We all hear horror stories on the news every day about potential threats from overseas.
One such threat is biological terrorism or ‘bioterrorism’.
This is essentially an attack made with biological agents that can kill or disable people, animals, or crops.
While it’s pretty much impossible to tell when something like this might happen near you, if it ever will, it definitely can’t hurt to be prepared for such an outcome.
In this guide, we’ll be going over everything you need to do to make sure you and your family are prepared for a bioterrorist attack on your home.
Let’s start by going over exactly what bioterrorism is and what it could look like.
After all, biological threats often can’t be seen by the human eye until their effects have taken place.
There are three different groups of biological agents that could most likely be used as bioterrorism weapons:
viruses, bacteria, and toxins. Each of these will have different effects, depending on what is being targeted.
For example, it’s possible that an attack would be made only on livestock, in which case a certain agent would be selected for that purpose.
The way these biological agents can be spread is the same as any common disease like a cold or flu.
They can spread through the air around us, by person-to-person contact, or be carried through food and water.
The reason biological terrorism is such a scary prospect is that it can’t be easily detected and it will often be too late to prevent it before it takes effect.
That being said, there are plenty of things you can do to be prepared for it and minimize the impact it could have on your and your family…
Before The Threat
Some of the things you can do to prepare for a bioterrorist attack are things you could do right now before the attack has even taken place.
Emergency Supply Kit
The first thing to do is prepare an emergency supply kit.
In general, these are the same kinds of kits you should use for any emergency situation and they should contain all the necessary equipment for survival in tricky situations.
These are some of the things you might want to include in your emergency supply kit:
- Food and water
- Spare batteries
- First aid equipment
- Gas mask and dust mask
- Duct tape
- Towels, garbage bags, and plastic ties (to help with personal sanitation)
- Basic tool kit
- Can opener
- Maps of the local area
- A fully charged cell phone (with a charger and spare battery)
Once you have assembled this kit, it should stay in your home, in a safe place, at all times.
If your home has a basement or separate shelter, this is the perfect place to store your emergency kit and make sure you’re always ready to use it.
Check Medical Records
A bioterrorist attack could do serious harm to you and your family’s health so it’s important to make sure everybody has the right immunizations to deal with it as well as possible.
All this takes is checking with your doctor to make sure everybody has the right vaccinations and immunizations.
If they don’t schedule an appointment to get these done soon and keep a record near your emergency supply kit of everybody’s medical records.
Install HEPA Filters
High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are commonly used on vacuum cleaners to prevent airborne bacteria and germs from spreading across your home.
You can purchase HEPA filters to attach to your furnace return duct that will have a similar effect on any dangerous biological agents.
The filter will go a long way to preventing dangerous pathogens from entering your home and ensuring that you have safe air to breathe.
Make An Emergency Plan
It’s easy to panic when an emergency situation breaks out.
That’s why it’s a good idea to have a plan already set out so you don’t have to think about it at the time.
The US government’s Ready website has plenty of information about what should go into your emergency plan.
The most important thing to note is that you should discuss and arrange the plan with your family and everyone else in your household.
It’s vital to make sure that everybody is on the same page about what to do if a biological emergency breaks out and nobody is left scrambling around, clueless.
During The Threat
Once a biological terrorist threat has broken out and you’ve been through your emergency plan with your family, it’s important to remain calm and stick to a few key rules:
Stay Indoors Unless Necessary
Your home or shelter will do some good to protect you from potential biological threats but once you step outside, there is much less protection.
This is why you should only leave your house or shelter unless you absolutely need to.
Like we said at the start, it’s impossible to notice the effects of some biological attacks until it’s too late.
Some people could be walking around with dangerous diseases and not even know it yet.
That’s why you should avoid contact with or getting too close to other people, outside your home or shelter.
One of the most important things you can do in emergency situations is to stay up-to-date with current events.
You should try to have as much contact with the rest of the world as possible from the safety of your own home.
This means watching the news, checking the internet, and listening to the radio to get updates on the situation.
Follow the advice given to you by the authorities through these channels.
Nobody wants to think about a potential biological terrorist attack but there’s no harm in being prepared for it.
However unlikely it may seem, you should follow the steps we’ve outlined in the guide, as well as the CDC’s own guidelines for these kinds of situations.
As long as you stick to these guidelines, you and your family will have the best possible chance of staying safe in these emergency situations!