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Enoch Choi
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Enoch Choi

Outside of my own interest with this, will state that my husband is a first responder: Police Sergeant. If you had the opportunity to speak to him about Disaster preparation, what concerns/advice would you give him?

I would be happy to print your response and share it with our department.

Thanks much.
~Kate
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Absolutely. The biggest problem in a toxic chemical spill/accident or terrorist chemical incident will be contamination of civilian clothing and the refusal of civilians to relenquish the clothing. Currently there is little legislation or preparation for this contingency. In the event of a terroristnincident involving sarin, for example, the shoes cannot (for practical purposes) be decontaminated and must be relenquished and destroyed. Unfortunately the same goes for pants/socks/jackets/wallet. In inclement weather, this means that "Housten, we have a problem". You need the authority and protocol to stop civilians from spreading contamination, and clothing to replace what they take off. Having spray cans of flourescent paint available the "X" mark civilians who have been potentially contaminated by radiation of chemicals would be prudent. As for chemical detectors for nerve agent incidents they are all worthless. The reason is that you have false positives. The department should maintain ordinary rabbits at a central headquarters. Rabbit eyes will respond to sub-lethal quantities of the various military chemical nerve agents positively and accurately. The acetacholinesterase agents affect the third cranial nerve of the rabbit, which pinpoints the pupils. Injectable atropine syrettets should be available, however the amount required to treat a patient with actual agent contact exceeds the federal standards printed everywhere by one hundred times. In other words the Federal emergency treatment protocols are incorrect. It also means that ambulances and emergency rooms will not have enough atropine. Department members should have acetacholine baseline levels established at their annual medical, which is not done anywhere. Bleach is the universal decontaminent in a 5% solution for all existing military nerve agents. Department cars should carry two 2 1/2 gallon ordinary pressurized water extinguishers for decontamination, as well as fire fighting purposes. Hydrant wrenches and a spray cap for hydrants would be helpful. In the event of an actuat terroist incident involving chemical agents your Scott airpacks and level "A" clothing cannot be properly decontaminated, regardless of what the manuals say. Essentially these are "use once items" if exposed to military grade V agent. Thus spares must be available. There must be a ban on all departmental vehicles with air brakes, as well as all air brake equipped vehicles from entering the area. The chemical agent will be sucked into the compressors and discharged back at the station with great loss of life. Potassion iodie is effective in radiation incidents, but do not get the pills. Stockpile bottles of concentrated potassium iodide, and for $35 you will have both the ability to purify a large (thousands of gallons) quantity of water, but to protect ten thousand children. As for rifles, throw away the M-16's and the Rugers. You need M-14's in the civilian version with 20 round mags. The Springfield Armory M1A or the Fulton Armory version, chambered for the 7.62 military Federal Gold Match ammo, and a scope with a BDA mated to the Federal Gold Match. This is the only weapon easily and inexpensively available that can stop a vehicle. Get a synthetic stock for purposes of easy decontamination. Prohibit the use of short sleeved shirts and short pants, and also plastic shoes and polyester shirts. You are going to have a problem decontaminating blue police uniforms because bleach does not do nice things to the color blue. There is more, but the hour is late and I have promises to keep.
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Wow, it's way beyond my level of expertise to comment on what you've said.  It scares the bejeebuz out of me just to read about the size of gun you say is needed to stop a vehicle, and that you think i'd need that in a disaster to protect my family.  I was thinking more of a taser.
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The information provided was for the woman who stated her husband was a police officer. That being said the 7.61 NATO round is a fine deer rifle and with a scope mated to the cartridge can provide excellent shot groups at 700 meters. The 7.62 NATO ball round is accurate enough and powerful enough to stop an automobile engine or shoot out tires of a truck. With an accurized rifle you reduce the possibility of civilian casualties. Federal Match ammo is only one of the acceptable loads, however Federal has a history of producing rounds that have consistent velocity and performance characteristics. The M1A is in my opinion the finest rifle available to the civilian in the world, although it has design compromises. Some versions have a "grenade launcher" option. While I am not recommending fragmentation grenades this same option enables you to attach a "line throwing" attachment, which can provide you with a way to send a lifeline to someone in the ocean or far out on thin ice. No other rifle has this capability. With a wooden stock, and the magazine removed, it is a "socially acceptable" weapon to carry in the rack of a pick-up truck. An M-16 will brand you as a "nut" in a disaster and attract law enforcement attention. The ability to hunt game humanely at long ranges is one of the nice things to have in the event of a...well you know. Purchasing a case of Federal catridges with the same lot number, purchasing primer sealant and coating the primers, and storing them in a military ammunition box with dissicant will ensure you a twenty year stretch of "peace of mind". Up until recently the DCM (Director of civilian marksmanship) would mail (yes, mail) a semi-automatic 8 shot WW2 M1 Garand at cost to any adult male demonstrating evidence of proficiency and provide ammunition and spare parts for that rifle at cost. Most of the stock have run out, but there are ocasional new releases.
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Ooops, sorry. That's 7.62 NATO. A 7.61 round doesn't exist. I get the bad typing award.
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Although I have been an NRA pistol instructor with a police department in the ancient past, I do not recommend a pistol as a disaster home defense weapon. There are many inexpensive rifles available, however the M1A is the weapon of choice, in my opinion. Plus, it is fun to shoot and there are national matches available to compete in. All of the 5.56 varieties suffer from a poor cartridge and close tolerances that require close attention to cleaning. My pistol favorite is the stainless steel Ruger Black powder "Old Army", which is not the best or most lethal pistol in the world, but it does shoot black powder, and it is an awful lot of fun.
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Somehow this thread took a confusing turn.  Guns? Black powder? Ammo?

Sigh.

Whatever happened to good ol' proper handwashing?  
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Good, sound advice even in tranquil times!  One can never have too many Federal cartridges with the same lot number.  Not to mention primer sealant.  

I disagree with the military ammunition box idea though.  I use a big Tupperware container.  Stacks neatly, and is guaranteed for life.  And the lids are interchangeable!  

