We take many things that our bodies engage in for granted. Perhaps the most common one that falls into that category is breathing. Yet it can become a key to survival if there is a catastrophic event that unfolds. Being able to get access to clean air may make the difference between life and death.
A fallout shelter can come in very handy in this type of scenario too. You can stay inside and not be exposed to the negative elements that may be in the air. Poisonous gases that can destroy the central nervous system are important to avoid. They can result in a slow and painful death.
You may want to consider having a gas mask in place for each of your family members. This can allow them to breathe in air that is safe but not harmful for them. In the early time frame after a serious event has occurred, it is important to take all precautions. If you aren’t sure if the air is safe or not, a gas mask is certainly warranted.
Another type of mask you can have available are those that people wear while painting. This is known as a respirator, and there are also those paper masks that medical professionals use. All of them help to prevent harmful elements from being part of the air you breathe. There can be lots of dust settling for days or
weeks after a natural disaster.
For example, think about the World Trade Center attacks. The amount of ash that was falling all around was very dangerous for people to be inhaling. Some survivors continue to have lung problems today as a result of it. The use of such facial masks can help to keep you and your family breathing in air that is debris free.
Secure an Area
It is a good idea to secure an area of your home or your shelter that you will use. If you are in a large home or a large building, use plastic and duct tape to seal of areas you don’t need. This will significantly reduce the risk of contamination coming in. Seal off any cracks or drafty areas too so that they don’t allow contaminated air to seep in.
Secure Windows and Doors
Don’t open windows or doors unless you absolutely have to. Secure them so that they remain closed and that keeps out the harmful elements. Even if you only open these entry points for a brief period of time, you increase the risk of serious health problems for all individuals that are inside.
Air Conditioners and Fans
If you still have a source energy at your shelter location, run air conditioners and fans. They can help to keep the air circulating in the shelter. They can also reduce the risk of someone getting ill from dust and other elements that may be present.
Even with the location sealed as much as possible, dust particles can get inside. Vacuum twice a day if you have an energy source at your shelter location. Avoid using a feather duster or a broom though as that can stir up more dust into the air and create breathing difficulties.
Not Feeling Well
On a side note, you may experience feeling dizzy, lightheaded, or like you need to vomit. These can all be signs that you aren’t getting enough fresh air. There can be gases in your home or other shelter locations that you can’t see or smell but they adversely affect your body. Immediately move to an open area where there is plenty of fresh air circulating.
Potassium Iodide Tablets
It is a good idea to have Potassium Iodide tablets available. They can be taken by all family members for a couple of weeks if you feel that you may have been exposed to radiation, various types of gases, or chemicals. These pills can prevent the symptoms of exposure from becoming severe as they will protect the functionality of the thyroid.
Understanding Isolation and Quarantine
It may be necessary to separate people in your group if health issues develop. This can be emotionally very difficult. However, it may be required at some point for survival of those that are well.
Isolation is done to help stop the spreading of the problem. Some of the symptoms of lung and air related issues include:
- Chronic dry cough
- Chronic thirst
- Coughing up phlegm or blood
- Loss of energy
By moving them to an area where they aren’t in contact with the healthy individuals can prevent it from spreading to the remaining individuals. Those that have been isolated may recover in time but the idea is to keep the healthy as healthy as possible so they can provide food, water, and other items for all.
The process of quarantine actually has to do with those that are well. These are individuals that may have been exposed to ill individuals. The quarantine period is to observe them and to see if they also become ill. It can take several days or even weeks for symptoms to appear. The idea here though is also to help with reducing the spread of health issues that can reduce the overall chances of survival.