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Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Reality of Bio-Terror

By Joseph Parish

Few people realize that emergency medicine is a function of our homeland security agencies. In today’s fearful world it has been determined by a congressional committee that our greatest threat is not so much nuclear as it is biological weapons. 

Biologic attacks will not be immediately noticeable and the resultant impact of the infectious agents will lie silently during their incubation period. Since these types of weapons are not generally released within a "bomb" they appear to be more effective. Bombs would in fact destroy the dangerous bacteria or viruses and eliminate the biological agent immediately.

Today’s stress on biological weapons has necessitated that our doctors learn to recognize the associated symptoms of the illness patterns which are indicative of potential infectious disease outbreaks. Various clues which contribute to the physician’s diagnosis are the number of patients which are reporting the same symptoms all of a sudden within the same time frame as well as the geographic area of concern. As these clues are uncovered the health care facilities and doctors will start to upload their data to their local health authorities who will begin releasing their stockpiled antibiotics, vaccines, etc to combat the attack. These efforts will be accomplished in coordination with all levels of government.

As a survivalist there are certain functions that you can accomplish for your family and yourself. The major task at hand when confronted with this type of emergency is to keep informed. Many of our state or local health departments now have social media accounts on Facebook or Twitter and maintain these accounts with up to date data. If your area health and emergency agencies participate in the "reverse 911" you could sign up and receive automated updates concerning events of a disastrous mature.

Next you should have a plan in place in the event of an emergency of this kind. I know you have heard me stress over and over for every family to have some sort of plan and the reason I do this is because it is so important for your survival. Sit down before a disaster occurs and work out the various details with the members of your family. Develop several potential evacuation routes and maintain maps of your surrounding areas which are clearly marked with emergency shelter locations. If you have school age children learn how the school will handle various emergency situations. Establish safe locations for all family members to meet when a disaster occurs as well as procedures to take if vital communications are cut off or disrupted. Have an out of state call list so you have a central message center to pass information.

Lastly make certain to prepare your emergency kits so that they can be quickly grabbed and taken with you in the event of an evacuation call. Your kits should include water, canned or non-perishable foods and prescription medications. Don’t overlook your personal hygiene items, perhaps a second pair of glasses and if you have an infant include the necessary supplies to attend to the baby. Evacuation kits should include first aid supplies, a wind up or battery powered flashlight and a radio so you can listen to media updates. Keep copies of your important papers on your person or within easy reach. 

There you have the basics laid out for you. Naturally your personal chooses for supplies will depend upon your usual likes and dislikes as well as your lifestyle. 

Copyright @2010 Joseph Parish

1 comment:

  1. There are two types of biological weapons. The first is simply a weaponized "germ" that kills all those in the vicinity and that's it. It is almost impossible to defend against or to prepare for.
    The second is a highly transmittable super bug that will eventually infect everyone. A naturally occurring example of the second type is the flu. You can't run and hide and be safe. Without knowing the specific "bug" ahead of time it is impossible to predict the outcome but in general you cannot protect yourself from it

    An exception might be the smallpox where a smallpox shot "might" protect you. However even in this case the weaponized smallpox is much more virulent then the natural smallpox and it is likely most exposed to it will die regardless of the vaccination.

    So my advice is you can't prepare for it put your effort into other things that you can prepare for.