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You left out the fact that they come in designer colors.  
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I'm frankly sorry I answered this post. Anyone can do what they want to prepare for worse case contingencies. Having been present during the Newark riots during the 1960's with national guard troops manning M-60 machine guns and witnessing gangs of toughs terrorize the city, I would not state that a civilian maintaining a firearm for personal defense of his family constitutes an unreasonable excercise of his right as a citizen. Nevertheless, I am not going to either encourage or discourage civilian firearm ownership for any purpose. I am long enough in the tooth to have resolved to live the rest of my life peaceably and inoffensively. This forun was created to discuss disaster preparedness and with the many thousands of nuclear warheads floating around, and the unfortunate disintegration of civility, there is an almost certainty of an eventual detonation of a nuclear warhead on United States soil. If you have a residence in an area populated by deer, as I do, then it is not entirely unreasonable to own a rifle to hunt with, in the event of that contingency. It is immature and childish to discourage the provision of information regarding firearms to those who choose that option.
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Time is short but I will be back soon. I am not sorry you answered this thread! Thank you and will be talking to you soon.
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Defensive measures, including but not limited to firearm ownership/proficiency do have a rightful place in disaster preparedness.

A person does not have to like firearms to recognize that they are a very useful tool in matters of survival.

I would hate to be in a disastrous situation, where civil unrest entered in (or food supply limited)and I was unarmed.
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Who on earth says you shouldn't have guns? My husband and I do.  Many, as a matter of fact.

Relax a bit.  Enoch was peaceably talking about bird flu, somehow talk of M-16's and Firearms 101 started.  
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The question (and it was a broad one) was: "...will state that my husband is a first responder: Police Sergeant. If you had the opportunity to speak to him about Disaster preparation, what concerns/advice would you give him?"

I think both Mr Choi and caregiver presented good thoughts. Giving consideration to all aspects, is...well, very much worth considering. ;-D

Again thank you and later this afternoon, would like to speak further.

Best.
~Kate
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"Enoch was peaceably talking about bird flu, somehow talk of M-16's and Firearms 101 started."

The reason for stating his strong preference, was a valid one and one worth mentioning, I think. Especially for those who are unfamiliar with rifles.

If a person is going to consider owning a rifle, for reasons stated in this thread, then you have to consider a few things, in making that purchase. Reliability, broad uses (as was mentioned, stopping power & for hunting wild game), ammunition availability & costs. Reloading is also an option.

We too own rifles. Primarily for hunting (deer & moose)and the one my husband keeps in his cruiser, an AR-15 7.62 x 33.
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Is all this talk of guns going to be a permanent fixture of this forum?  It seems rather extreme.  No one is knocking being prepared to defend yourself, but it seems a tad over the top to me in your forum.

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Thank you for sharing your ppt. Quite an eye opener, in giving further thought to this. I will be sharing with our Chief, as well as family & friends.

In the past, I have given some thought to this but think it better to be safe, than sorry (time to "buckle up")and make room downstairs for provisions.

As for sneezing, I made a habbit of sneezing down my shirt...I guess because it's what I always saw my mother do while growing up, when she had to sneeze.

Thanks again, for sharing this. I appreciate it!

~Kate



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He's a doctor.
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I don't think you will have to worry about firearms dominating this forum but would expect that the subject will come up from time-to-time, considering the subject at hand.

I've read a few threads but it looks to me that the discussion of firearms is being contained to this thread.

Remember, I asked about this due to my husband being a first responder, he being a police officer. Caregiver, I am thinking either is/was military. It does make sense that this subject come up.

In looking at Dr. Choi's presentation, the subject of civil unrest is mentioned.
This doesn't (or shouldn't) just matter to L.E. or military but everyone.

Like caregiver, I won't argue with a person who chooses not to own a firearm. That is a very personal choice/decision. Having said that, neither would I dissuade others from choosing a firearm (or discussing it)and if we could be of an assistance in this area, would offer help where we are able.

Again, I don't think you have to worry about firearms "taking over" this forum board. It has it's place, in this discussion and by no means is, "over the top."

Funny because I know plenty of people who consider people who have "excess" stock of provisions, should tragedy strike...as being "over the top." It's a personal decision and a valid one, even if seemingly "too much" in the eyes of another.

Being (or attempting to be) prepared, first requires thinking about possible outcomes.

Best.
~Kate







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caregiver,

First, there are many things the military are authorized to do, whereas L.E. is not.

Interesting reading about the rabbits. Just the other night, I was watching Nova (I do believe) and the subject was biochemical warfare. The U.S. military history with that, prior to Nixon. The test subjects were S.D.A. who were conscientious objectors, yet willing to be test subjects. I cut into the program late but it was interesting, as well as an eye opener.

"Department members should have acetacholine baseline levels established at their annual medical, which is not done anywhere."

Our department does not require an annual medical check-up or blood work but we do have a health-fair. Having said that, the CBC and TSH test is the only one offered.
Does the ACHr blood test fluctuate or is it fairly consistent?

Blue uniforms and bleach...know about that one! haha My husband had training, requiring he be in full uniform/gear in a chlorinated pool. His uniform was "toast."

As for rifles, my husband mentioned that he didn't like the action of the M-14 but understood it's value. On of our officer's has one and perhaps will have to ask to borrow it and see what I think about it. We have an AR-15 7.62 x 33 (and other high caliber rifles, including a .308) for which I really like. It is "just right" in my arms and very accurate.

"An M-16 will brand you as a "nut" in a disaster and attract law enforcement attention."

To the latter, our department (and it's small) wouldn't be concerned in seeing one...unless it was being used illegally, of course. haha  To the former, that's too bad. It's funny the impressions people get on appearances alone.

"Although I have been an NRA pistol instructor with a police department in the ancient past, I do not recommend a pistol as a disaster home defense weapon."

This has come up in L.E. forums. Most seem to prefer shot-guns indoors and rifles/hand guns anywhere else. I personally am a rifle woman...my rifle is my friend. lol
I wish I had been trained in my youth, as I might feel differently about shot-guns & hand guns. A few unpleasant/dissatisfying experiences with them but really took to rifles and pretty much stuck with them.

I will have to look into the M1A
I really like the option of the "line throwing" attachment.

Thank you, caregiver, for responding. I saved your post.

~Kate
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"It scares the bejeebuz out of me just to read about the size of gun you say is needed to stop a vehicle, and that you think i'd need that in a disaster to protect my family. I was thinking more of a taser."

