What does the world cost? Oh well, then we'll just take a small coke.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Biochemical Warfare Monday

If you haven't already, check out Testudo's totally valid zombie plan. It's weak only in its occasional vagueness. Way to go Testudo! We're honored to have been part of this excellent plan. We hope you inspire more FCN readers to build their own solid plans for the future.

You know one thing that's really swell? Walking along minding your own business when suddenly you're contaminated by a biotoxin. Your eyes dry up. Your mouth foams. You drop to the ground in agonizing pain. Your friends run to help you. You try to gesture at them to keep back but you can't move. The last thing you see is your friends dropping onto the ground next to you.

Okay, actually, that probably wouldn't be really swell. In fact it would probably be worse than spending the whole day going bowling. So what do you do to protect yourself?

Understand, avoid, survive.

Biological warfare is as old as your mom. Maybe older! Some of our earliest records of ancient wars involve polluting enemy wells, poisoning the tips of arrows, and hurling clay pots full of snakes or scorpions. In medieval times, catapulting dead animals or victims of the Black Plague into besieged areas was as common a daily occurrence as syncing your iPod is today.

Breakthroughs in microbiology in the twenty-first century made a whole world of awesome toxins possible. Geniuses like Joseph Mengele were able to grow pure strains of their weapons (and, usually, forcibly test them on subjugated peoples). Though there has been extensive testing of biological weaponry, it has not been seriously used since World War II.

Weaponized biotoxins come in many forms but one of the best kinds available today is Anthrax. Because it is widely regarded as the ultimate anti-personnel biological warfare agent, we'll use it as an example (more on agricultural agents later). Anthrax is most effectively delivered by aerosol (probably by aerial spray or low-altitude detonation of a weapon vessel, covering the area below). It is then inhaled and causes a pneumonia infection that feels like a bad head cold. This cold gets gradually worse over several days and then causes massive respiratory failure. In nearly 100% of cases, victims who have inhaled Anthrax die - even if treated very early after exposure.

You can also contract Anthrax infection by eating something with Anthrax on it (oopsies). This form is more easily treated by antibiotics; the fatality rate is closer to 50%. That's not so bad!

Anthrax on the skin is really not serious at all if treated. If it's not treated, it will cause nasty skin lesions that may be fatal.

So, armed with this knowledge, lets get into the dirty details.

Anti-personnel biochemical attacks will center on major metropolitan areas. If you're living near one (or downwind of one) and suspect an attack may be imminent, you must evacuate immediately. Get a mask (not the dentist kind, the coal miner kind) and wear it at all times. It will itch and be irritating; you'll sweat underneath it and you'll sound funny and have to shout to be heard. These are all annoyances. Being dead is more serious than an annoyance. WEAR THE MASK.

Get into a car and drive to an isolated area. Be sure keep the windows rolled up, the doors closed, and the AC on recirculate. Don't stop to pick people up (they may be contaminated).

Your survival area should be away from cities, roads, and rivers. Dig yourself a well. Only eat food that has been in air-tight containers since before the attack, and only after cleaning the container thoroughly with well water. Destroy all clothing that may have been exposed. Do not offer shelter to other survivors (if the area gets wind of it, they'll all flock to you; your well will run dry and you may be targeted by an air strike).

Stay in your isolated area for at least one year. If you are ready to return to civilization (to see if the war is over/it was just a false alarm), follow the same car procedures described earlier. If you must leave your car for any reason, such as to refuel, be certain your mask and gloves are secure. Wear long-sleeved clothing and eye protection (swimming goggles will work).

Because the city has probably been annihilated and you are on the brink of death yourself, looting for survival necessities is morally acceptable. Looting for luxury items is a moral gray area.

You've probably noticed that the plan described above is both vague and equipment intensive. The vagueness is something you'll have to solve yourself (by customizing your plan; we encourage you to post it in a comment below!). The equipment is taken care of by planning ahead. You won't have time to stockpile these essential items when the emergency strikes so be sure to have a biochemical warfare survival kit packed and ready to go in your car.

It should include, among the following:

- Masks for everyone in your party
- Backup charcoal canisters for the masks (at least a year's supply)
- First aid kit (with antiseptic and some light cutting tools)
- Flare gun (properly wrapped)
- Tent (the more air-tight the better)
- Non-perishable food (in air-tight containers)
- Can opener and scissors (for the air-tight containers)
- SPF 40 Chapstick (don't leave home without it)
- Blanket (for cuddling with)
- Shovels (for digging the well)
- Water purifier tablets (because well water is yuckie)
- PSP (because life in the wild is kind of boring)
- Batteries (for the PSP)
- Flashlight (in case someone asks you what the PSP batteries are for)
- Hunting rifle (for putting down game and people who won't take no for an answer)
- Duct tape (because you never know)
- WD-40 (also because you never know)

Agricultural warfare involves herbicides and is used to cause starvation or to clear out areas that the enemy may be hiding. This does not immediately effect you as it is a strictly military action that usually does not target civilians (unless those civilians are farmers, in which case: powned!).

Well, that's the basics of surviving a biochemical attack. Remember that you can never know too much about the various types of weaponized biological agents that can be used against you. Research and learn to adapt.

And finally: it's fully possible that the warfare agent would be a virulent strain of zombie virus. If that happens, well, you know what to do.


Anonymous said...

First comment - coal miner's mask is not adequate. Look for a HEPA mask...if you think you are really going to need one...

Second comment - you will want to completely cover your entire face - as your eyes are a possible entryway - and your nose - really any opening in the skin - or even the skin itself in some cases.

Third comment - bleach - needed to kill any biologicals in your well

hanagrace said...

Unfortunately I couldn't finish reading this, it is adding to my paranoia. Other than that, very good. :-)

Zombie (hearts) said...

My suggestion will trump all contenders. The best way to defeat zombies is by reading the revamped "Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies."
No joke.. Check it out http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,25025871-5012749,00.html

JANE Austen's classic novel Pride and Prejudice is being updated as a zombie horror book and film.
A parody of the English novel is due to be published in April under the name Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, with Hollywood studios already bidding to turn the new book into a blockbuster movie.

The new book has been penned by Los Angeles-based TV comedy writer Seth Grahame-Smith, who has been able to update Austen's original tale because it is out of copyright.

Austen fans are in for a shock, with heroine Elizabeth Bennet and her four sisters becoming zombie slayers and taught how to fight like Japanese ninjas by Mr Darcy.

"It quickly became obvious that Jane (Austen) had laid down the blueprint for a zombie novel," The Sunday Times quoted Grahame-Smith as saying.

"Why else in the original should a regiment arrive on Lizzie Bennet's doorstep when they should have been off fighting Napoleon?

"It was to protect the family from an invasion of brain-eaters, obviously."

Grahame-Smith said about 85 per cent of his novel is Austen's original text.

"I hated her when I was forced to read Austen in school, but when I started re-reading I realized she was a brutal, but very funny, satirist," he said.

"I can only aspire to be as mean-spirited as she could be."

I love this kid.. :D

Anonymous said...

Just thought I'd point that the whole section on biochemical history was taken almost word-for-word from wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_warfare