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None of this is about your survival - A little less than a happy high — LiveJournal
None of this is about your survival
Before you go get your duct tape and plastic in hopes of creating a "safe room" to hole up in with your stockpiles of canned goods and bottled water, it might do to look at the base reality behind these recommendations:

1) In most cases, duct tape and plastic sheeting alone will not create a sealed, airtight environment out of the room that you’ve chosen as your sanctuary. If a biological or chemical agent is released in your city or town via an airborne delivery system, it’s doubtful that anything less than a sealed environment will keep you safe from harm.

2) If you do manage to seal yourself in, you will find yourself in an airtight environment. This is problematic because, well, we breathe air. Your friendly government has recommended ensuring a ten foot square area for every person in the "safe room." A 10x10x10, airtight room will provide about enough breathable air for one person to survive without asphyxiation for 5 hours. Yes, that’s right, I said five hours. Not to be too pessimistic, but it’s likely that haz-mat teams will require a little more than five hours to eliminate the harmful agent(s) from the environment.

3) Which, of course, raises the next question: why are we being asked to stockpile several days to several weeks’ worth of canned food and bottled water and up to thirty days worth of any required perscription medication? There’s a simple, if grim, answer. In the event of the use of a chemical or biological agent against the civilian population of a given area, the authorities will ask the population to repose to their "safe rooms" and await further instructions. This will serve to isolate those who have been exposed to the agent and will give them the illusion of safety and self-sufficiency. The contaminated population is thus centralized and controlled to a degree that authorities can concentrate on containment and (later) cleanup efforts. The truly macabre piece of all of this is that you’re unwittingly assisting in the cleanup efforts by gathering all of the bodies in your household into a single room and providing the authorities with the supplies (plastic sheeting, duct tape) necessary to create makeshift body-bags.

Current Mood: Calm as a Hindu cow
Current Music: Pixies, "Where Is My Mind?"

6 comments or Leave a comment
(Deleted comment)
komos From: komos Date: February 14th, 2003 12:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

Overpowered by funk

Will you encourage Lo-Lo to make a run for it beforehand?
From: uruz Date: February 14th, 2003 09:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Actually, "Orange Alert" is just the government's secret nod to Home Depot.

"Plastic sheets and duct tape you say... we have that right over here!"
komos From: komos Date: February 14th, 2003 12:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
They've got to do something to bolster the economy.
riverbank From: riverbank Date: February 14th, 2003 01:34 pm (UTC) (Link)

gawwwd it's so absurd! i've haven't heard of any real people stocking up on anything. hype hype hype.
komos From: komos Date: February 14th, 2003 02:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't know, one of my cow-orkers tried to talk me out of coming into the office today because of some unspecified terrorist threat. 'Course, I'm pretty sure that she believes that "soft targets" is defined, in toto, as "Boston."

I'm just waiting to hear about the overzealous citizen who seals himself in his room before bedtime (just to be safe) and then doesn't wake up.
riverbank From: riverbank Date: February 14th, 2003 05:10 pm (UTC) (Link)


*shakes head, rolls eyes*
6 comments or Leave a comment