I have to say, I chuckled with your response. I can imagine, that you imagined a rifle requiring a wagon for transport. No, it isn't big like a canon or like a rocket launcher. It's just a rifle. ;-D A high powered rifle has greater distance (velocity)and thus, effective at greater ranges as apposed to smaller caliber rifles.

As for tasers, they have their place but I personally would not be comfortable in having just that. Too close for comfort and I want a repeater, just in case I'm off the mark. lol Too, should you use one...run very fast and away from the tased individual afterwards. ;-D

If a person refused to own a firearm...anything is better than nothing. Learning hand-to-hand would be a wonderful asset-period.

Being a firearm advocate, I realize that a firearm may very well not save your life. I simply think, though, the chances that it will (given a situation) is greater.

First of all, the would be assailant would be more likely to take you seriously, being armed. If not, you are dealing with one very scary dude.

The rule is, you do not want your would-be assailant less than 6 feet from you. In one forward swoop, he can grab you/your weapon.

Another thought, say that I am holstered and my would-be-assailant is say, about 30 feet away from me.
If he/she starts running...how long will it take for him/her to get to me before I can pull out my holstered hand gun?
When we see trained individuals (l.e./military or those in the know) have their weapons drawn seemingly "early" there is a very legitimate reason for this. They aren't "jumping the gun" so-to-speak...they understand threat and timing.

If you have a weapon, be ready and fully prepared & willing to use it. No second guessing.

I know that if I have a firearm and my would-be-assailant is aware of it...immediately he/she should be backing away.
I would give him/her that chance.
If he/she stepped one foot closer...that tells me about their mind-set. A human that I don't want to "entertain" one second longer.

As for shot gun indoors. To those who don't understand, that may seem radical. With shotguns, we think of fireballs and big holes. What those people don't realize is that while they do leave big holes close range, because of spray...aren't as likely to penetrate through walls (as I understand. Never shot one indoors ;-)like rifles can. Thereby, reducing risk to those sleeping in adjacent rooms.

Therefore, it isn't that the person in home wants to create massive damage to their assailant, as it is to protect those behind walls.

Perhaps I have said more than you cared to know but I think it is worthwhile information.

~Kate

U.S. citizen
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I'm pretty new at this MedHelp thing, having done it for just a week now, but in my estimation, the firearms comments aren't off topic for disaster preparedness due to the risk of public disobedience.

I'm just not any kind of expert in firearms, so I'm not quite sure how to step in here.

I think I'll just let you experts continue to gab...  I'll be reviewing tasers over at the new Urgent Care Topics forum that will be opening up.  any. day. now.  ;)

Thanks for getting this rolling, caregiver, i'm not sorry you came on over at all!  I think a lot of people appreciate your information.
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"I think I'll just let you experts continue to gab... I'll be reviewing tasers over at the new Urgent Care Topics forum that will be opening up. any. day. now. ;)"

Dr. Choi/Mr.Choi (you are both, in my eyes and one not being less deserving of respect than the other)...if you are interested, I could look into this for you.
Meaning, asking L.E. about just this: advice in better choice of tasers (I know just the person, who is both a firearm/taser instructor in L.E.) and...if they have ideas in approaching L.E. (you) who deal with tasers (how to approach them)...who might be willing to instruct you in usage, should a casual class come up for L.E.

Some members in L.E. are "stuffy" and suspect, some departments are too. Though, many are not (smaller ones.)
Given your position, I know there would be many who would be willing to offer you assistance/advice in this area.

If you were in our neck of the woods, held up your card wanting to be included in casual training, we'd take you in.
Certainly, other departments elsewhere would be willing to do the same. I'd wager.

My advice would be, if using a taser, to have someone tase you with your own. It would give you a clear understanding of it. L.E. does this with tasers, as well as with pepper spray usage. It's good to understand what you are using, from the standpoint of aggressor. Firearms...being an exception of course. ;-D

It's good to see this forum, necessary I think and I will say, good to see a MD with a good sense of humor as well!

