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bitmasher's picture
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Duct Tape and Plastic Sheets

Just out of curosity, how many people went out and bought duct tape and plasic sheets per the Homeland Security Departments recommendation last week? I didn't...

I may get flamed for this, but I think the color-coded terrorism warning system and these public announcements are too vague to be useful. So they are just needlessly worrying ordinary folks about something they can't control anyway. Although I'm certainly open to hearing differing opinions on this. Anybody out there find the terrorism warning system useful?

[ This Message was edited by: bitmasher on 2003-02-19 21:38 ]

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Duct Tape and Plastic Sheets

The color coding is worthless, but it gives some people jobs, and with the economy the way it is....... The plastic sheets and duct tape is dumb, it may minimize your contact but it only takes a little(of whatever) to mess you up. Save your money. Now it never hurts to have some water and food on hand.

expatriate's picture
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Duct Tape and Plastic Sheets

Plastic sheets and duct tape? Dumb. Military standard for getting your gas mask on and sealed is nine seconds. In a civilian environment, by the time you get warning (most likely by smell or seeing people keel over), you won't have time to find the duct tape, much less seal anything up. Besides, sealing up your house also seals things in. Chemical weapons are tough to use effectively -- particularly the vapor threats they're talking about. Wind disperses them quickly, and persistent agents that linger a long time by nature don't evaporate quickly.

Remember that in 1995 Aum Shinrikyo released sarin into 5 different trains in the world's busiest subway system, affecting 15 stations. 3,800 people were injured, 1,000 were hospitalized, and only 12 died -- despite the confinement and crowds.

In 1994, Aum Shinrikyo released Sarin into a light breeze in a residential area full of apartment buildings in a city of 300,000. Seven people died, largely because windows and doors were open to the night air.

Chemical weapons are largely aimed to cause terror and confusion, and can't cause that much damage unless you use large amounts in the right conditions. Rather than sheets and duct tape, simply closing doors and windows and turning off the AC should do the trick.

saskie's picture
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Duct Tape and Plastic Sheets

I agree with Ex. I don't think the shrinkwraped houses will do enough good to be worth the hysteria. Perhaps as a "foreigner" looking in from the outside I have a different perspective, but I think such warnings are a result of the allegations that there were unheeded warnings about 11 Sep. Now they seem much more quick to react on (and I hesitate to use this term...) sketchy INT.

expatriate's picture
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Duct Tape and Plastic Sheets

I wish we'd get a better response out of Homeland Security than this. Duct tape and plastic for the public is the chem warfare version of Dumbo's Magic Feather. These are the same people who taught millions of schoolkids how to survive a nuclear blast by hiding under their desks. I'd much rather see genuine education for the public, rather than placebos intended to convey a false sense of security. Unfortunately, I think there's way too many people out there with attention spans measured in nanoseconds that would rather panic than learn.

bitmasher's picture
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Duct Tape and Plastic Sheets

Well there does seem to be some people that followed the departments advice. Wal-mart (north america's biggest retailer) released sales figures this week showing there was an unexpected spike in duct tape sales last week.

If you want to read a real hoot check out this site:

www.ready.gov

This is the Homeland Securities way of preparing the masses. I especially like the glossary where they tell us that "Evacuation" is "The process of leaving a potentially dangerous area.".

I actually felt less safe after reading the site. Because in the back of my head I have this nagging memory that just last week osama popped up with another one of his joyful "home videos". Instead of a statement from some public offical that we are going to bury that bastard, we get told about duct tape, plastic sheets, oh, and a definition for evacuation.

[ This Message was edited by: bitmasher on 2003-02-20 23:43 ]

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