RealNews

Worried About Terror? Preparations That Make Sense

Most of the advice given by the Department of Homeland Security on preparing for a terrorist attack sounds indistinguishable from that given on preparing for an earthquake or a hurricane: plan how family members can get in touch with one another, stock up on water and canned foods, have a first-aid kit. Most experts do not recommend buying items like gas masks and antibiotics to protect against biological, chemical or nuclear attacks. In the absence of an imminent danger, they say, these preparations do not justify their cost and can even be dangerous. For example, in the gulf war in 1991, several people in Israel suffocated in their gas masks. Also, gas masks and antibiotics do not provide protection against what many experts say are the most likely of terrorist attacks — snipers, suicide bombers and car bombs. It might be worthwhile to buy these items “if it makes you feel better,” said Randall J. Larsen, director of the Anser Institute for Homeland Security, a nonprofit research group in Arlington, Va. “The whole thing is to do your preparation. And then don’t dwell on it.” Full Story

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