~Kate






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"It's good to see this forum, necessary I think and I will say, good to see a MD with a good sense of humor as well!" Thanks for the reassurance and for the props.  I'm getting my feet wet in all of this and appreciate your encouragement.  I would certainly appreciate training in tasers if I decide to go get one.  From this forum, it sounds like it will have a limited utility in times of mayhem.  I'm just hoping it would serve as a suitable deterrant.
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I've been thinking of input that is not readily available. There is a possibility of a terrorist incident with nerve agents. While exceedingly lethal, these agents are not the hazard they are made out to be. They interfere with the balance between the sympathetic (adrenergic) and parasympathetic (cholinergic) nervous systems which form the autonomic nervous system. In a normally functioning body there is a destruction of acetylcholine, a product of nerve cell metabolism, by cholinesterase. The nerve agents react with the cholinesterase in an irreversable reaction, which results in accumulation of acetycholine and continuaol stimulation of the nervous system. These agents were developed for military purposes by German military scientists in the early part of the century. Rapid use of so-called autonomic blocking agents which act directly on the effector nerve cell will nullify the effect of the acetylcholine. Atropine salts are the most commonly used autonomic blocking agents, although others are available. We made a not of this stuff, in various varieties, finally standardizing on an agent we named VX, which technically is ethyl S-2 disopropylaminoethylmethylphosphonothiotate...(whew!). There will be a pop quiz, kids, so pay attention. The United States used to deploy this agent in GB-55 rockets, and we always brought rabbits with us when we entered the bunkers, and rabbits were in small cages around the bunkers to detect potential leakers. Other agents are VE, VG and VS. They are generally colorless and odorless liquids which do not evaporate rapidly or freeze at normal temperatures. As they have low volatility, their vapor effect is limioted (good), however the down side is that the duration of lethality is increased. They are absorbed by vegatation. The specific decontaminent is chorine and a five percent solution will do the job effectively. That means 25 gallons of chlorox bleach into the 500 gallon tank of the pumper with the booster line. It is a good idea to inject a food dye into the tank so you will have an idea where you have hosed down, when the water evaporates. There is a lot of this stuff still stored (unfortunately) in former societ block nations and the security is crummy. These agents are dispersed as liquid droplets that produce casualties when absorbed through the skin. In the event of an incent there will be three areas. (a) Those that are uncontamined (b) those that are contaminated (c) areas of ambiguity. The areas of ambiguity are the problem. You will have to treat casualties readily and as these will be respiratory casualties they will require bagging, atropine and suctioning. This is likely to take place in an "area of ambiguity". Current national protocols are not well thought out. We rediscover the wheel every year. The United States military used to jury-rig ordinary canisters from the M-117 masks with plastic couplings to the end of a laerdal type ambu bag. This, when used in an "area of ambiguity" the air sucked in would not contain agent. There is a "one-way" valve on these bags, and these prevented entry of agent from the other side. You will need lots of banage scissors, and should plan on discarding scissors after use on the clothing of one casualty. They can be decontaminated, but you won't have the time. Thus you will need lots of scissors. Similarly, the blades on the larangoscopes will be contaminated on a single patient, and no rescue service in the United States carries spares. Sigh...Thew big problem for those in HAZMET units is that work time in level "A" clothing is extremely limited due to the head issue. I would have a vehicle refrigerator with lots of frozen water bottles to stick in the shirt pockets. In a pinch, somebody should be desigated to find an ice supply in a 7-11 store of you have an incident. Ah well...it's getting late again.
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In any event, protocols become etched in stone, and at the level of a first responder, it is difficult to push things in the right direction, even if you know the right thing to do. Remember that terrorists have a habit of "two-timing" explosions, having a second bomb timed or command detonated to explode when rescuers arrive. Arrived with the windows of your vehicle cracked, but not fully open. Tightly closed windows will shatter from overpressure in the even of an explosion. If there is one item that will be in short supply it will be sterile saline. I don't think a single ambulance carries a supply suitable for an emergency. Think CASES of saline. There are arguements against more than one person approaching a potential explosive device. If possible, a simple rope harness and a "D" ring should be available to drag rescuers out. If you have to approach an area where there is a potential explosive device, approach "head down" looking towards the sidewalk, rather that "face toward". Just my personal opinion. The use of full body armor when muching around is controversial. I have disarmed and hunted for "booby-traps", and because the heat wass intensive we choose not to wear body armor, although it was available. The issue was this: Intense heat and sweating and fatigue due to weariung body armor decreases "situational awareness", and it was a concensus amongst many that "situational awareness" was the one factor that improved your ability to survive, rather than wearing something to stop fragments. Comortable cool clothing in very hot humid weather helps to increase situiational awareness. I am not "pro" or "con" wearing full body armor, but be aware thare are other issues to be considered.
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Rigs are going to be have to be cleaned out quickly, and a hose is the best way. Drive the front wheels of the ambulance up on a curb or under wooden blocks, so as to tilt the bed, which can then be swabbed and hosed and drained quickly.
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There were three major developments at the turn of the century that dramaticlly decreased deaths. Those were (a) the nobel prize winning discovery that certain wavelengths of ultraviolet light destroy tuberculosis bacteria (b) the recognition of bleach as an effective inexpensive method of decontamination of garments of medical care workers and the introduction of HOSPITAL WHITES. (c) The introduction of linoleom, which provided a smoot calandered impermeable surface in hospitals that could be readily disinfected. During the 1940's every New York City subway car has an ultraviolet light fixture installed to continually disinfect the air. If you become involved in disaster planning and the design of vehiciles designed to remain on the scene with a good power supply available, think about ultraviolet fixtures.
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Control of traffic at an unpaved disaster area will inevitably be a problem. Remember that a grass surface will often take a SINGLE pass of a vehicle, but disintegrate upon a second pass. If the area becomes muddied up you cannot make a road new by adding dirt to mud. Dry earth to mud makes more mud. The mud has to be removed to the dry surface. You will probably have many large vehicles with unboard generators. Backing these vehicles at night will be a problem. Get an extension cord, and a "spotlight 115volt bulb" and a "clip on fixture", and plug it into the generator and tape the light to the rear bumper.
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Your comments are making me realize I have tons to learn about providing care in a disaster.  My experience is in providing medical care a month after the flood of Katrina/Rita in St. Bernard parish which was locked down to access other than by returning residents.  I don't have experience in SWAT-like environments you describe.  It sounds too scary for me!
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You will undoubtedly be using numerous "mobile home" type of units at a major disaster and many will have onboard gasoline generators, which emit carbon monoxide. At a disaster, your people may be in these vehicles for days. It pays to have a single fueling vehicle go on a round robin rather than have the vehicles depart for fuel for the generators. If ordering new units try to have units that have the same fuel for the onboard generator as the main propulsion unit. Ideally, both will be diesel. As part of the "package" on board maintain connectionors and flexible tubing that will attach to the exhaust on the generator and permit it to be vented a long way from the vehicle, rather than under the vehicle, as is the current practice. The carbon monoxide will infiltrate the compartment and it has a very long half life and adversely affect decision making. Oil in the generators should be changed on an hourly or a calander basis. Every 90 days, whether of not the generator is used and at 100 hour intervals otherwise. enerators are designed to run from 70-90 percent capacity and you must keep generators under load. Thus, if you run a generator on board a mobile unit the generator MUST be kept under load with lights/air conditioning etc. You can purchase a "blinker" that will drop in an ordinary 110volt socket and make any household bulb a "blinker". If units with generators are on highways, consider using an ordinary extension cord with a blinker and a spotlight in the direction of traffic. "Blink, blink". Very effective. Yeah, I know these vehicles will probably have a lightbar, but that usually operates off the battery, which is charges by the engine, which won't be running.
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If using a mobile home type vehicle to provide medical care ensure the vehicle has tomentors extended and is leveled by driving one set of wheels upon planks, if the road is can;ted. Have a wooden set of steps rather than the extensibe steps. The tormentors are the screw tpe scissor units at each corner underneath the vehicle. Often the drivers do not bother to use them. If a physician is woking near someones eye and someone steps on the extended step, his probe is likely to go into the eyeball. Elimination of the extensive steps, extension of tuementors, and providing an "extra" toementor under the entry door as a design option will solve this propblem.
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Again my typing! The word is "tormentor".
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You think in...interesting...directions.  
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While in NOLA, we did equipt a moble home to provide medical care, which continues to this day as "Healing Hands":
http://drcheri.blogspot.com/
I'll have to ask about the tormentors.  I suspect that they don't put those supports down since they move so often, mostly daily.  We certainly don't want the home to wobble while docs work, which I can easily see happening when someone steps on that extended step.  "Tormentors" -- what a name!
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I just e-mailed my friend about this. His name is Ted, 56 years of age and works here: http://www.state.tn.us/correction/tca/tcahome.html

A glimpse into him:

His Hobbies:
Working with my 18yr. old son on his 360 C.I. Dodge SS/T Drag Truck ,reading, Bible study, singing Christian Music for friends and Church.

