By “The Coach”, (Contributing Editor)
Everyone has their reasons for prepping and there are many. The one thing that everyone has in common is the need for equipment, food and knowledge for whatever you are prepping for. You can never have enough of them. It really does not matter what you are prepping for you need the basics, water, food, shelter, protection, first aid and transportation. Right! If this is the items you have been purchasing, you may have missed something that is MORE important than all of the before mentioned items.
So what is it?
You can live for approximately three (3) weeks without food.
You can live for approximately three (3) days without water, less in certain climates.
However, you can only stay conscious for approximately four (4) minutes without clean air to breathe. Less if the breathable air is contaminated. Brain damage starts shortly after you pass out and stop breathing.
What good would all of your other preparations be if you died or become incapacitated within the first few minutes of a disaster because the air is toxic?
You need to purchase a quality gas mask, also known as a full face respirator. These masks cover your mouth, nose and eyes and filter the air before you breathe it.
So you don’t think you would ever need a gas mask because of where you live! Do you live within several miles of a city or county operated water purification plant? How about a sewage treatment plant? Or what about railroad tracks? How about an interstate highway system? How about a river where hazardous chemicals are transported? What about a nuclear power plant? What about a chemical plant or oil refinery? All of these use or transport deadly chemicals, nuclear material, bio hazards agents and/or other toxins. If you do not think that accidents occur during transportation or usage of these types of hazardous materials, you are very wrong! The problem? Accidents and terrorist attacks do happen.
Do you remember the Bhopal, India chemical accident?
If those people would have had a quality gas mask, thousands would have survived. Think of how horribly those people suffered before they died! How mothers and fathers watched their children die due to that chemical accident.
If you do not think a hazmat situation occurs in your area of the country, check the web site map of the United States.
The latest hazmat leak happened just outside of Houston, Texas on Saturday, November 15, 2014. A leak of Methyl Mercaptan occurred at the plant where the chemical is made. The chemical release killed four and injured one employee.
Also, what would you do if the air was contaminated with some type of bio warfare agent, radioactive dust, chemical agent, tear gas, etc.? You still have to breathe. If you did not have a quality gas mask/ respirator, how useful would all the rest of your preps be?
If you die or become seriously disabled, because of breathing contaminated air, you could have purchased all of the water, food, firearms or shelter (bunker, retreat, camping gear, motor home) you would need to survive a TEOTWAWKI situation but all those items would have been purchased for nothing. Some other prepper with a gas mask may appreciate all of the food, water and gear that you purchased and have left for them after you have died.
Now for a really scary fact and possible bad news. All of you who have purchased military surplus gas mask and filters thinking that they will protect you, they may be worthless and some may even be harmful. Check out the below Homeland Security Web Site. The below web site tells you what surplus gas mask and filters are useless and possibly harmful. If you have purchased a surplus gas mask and filter you owe it to yourself and your family to check the below web site to see if your gas mask and filter is listed.
According to Homeland Security, most surplus gas masks are junk and so old that the rubber material the mask is made of, leaks. Even if the mask does not leak, the filter that the mask comes with is only good for NO MORE than five (5) years from the date of manufacture. How old is the filter that came with your surplus gas mask? How long have you had your gas mask filters? More than five years?
Some of the gas mask and filters are so old that they do not even have the manufacture or expiration date on them! If you do not know when your filter was made or if the filter is out of date, are you really willing to risk your life and your family’s life on a cheap surplus gas mask and filter? Don’t believe me! Telephone the store that you purchased your surplus gas mask from and ask them what type of warranty your gas mask and filter comes with? Also, ask them what kind of hazardous environments do they warranty you using your surplus gas mask in?
Most places that sell surplus gas mask have some kind of a disclaimer in the advertisement for the sale of the surplus gas mask. The disclaimer usually says something like, “Offered in the interest of collectability only”. This means you should only use the gas mask in a collection of old military gas mask, NOT as a functional gas mask for actual use during an emergency.
How much money are you prepared to spend on potable water, food, firearms, transportation and shelter? Yet you do not think you can spend/afford the money to get you and all of your family members a quality gas mask and in date filter canisters!
Are you prepared to watch your family members gasping for air or contract a horrible disease because you do not have a working gas mask?
Part II tomorrow……