Americans prepare for the worst - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Americans prepare for the worst

February 11, 2003

Albany - Chemical and biological warfare pose a real threat to U.S. forces. But what used to be strictly a military risk, has now become a concern to many civilians. On the front lines and on the home front American forces and civilians face the same threat - chemical and biological warfare.

"I wouldn't think terrorists could succeed in launching a massive chemical or biological attack. But, who would have thought the could bring down our Twin Tower in just hours," said Angel Dettore.

Dettore works for Safety Max an Albany company accustomed to selling items to industrial companies that use chemicals. But, more and more people are coming to the store in search of gas masks and protective clothing. "The gas mask filters the hazardous agents from the air," said Dettore. "But it will take more than a gas mask to protect you from chemical and biological agents that can seep into your skin."

You'll need a Tyvex body suit, rubber boots, and gloves. A full set of protective wear cost nearly $500. "It's worth the cost if it gives you a peace of mid," stressed Dettore. But, the fact is protective gear is only useful if you know an attack has occurred and have reaction time to prepare.

The Homeland Security Department also recommends the you stock up on enough food and water for three day. Also, you should keep duct tape and plastic sheeting to seal the doors and windows of your home in case of a biological or chemical attack.