And his favorite Quote:
REPUTATION is who people think you are! CHARACTER is who you are when NO one is around to SEE what you are doing!

He's a wonderful friend, a good man.

He may not immediately get into touch with you but suspect he will soon enough. I shared your sites with him.

Personally, I am pro firearms. I do believe in learning safe handling. They are a "tool" that deserves respect. Nothing to fear (unless they are pointed at you;-) but one in which requires responsible handling of. Then comes training. I think many fear the way they "handle" i.e. "kick." I am a medium framed woman, trim and can comfortably handle high caliber rifles.
In training an new-comer, I certainly wouldn't hand them a (say) .300 rifle or .44 mag revolver. For which, I like neither to this day.

I would begin "light" in training a new-comer. Really, shooting is quite a joy. Is it just me (?)...but I think we have an innate desire to aim at things and try to hit our target.

I also have a sense of confidence, that I can hit my target. That being wild game and if it came right down to it, a human threat (for which I currently am not concerned about. I live in a tiny, peaceful town). However, if the occasion arised...I know that I could take care of myself in that area. Firearms, in the right hands, is genuinely an "equalizer" in many instances.

Unfortunately, I think, firearm ownership carries a stigma in certain groups. There are many who: simply collect them (collector value), who like to target shoot (sport) hunt (which is classified as sport but for us, see it as economical and more healthy)and who own them as self defense. We do, for all reasons, save for collecting. Most rounds come out in fun practice, followed by hunting.
My husband has never shot at any person (though would have been justified a number of times) and I certainly haven't either. Hope to never and honestly, don't think I ever will.

Funny, too, that appearances alone can influence a feeling. If it looks "scarier" it must be "scary." It's all about the person behind it.

Anyway. I honestly think before a person develops a concrete opinion about firearms, should first shoot them, with a good instructor.

Again, it is a very personal decision. I am an advocate but at the same time, realize that it's a personal choice.

Shooting can be quite fun and having a good instructor, will help make it happen.

To be honest, if things truly went awry, a firearm would prove more persuasive and effective.

Yet, if somebody is totally opposed to such ownership, I would recommend first hand-to-hand and tasers. Quite frankly, most anything in the hand can prove deadly. I simply don't like being that close. lol

I can say, without a doubt, if things went truly bad...the defenseless would be hiding being those equipped.
A position (the latter) that I would not like to be in if I can help it. I like to think I can 'fend for myself if that need ever arised. Yet, no...no man is an "island."

Anyway. Hopefully Ted will respond. If you hear from him, think you will find him to be a good person and one quite knowledgeable on the subject. I know that he will not steer you in the wrong direction.

Best.

~Kate












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I was clearly on the anti-firearm side of the fence prior to my experience in New Orleans after Katrina/Rita.  Now I see the benefit of having a weapon for defensive deterrence reasons.  I appreciate your introduction to your friend Ted.  I'm sure he'll have lots to add to my forum topic on Tasers over at the Urgent Care Topics forum.
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Most every one of the mobile homes have jacks, or tormentors. Technicaly speaking the tormentors were on extensible side bars, but the term has come to be used for all the jacks. The drivers of these vehicles tend to be lazy, and as thyey move several times, do not take the trouble to run the wheels up on planks to level them, nor do they extend the jacks. If the trailer has a tow-bar and hitch there is often a third jack there, which should also be put down. The jacks, or tormentors, should be put down and tensioned while the vehicle is empty of personnel. If these are not tensiones, tasks such as stitching a wound become hazardous. The towed units often have electric brakes, which must be calibrated and the drivers often do not attach them. In addition the tow hitches often have torsion bars, which the drivers do not bother to connect. If the vehicle is a "bus" type, it should have the wheels "chocked" on a hill, as well as leveled. A vehichle becomes like grand central station in an emergency and the air brake is easily knocked off. There is only one way to emplace a chock on a hill. The vehicle is stopped, and air brake applied. The chock is set behind the rear wheels, ideally impacting equally on both dual tires. The driver returns to the cab and releases the brake and the vehicle rolls against the chock until it stops. The chock has demonstrated it can hold the vehicle. In a pinch a large angular rock can be used as a chock. The driver returns to the car and puts on the air brakes. Then, if someone accidentally knocks off the air brake, the vehicle won;t roll out of control. Of course the wheels should be turned to it will roll against a curb, if available.
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Whenh large numbers of people become homeless, they often leave their meds behind. Two common meds that have few serious side effects are nitroglycerine tablets for those with angina and Lasix (lasts six hours) or furesomide. Currently, replacement of these two meds is a nightmare for those who become homeless in a disaster. There is no authority to issue them nor containers to put them in. At a disaster a physician should have a large supply of small quantities of these drugs to be distributed on the spot to homeless people who require them, rather than requiring them to go through the ER/pharmacy.
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The "wobbling" is always an issue with mobile homes and buses commandeered in an emergency. People can't even sleep in the bus because it "jiggles" everytime someone goes out for a stretch. As for an eye procedure, such as removing bits of debri, not necessarily penetrating the eye (a typical injury), it's a problem. So you have your commandeered bus. Commandeer four ordinary auto scissor stype jacks. They won't reach far enough so you need "dunnage" to raise them. Get everyone off the vehicle. Put a jack at four corners of the frame. If you have six jacks, put two in the middle. Screw them up until they are tensioned. Of course, I assume the driver has "leveled the bus" by driving the wheels on appropriate planks before you do this.
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Also tape a sign to the interior windshield that states "Bus is up on jacks - remove before driving". Sounds silly? Trust me. Just do this.
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A "parking coordinator" should be designated to develop a parking plan for the staging area. Once everybody moves into place, it is a problem to move everyone back around. If the vehicles are on grass or soil, ideally the rear wheels should be on plywood. If grass or soil than a plank/plywood (use your imagination) should be on the earth in front of the entrace to prevent it from becoming a mud puddle. Light plywood can be placed on the roof with a weight anmd extended out over the door as a rain shield. Two foot of extension out over the door is helpful in a downpour. An ordinary mud/snow scraper placed outside the door for the heeels/boots/soles of those coming in helps housekeeping. If you have onboard toilets thing of immediately contracting a septic tank service provider to empty them on a daily basis. Drivers should not back vehicles without a ground guide who should be positioned behind the vehicle on the driver's side. Only ONE person should act as a ground guide. Ground guides do not need to give the driver "wheel instructions". They are there to provide "cxlearance instructions" and keep people out of the way of the backing vehicle. A "fist" means stop, but drivers should be instructed to obey anyone who says "stop". Use the "come at me wave" until the vehicle is within three foot of the obstacle. The hands are then opened and spread parallel to the ground and as the vehicle comes closer to the obstacle the hands come closer and closer together. When the vehicle is at the appropriate place the fallened hands should be touching. The hands should be touching when the vehicle is at a safe distance from the obstacle and not touching the obstacle. No driver needs "wheel instructions". All members of the team should be trained as "ground guides". Windows should be OPEN, ideally on BOTH SIDES OF THE CAB on all backing trucks, emergency vehicles or buses to hear signals, even in the most inclement weather.
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Here's where I get into trouble. This is only food for thought. In an emergency railroad engines can be utilized to provide power. AMTRAK F40PH units produce 3000 HP. Rule of thumb is 400HP translated into 300KW. The units can be driven on streets without tracks, although the flanged can crack so the trucks need to be steered and you need to run them on sheets of plywood under the flanges. An alternative is to "sleeve" the contact surfaces with rubber strips cut from auto tires wrapped circumferentially extending above the limit of the flange. Another alternative is "panel track", consisting of light rails welded to steel crossties 1/3 more than the length of the loco. The loco is driven from one length of panel track to another. Volt output on Head end power (HEP) is 480 volts.
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"replacement of ... meds is a nightmare for those who become homeless in a disaster. There is no authority to issue them nor containers to put them in. At a disaster a physician should have a large supply of small quantities of ... drugs to be distributed on the spot to homeless people who require them, rather than requiring them to go through the ER/pharmacy."

