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Practical Tips for Reacting to a Potential Incident

While biological and chemical weapons may be difficult to transport and disperse, suppose that you should find yourself in an area that may have been attacked. What should you do?

  1. Don’t let panic prod you into reckless action, and don’t let fear freeze you into inaction. Be observant. Call 911 or your local Poison Center
    (1-800-222-1222). If you are outdoors, cover all exposed skin surfaces and protect your respiratory system as much as possible, perhaps using a handkerchief or item of clothing to cover your mouth and nose.
  2. If the reported event is outdoors, and you are indoors, stay inside. If you are indoors, however, and an alarm is sounded, find the emergency exits and try to avoid the suspected area of contamination on your way out of the building. Keep windows and doors shut tight, and turn off the ventilation system.
  3. Once clear of the suspected contaminated area, remove all external clothing and leave them outside. Proceed directly (within minutes) to a shower and wash thoroughly with soap and water, scrubbing aggressively to cover every part of your body with at least ten scrubbing motions. Irrigate your eyes with water. Seek medical attention, if needed.