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Anybody out there with solid nuke/bio/chem prep expertise?

Over at the Cabal we’ve begun a discussion of preparedness for nuclear/biological/or chemical warfare.

This hasn’t been a huge concern for a lot of us (for many reasons) But with one presidential candidate already making noises about an air-war with Russia and another who seems to take nuclear capability less seriously than he takes his morning comb-over, it’s time to look more closely.

If you’re a Cabal member (or want to be), you might want to look in on this discussion. It would be especially helpful to hear from anybody who has real (not Hollywood fantasy) training or experience in this area.

Free three-month Cabal membership to the first current non-member who speaks up in blog comments and offers to share solid background in this aspect of prepping (and is willing to join in this (and other) discussions). If you have a blog or a business related to his topic, you could use the opportunity to promote yourself to a very small but highly dedicated audience.


  1. Richard L. Wurdack
    Richard L. Wurdack September 28, 2016 7:45 am

    At the height of the “duck and cover” ’50s Heinlein had a lot to say on this subject. Looks like it may be time to trot that stuff out again. See you on the cabal.

  2. GIJeff
    GIJeff September 28, 2016 7:49 am

    Heya peeps,

    Ex Tanker here with NBC tank training. The NBC tank is the tank crew designated for extra training by the NBC NCO to stand in in case of unavailability of the NBC NCO, who is usually assigned to the HQ element of a tank company. Not being a member I cannot view the discussion in question, so I guess I’ll post this here. What information, specifically, were you guys looking for?


  3. Claire
    Claire September 28, 2016 8:29 am

    Yep, see you at the Cabal.

    We also did just get an offer from somebody with real-world experience and I’ve sent him instructions for joining the Cabal. Just waiting now to see if he signs up.

  4. Unclezip
    Unclezip September 28, 2016 8:49 am

    When I graduated from the Army CBR (Chemical, Radiological, Biological) warfare school way back when, the last thing we learned was that everything we had learned up to that point was, if not just insufficient, irrelevant.

  5. Claire
    Claire September 28, 2016 9:42 am

    Unclezip — Well, that’s encouraging. 🙁 Not surprising, OTOH.

    Still, since the last thing most of us non-military types learned was the grand governmental advice (post-9/11) to duct-tape ourselves into small rooms and suffocate to death, even imperfect real-world knowledge might be helpful by comparison.

  6. M Ryan
    M Ryan September 28, 2016 11:43 am

    The only real thing that has stuck with me from NBCW training way back when are these two words: time and distance…. What that means is limit the time of exposure as much as possible and put as much distance between you and the source of the radiation in the form of actual distance or shielding.

  7. Lowell Sammons
    Lowell Sammons September 28, 2016 12:34 pm

    I was a nuclear machinist mate in the engine room of a submarine. The things I can recommend to have at your home in case of a nuclear attack is a military grade gas mask, pottasium iodine tablets, and good water filtration system. If a nuclear attack occurs you have two many problems after the explosion, radiation and contamination. Radiation is what hurts you, and contamination is any material the has been irradiated and produces radiation.
    The only way to stop radiation is a lead wall inches thick. This is the reason for the iodine tablets is so your thyroid does not absorb radioactive iodine, after you have been exposed to high levels of radiation. Acute high levels of radiation occur during and just after the blast.
    Contamination is created and distributed by the blast. The single biggest problem about contamination is that it can be to small to see. This is were the gas mask and water filtration comes into play. Contaminated particles can stay air born for greater than 24hr.
    External contamination will wash off with a thorough scrubbing. Internal contamination not so much. Internal contamination will cause you to be irradiated from the inside out for a long period of time.
    The things I have mention above is not an end all be all but things I keep at home and why. A good gas mask is will help with all three situations, so if anything have one on hand for each member of your family.

  8. Felinenation
    Felinenation September 28, 2016 2:47 pm

    Good post by Lowell Sammons, but I would add:

    Ionizing radiation cannot be detected by the senses, but, unlike chemicals or biological agents, it CAN be easily detected and measured, with the appropriate instrumentation, usually some form of Geiger counter. Example:

    Yes, such instruments are rather pricey. This company used to sell lower-cost build-it-yourself kits; I’m not sure if they still do,

    There are three pathways of radiation exposure: direct (like getting a X-ray), inhalation, and ingestion (eating/drinking contaminated stuff). So being able to detect radiation would be a huge advantage in surviving nuclear doomsday.

    I would also recommend a tone-alert weather radio, which, I have been told by the authorities, will warn of hazards such as nuclear attacks or nuclear power plant accidents (obviously not in advance, but maybe before they are reported by the media), in addition to severe weather.

  9. Desertrat
    Desertrat September 28, 2016 4:23 pm

    I am totally blanked on the book title, but Dean Ing wrote at length about detecting radiation and purifying air in one of his books. I’ll hunt through my library to see if I can find it.

    (All his books are quite readable.)

  10. He Who Fakes It Well
    He Who Fakes It Well September 28, 2016 7:28 pm

    Not exactly “expertise,” but my sister thought this was applicable:

    Youtube vid.

    Warning: Swallow, and put your drink down before clicking.

  11. John
    John September 28, 2016 8:49 pm

    I learned on, “Duck and Cover”.
    Stop laughing!
    I’ve come to think, “Don’t be there”, has a lot of merit.

    If we solve this one, any Ideas on being around after, “Sweet Meteor of Death”?

  12. HIstorian
    HIstorian September 29, 2016 12:32 pm

    For nuclear I strongly recommend Cresson H Kearney’s “Nuclear war Survival Skills” available as a free download from the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine.

    Also, Bruce D Clayton’s “Radiological defence”

    Also, recommend ” Effects of Nuclear Weapons”. By Gladstone et al and the recently declassified ” Employment of Nuclear Weapons” latest versions you have.

    For preparation for chemical weapons, I cannot recommend any open sources.

    Same for Biological weapons. Sorry!

  13. Claire
    Claire September 29, 2016 12:48 pm

    “For nuclear I strongly recommend Cresson H Kearney’s “Nuclear war Survival Skills” available as a free download from the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine.”

    I used to have that a long time ago and I agree it’s a classic in the genre. But I worry that most people would become overwhelmed by that amount of information (especially info on something that is still quite a long-shot possibility). It’s another of those cases where, yes, perhaps we should know volumes and volumes about a topic, but our brains and our budgets need the simple “five steps” or “10 things you need to know” approach.

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