I totally agree, the more you can distribute the better, since they may never be able to get to an open pharmacy.

When I went to Katrina last year, we filled our suitcases with meds and supplies, outfitting ourselves as a mini clinic.  We found that ironically, we had brought enough prescription medications but ran out of over the counters (tylenol, advil, motrin, alleve, eye drops, pseudephedrine (sudafed), dextramethorphan (cough syrup)) and others.  We ended up buying thousands of dollars of more of these mid-week.
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We were in a hurricane about 10 years ago, and totally underestimated what would be needed. I cut open my hand using a chain saw to get our car out of the driveway.  There was no way to use the local ER as it was completely swamped with injuries (I didn't need stitches, just routine first aid).  We had a well, and obviously no electricity so no water.  So no way to clean this very dirty wound.

We wound up going to a grocery store, and waiting a couple hours to be escorted in for 5 minutes to buy some first aid supplies.  Which were gone.  I ended up washing my wound with Coke (there was not even a bottle of water in the whole store), and wrapping it in a clean sock.  

We lost everything in our freezer, no water, no electicity, no phone.  It was truly frightening, and was minor in comparison with Katrina.  This happened in Raleigh, NC, perhaps 10 years ago.  

Now that we live in SoCal, we try to keep some items on hand that we know we would need, and that have extended shelf lives.  
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Wow, that's quite a story.  I stitched up some folks after Katrina-Rita but fortunately had sterile supplies to do so.  You do what you can, and you were quite resourceful there.  Good thinking on your feet.

That's what people don't realize, you have to be creative in a disaster.  The more prepared you are, the more you have to be creative with.

About your freezer, here are some tips:
http://www.medhelp.org/forums/Disaster-Preparedness/messages/9.html

SoCal could suffer from a loss of water if what flows down to you gets contaminated or the levees break.  You should think about having big storage drums of water, or filling the empty parts of your freezer with water bottles.
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I spoke with Ted and he'd said he'd be happy to share some information with you.
However, wouldn't until probably the upcoming week is over. Begining Monday, he'll be in Hostage Negotiations all week.
As he said (his words), "I am like a one legged cat in a sandbox this week." lol

On one of your websites and had seen a Yahoo email address. Would that be a good address to get in touch with you?

I don't know that he'd be into sharing information on an open site but would be happy to get in touch with you. That much, at least I do know.




