest and fastest route out of the main area of danger.
There are many ways to prepare yourself and your family for a chemical threat - that includes creating a family emergency plan together.
If you are under a chemical threat, it's important that you stay calm and remember to take the proper steps to stay safe - pass your plan along to others in your area, if they are willing to listen.
If you are trapped inside, there are various ways to shelter in place. Grab an emergency kit if you have access to one - if you don't, try to make do with what you have available.
If you have been instructed to stay inside, it is best to heed that warning and limit exposure to the outside world while under threat of a chemical attack. The following are some of the best tips for sheltering in place.
If you are at home, now is a good time to break out your at-home emergency kit - use your plastic sheeting and duct tape to seal cracks that may be under doors to prevent harmful fumes from entering your home. Some other supplies to have with you while you shelter in your home include the following.
After the threat has passed and you are able to get to safety, you should do so immediately. Seek medical attention if you believe you have been exposed to a dangerous chemical and follow the instructions of medical professionals. They may instruct you to decontaminate yourself - to properly decontaminate yourself, follow these steps.
Understand that the aftermath of a chemical threat can be a frightening and traumatizing event to live through. Keep this in mind if someone close to you shows signs of distress - offer your support, and don't be afraid to reach out to someone you trust for emotional support.
Emergency Plan (ready.gov)
Emergency Contact Info (ready.gov)
Emergency Plan for Schools (ready.gov)
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.
We cannot stress enough the importance of building an emergency supply kit and keeping it somewhere accessible. You may even want to consider assembling and carrying smaller kits for emergencies on the go.
It's important to avoid panic-buying and hoarding - gather supplies that your family will need, and adjust your emergency kits to fit your family's needs.
It's best to revisit and update your kit every year to make sure your supplies match up with your family's needs - store your kit somewhere cool and dry that is easily accessible.
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