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In my last post...evident that I didn't have enough coffee in my system. ;-D Cripes, my writing & thinking has gone down-hill this past year.
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In Canada they recently used a rail locomotive as an emergency generator and moved it about 600 yards on concrete. Another option is to remove the unit from it's trucks. It takes about 12 man hours to convert a road engine such as a GP40 or SD40-2 to an emergency power unit, according to my railroad contacts. mostly altering the unit to rovide 60HZ. An EMD45 is good for 2700 KW. A GPSD40 1600-1800KW.
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"There goes the hoppacopter!" says my favorite six year old. Let me take a moment to throw a few comments out in this area. Helicopters should land INTO the wind. If someone on the ground looks like they know what they are doing the pilot will guide on them. Otherwise they will use their own judgement. There are several hand signals, but the only one a first responder needs to know is put your BACK to the wind and hold your arms our parallel to the ground. The helicopter pilot will (if he trusts you) land in front of you with the axis of the helicoper aligned with your eyes (looking straight ahead). Helicopters should only be approached directly from the front, and then you walk around the side. This rule is commonly ignored. It is only critical when the helicopter is in a hover. The helicopter pilot flies from the right seat (fixed wing from the left). The pilot depends upon his vestibular sense and cannot "rubberneck". He looks straight ahead and cannot crane his neck. Thus, he has zilch vision to the side and behind him. Ideally a crew chief or the co-pilot does the looking to the side or back. Of course, once skids are on the ground, the situation is different. The engines are kept running because if you shut down a turbine, you have to wait quite a while until it cools to restart the engine. Thus the tail rotar remains a constant danger while the bird is on the ground. Helicopter performance (gross carrying weight) is markedly decreased at high altititudes and hot weather. The reason is density altitude. This means that in the early morning the pilot may allow you an additional passenger than at high noon under the blazing sun. All helicopters build up static electricity, so you want to avoid touching the frame of a hovering helicopter. Large helicopters, such as the Chinook (CH-47) common in National Guard units, often "sling" loads in and out of disaster areas. If you touch the release hook you will be knocked on your butt from the electrical shock. Ususlly there is someone who knows what they are doing to take care of this, but file this fact away in your mind. If a pad is regularly used a grounding probe will be available, but otherwise the ground handler only puts his hands on the SLING, and not the cable or hook, and wears gloves.
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Thanks for passing Ted my public yahoo address, I don't check it often but will look for Ted's message.  "one legged cat in a sandbox" what an image -- haven't heard that one before!
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Helicopters came to our staging site in the St. Bernard Walmart (the largest in the USA) in New Orleans, and would cover our whole makeshift clinic in dust on landing or taking off.  The dust was left from the sediment left from the receeding waters of Katrina & Rita.  I never went close the helicopters, but thanks for the info, now if I need to I'll never get shocked :)
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I haven't pulled pitch in a long while. I started out on Bell-47 D's, the MASH helicopter that carried the stretchers on the skids. One of the helicopter myths (enforced by some air anbulances) is never to use a defibrilator onboard. That's an urban legend and nonsense. The circuit is completed by the quick-look paddles and the pilots nor the instruments won't be affected. The trick to not getting airsick in a helicopter or fixed wing aircraft is to keep your head looking straight ahead in ANY turn or BANK. In a light fixed wing there are two such turns coming into the pattern, or 90 degrees.  You should only "rubberneck" when flying straight and level. Keep the chilren looking straigh ahead during takeoff, when there is usually a noise-abatement bank in commercial airliners. There was an accident once in a Jetranger with dual controls. The pilot had an other police officer accompany the flight, and he had a revolver in a low holster that hooked on the collective, and the aircraft crashed, with no casualties, as I recall. One thing that must be prohibited on fixed wing and helicopters is the carrying of chemical MACE. I don't want to hear about it. I was there when one of these things went off by itself. It had been used by the officer against a perp about 30 minutes earlier and suddenly decided to re-activate. Landing areas for helicopters in a disaster is another situation where no one person is responsible. Turbines are susceptible to FOD (Foreign object damage) and dust. The landing areas should be oiled or wetted down if possible. A windsock is helpful, but it should not be at ground level. Gusty winds are the biggest problem. Although all helicoters can make steep climbs over obstacles, at gross weight to achieve maximum performance they need a long shallow climb, similar to a fixed wing aircraft. Don't hesitate to take down trees. If there are wires nearby, have someone stand on the top of s truck and throw a colored blanket over them to make them visible. Any hovering helicopter develops static electricity, and the shock if you touch the frame while they are hovering can be disconcerting.
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It's not a bad idea to have 55 gallon drums of Jet "A" available at a foward area pad, with a hand pump, and a wheeled cart to get the drum near the bird. And, of course a grounding wire with clip and a 60 ABC extinguisher. The old Bell 47's aren't seen much anymore, and they burned 80 octane avgas. The 47's burned 17-23 gal per hour. A bell 212 is about 100 gallons per hour, a 214B 160 gallons, the ST 133 gallons and the Eurocopters AS330s aboiut 180 gallons per hour. The 206B jetranger with the Rolls Royce (Allison) 250-C20B at 45SHP has a basic capacity of 1000lbs of passengers/pilots with 350 pounds of fuel, which allows for 1 1/2 hours of flying, plus reserve. If yoy have a really heavy passenger and low fuel, you can affect the weight ana balance if he sits in the wrong place and the pilot will run out of aft cyclic when trying to clear those wires at the end of the field, so pay attention to where the pilot/crew chief sits you and don't change seats or move equipment around after he sets you up.
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Ooops. That's 450SHP on the Allison, not "45".
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I don't mean to be ignoring the excellent comments made by others, but I did want to get some things out for thought for the police sergeant. If you perform endotracheal intubations in the field my two cents is that you should have your partner confirm the position of the tube with his stethascope, rather than just do this yourself. Tape the tube very securely. By the same token in many communities the EMT can pronounce death. There should be a "two person" check, and I believe this should be the case even when a physician does the job in the field. When there is heavy trauma it is very easy to make a mistake. Also, never assume you have a death, until you actually touch the body. I remember once when CSI was called in and there were ten emergency vehicles and news reporters sitting around for an hour to get the "dead baby" in the well, and I climbed down into the sewage to retrieve....yup...a plastic doll. It gets better. In another department they actually brought a plastic doll to the morgue.
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"they actually brought a plastic doll to the morgue."

That's so unbelievable that I don't think it'd make past editors of CSI:Miami which I'd guess to be the most outlandish coroner-oriented medical drama out there...  Reality trumps TV yet again!
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Both plastic doll stories are true. I have a few favorite morgue stories, just to add light to the forum. One day, in a place called Oz, detectives were discussing how they could find out who knew this DOA being readied for autopsy. I walked over and said: "His girlfriend's name is Susan!" "Really", gasped the lead investigator! "That helps us a lot! How do you know that?" On the DOA's arm was a large tattoo of a heart and inside it said "Billy loves Susan".
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Some more food for thought. Medical units of the national guard and reserve often subscribe to a policy or "no loaded weapons in a facility". So they have a "pistol clearing point" at the entrance to the facility. This is plan stupid, and the reason is that there are many accidents while "clearing" semi-automatic pistols, and none (in the history of man on this planet that I know of) of them "going off spontaneously while in the holster". I think that sort of a tale wouldn't make it on Art Bell. The liklihood is higher that the med facility personnel will be abducted by space aliens. Military trucks have no ignition key, (with exceptions), but have chains to secure the steering wheel. Often these have military locks with keys that state "Do Not Duplicate". Of course only key possessed by the driver gets dropped in the murky flood waters within six to eight minutes. Get a large quantity of simple combination master locks and replace all military locks at the earliest opportunity.
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Here's some more thought. Many department have purchased and issue AR-15 type rifles. They THINK they have a rifle that will accept military ammunition. Maybe. The fact is that many "look-alike" M-16/AR-15 varients have different chambers. Specifically for the .223 Remington vs the 5.56 NATO. In addition to the chambers having slightly different shapes the chambers are proofed to different pressures. The .233 Remington to 50,000 CUP and the 5.56 NATO to 60,000 CUP. Thus, in an emergency, should you use National Guard NATO grade ammunition in a "look-alike" military weapon you run a risk. So look at what is engraved on the rifle for the proper cartridge. As I mentioned I don't think very much of the 5.56 cartridge and the M-16 series of weapons in general. If you have one of these varients, you need to carry with you (a) a cleaning kit (b) cleaning solvent (c) appropriate lubricant and (d) a cartridge extractor. The catridge extractor is necessary to remove a cartridge that had been stripped by the extractor. Some people have unfortunately decided to "oil" their cartridges to prevent them from corroding. NEVER EVER OIL A CARTRIDGE! Oiled cartridges are dangerous.
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"Billy loves Susan" -- that's hilarious.

Less hilarious is the thought that our national guardsmen could have a round blow up in their AR-15 "look-alike" weapons.  Shouldn't there be a rule against using them and subjecting our sons & daughters to this risk?!?!

You're scaring me again with the "pistol cleaning point" accidents...  I'm not going near helicoptors or any national guard reserve entrances any time soon...
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It's not the National Guard that has the "look-alikes". We are talking about major police departments, which have purchased semi-automatic AR-15 weapons often kept in the same arms rack with incompatible cartridges. I don't want to make a mountain out of as molehill. The clearing issues are less acute with the current pistols than with the old National Guard standard M1911 Colt .45. I remember a fatality in Vietnam at the entrance to a medical facility due to these rules to "clear weapons".
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Which returns us to the subject of "advice to first responders in a disaster". I personally like the K-bar military knife with the serated edge option. And of course, you always keep a small sharpening stone fastened to the sheath. There are lots of uses for this tool in an emergency. For the first responder, cutting things like seat belts and cables. For the survivalist, hunting, skinning and cutting firewood. Which leads us to my little bit of advice. Never carry a knife as a first responder in a leather sheath. The K-bars, for example, come in a leather sheath and a HARD SYNTHETIC sheath. If you tumble and fall the knife may cut through the sheath and you have a good chance of severing your femoral artery. None of the leather sheaths are acceptable under any circumstances.
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Now there are "disasters" and there are "disasters". The flooding in New Orleans and the tornoadoes in Florida are one kind. The brutal  terrorist attack in New York City represent another. Security gaps at U.S. nuclear weapons labs have been an ongoing concern. The most dangerous collection of special nuclear materials exist at two Energy facilities in Tenessee: Oak Ridge National Lab and the 11-acre Y-12 National Security Comnplex. At Oak Ridge, Energy stores 1,000 cans or uranium 233 (a fissile isotope produced by irradiating thorium) in a hard-to-secure building. During a 1997 exercise at another area (T-18) U.S. Army Special Forces entered a storage area at Los Alamos, captured the stored plutoniom (136 KG - 300 pounds) and hauled it away in a garden cart purchased at Home Depot. Argh.......Many facilities store plates of highly enriched uranium (HEU), at such sites as Kiva-3. You don't even have to leave the facility to create a mess if you are willing to sacrafice your life. Simply unbolting a plate from the floor 6 foot up and dropping it will create a nuclear flash the magnitude mof the Hiroshima blast. If you want the gory details read the "Overskei Report" written by a DOE advisory board in 2004. A radiological dispersion device, utilizing material captured from one of these plants would contaminate several hundred square miles and ultimately cause thousands of cancer deaths. In the United States (excluding fissile material stored) we store 10,000 nuclear weapons at 18 facilities in 12 states. People who live in Bangor Washington shoulkd be reassured that there are 2,374 warheads stored there, including 1,100 W-76's (for nthe Tridents) 850 Tridents W-76's not in a ready condition, 264 W88's and 150 W-80's. Gee Whiz. Only enough explosive force at that one site to kill every man, woman and child on planet earth.  These weapons, fortunately, contain what are called "permissive action links", which will cause the explosives to detonate if the weapon is tampered with. The good part is the explosives will not detonate in such a manner as to compress the nuclear material in such a way as to cause an explosion. Such an incident happened in 1963 at McGuare AFB in New Jersey were an IM99 Bomarc air defense missile caught fire while armed with a nuclear warhead. An attempt was made to collect the dangerous material, but there is a concrete cap there and the area remains off limits to human beings to this very day. And for a thousand years in the future. To make a long story short, the number of police departments in the United States equiped to deal with a nuclear incident are probably between zero and zero.
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Again, this advice (for what it's worth) is directed to the law enforcement first responder. You are likely to be confronted with mobs of looters, and you will be short-handed, and reasonably speaking you cannot shoot them. If you are approaching a store being looted keep the siren on and turn the vehicle so the siren is pointed towards the store when you stop and leave the siren on a few seconds. The sirens are very directional. The idea is you want everyone inside to know the law is here. A camera is very handy. If 35mm use high ASA film, which is sensitive low-light. Use short exposure times to enable you to take images of the faces of people running. If using a digital camera set it to 10 megapixils, or you won't be able to enlarge to get an identifiable  face of the perp. These days "warning shots" are discouraged, but a 12 guage shotgun loaded with blanks is the appropriate way to get their attention. So I am suggesting that a quantity of blank ammunition be available to discourage looting. Blank ammunition has a niche in the situation of widespreadlooting.  Blank ammunition can kill, so do not aim directly at a person. Many departments carry shotguns, but only have an issue load of slugs or double-0 buck. You need birdshot. Birdshot can be fired directly up in the air and will come down harmlessly. Double-0 is different. If it is not shot directly up, it will maintain velocioty. I recommend loads of birdshot, if you have to fire on violent crowds engaged in looting. Trained police Dogs with properly trained handlers are phenomenally useful in a riot situation. Worth their weight in gold.
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