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Dealing with Disaster - Human Caused or Natural

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  • Dealing with Disaster - Human Caused or Natural

    Seems a good place for this topic, the consequences and results of either an attack or natural event that is large enough to be a disaster. Nuclear or biological attack would be one scenario that might fit the "warfare by other means". And some natural disasters can be as bad or worse, so ...

    Came across this article and it is the inspiration for this thread.

    Inside A Secret Government Warehouse Prepped For Health Catastrophes

    When Greg Burel tells people he's in charge of some secret government warehouses, he often gets asked if they're like the one at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, where the Ark of the Covenant gets packed away in a crate and hidden forever.

    "Well, no, not really," says Burel, director of a program called the Strategic National Stockpile at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Thousands of lives might someday depend on this stockpile, which holds all kinds of medical supplies that the officials would need in the wake of a terrorist attack with a chemical, biological or nuclear weapon.

    The location of these warehouses is secret. How many there are is secret. (Although a former government official recently said at a public meeting that there are six.) And exactly what's in them is secret.

    "If everybody knows exactly what we have, then you know exactly what you can do to us that we can't fix," says Burel. "And we just don't want that to happen."

    What he will reveal is how much the stockpile is worth: "We currently value the inventory at a little over $7 billion."

    But some public health specialists worry about how all this would actually be deployed in an emergency.
    ...
    http://www.npr.org/sections/health-s...h-catastrophes

    FEMA/CERT are a couple of other topics that would fit in here.
    TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
    “War is merely the continuation of politics by other means” - von Clausewitz
    Present Current Events are the Future's History

  • #2
    We have had seminars on these sort of things. According to what we have been told, the Strategic National Stockpile can provide a pre-configured medical 'package' for the particular crisis in 12-24 hours or less.

    This is intended as a response for a medical disaster, such as a disease outbreak or bioweapon.
    Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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    • #3
      In the two potential scenarios you have mentioned, 12 - 24 hours can be an eternity while people die by the countless thousands.

      In the modern age of satellites, instant communications and aircraft capable of going anywhere on a moments notice, that is far to slow a response time for such lethal events. It is further worsened by the fact that hospitals no longer operate very many in-patient beds any more, leaving nowhere specific to marshal the dying, and the staffs of the for-profit medical industry is not trained or exercised very often, if at all, in such mass casualty scenarios.
      Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
        In the two potential scenarios you have mentioned, 12 - 24 hours can be an eternity while people die by the countless thousands.

        In the modern age of satellites, instant communications and aircraft capable of going anywhere on a moments notice, that is far to slow a response time for such lethal events. It is further worsened by the fact that hospitals no longer operate very many in-patient beds any more, leaving nowhere specific to marshal the dying, and the staffs of the for-profit medical industry is not trained or exercised very often, if at all, in such mass casualty scenarios.
        That is so much nonsense. What takes time in any major bio disaster is first identifying the problem so that the right response can be mounted (and ensuring that any responders are suitably protected from succumbing themselves). No matter how many warehouses you've got they will always need some analysis and gathering of information on what to send where and that is what the world in general (and the USA is no better than anyone else here) is not good at doing
        Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
        Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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        • #5
          I saw a programme on the telly yesterday about Porton Down Military Research Establishment [100th Anniversary], which gave unpresidented access to the public gaze.

          It was the place back in the early 1950s that cooked up agent VX, a nerve agent around 130 times more toxic than sarin, and that may only be made in amounts of around 4ml for experimental purposes. They are the only place in the UK licenced to handle and dispose of old chemical and nerve weapons.

          They are heavy into research and development of means of preventing and combatting the likes of 'natural' plagues and military and terrorist attacks. As is the nature of such a 'beast', much that was/is controversial has taken place, even the likes of a political and military cover up of a human 'volunteer' who died after an experiment on him using a small trace of sarin. All the other 'volunteers' recovered.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Wooden Wonder View Post

            They are heavy into research and development of means of preventing and combatting the likes of 'natural' plagues and military and terrorist attacks. As is the nature of such a 'beast', much that was/is controversial has taken place, even the likes of a political and military cover up of a human 'volunteer' who died after an experiment on him using a small trace of sarin. All the other 'volunteers' recovered.
            The real issue was that they were not told what they were volunteering for and thought it was some sort of tear gas test for which they got paid a few bob - IIRC there were National Servicemen involved and it was nothing to do with protection against terrorism. At the time the UK was considering building up stocks of chemical weapons as a deterrent to a Soviet use of the same.
            Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
            Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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            • #7
              Originally posted by MarkV View Post
              That is so much nonsense. What takes time in any major bio disaster is first identifying the problem so that the right response can be mounted (and ensuring that any responders are suitably protected from succumbing themselves). No matter how many warehouses you've got they will always need some analysis and gathering of information on what to send where and that is what the world in general (and the USA is no better than anyone else here) is not good at doing
              The CDC is pretty effective. They can get a team anywhere in the USA in a matter of hours. We've dealt with them in the past, and they are very effective.

              But a 12-24 hour response for supplies is incredibly good. I'm not certain they can live up to it, but that is the target they are shooting for.
              Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
                The CDC is pretty effective. They can get a team anywhere in the USA in a matter of hours. We've dealt with them in the past, and they are very effective.

                But a 12-24 hour response for supplies is incredibly good. I'm not certain they can live up to it, but that is the target they are shooting for.
                But presumably they still need someone to be able to tell them what they are responding to. In the case of disease or chemical pollution that is not always obvious and there is no point turning up with vaccines for Ebola for instance and it turns out to be Lassa Fever ( the symptoms are near identical but the pathogen is different). In the hopefully unlikely event of a biological emergency (say through the use of bio war techniques by terrorists) it's that biopsy work that first needs to be done ASAP
                Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MarkV View Post
                  The real issue was that they were not told what they were volunteering for and thought it was some sort of tear gas test for which they got paid a few bob - IIRC there were National Servicemen involved and it was nothing to do with protection against terrorism. At the time the UK was considering building up stocks of chemical weapons as a deterrent to a Soviet use of the same.
                  My deceased father-in-law, after he finished his supervision and work on the pneumatics and hydraulics in the V-bombers on Christmas Island, would sometimes join the line up of those facing the nuclear breeze, after the test explosions. He was a regular Air Force chief tech.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Wooden Wonder View Post
                    I saw a programme on the telly yesterday about Porton Down Military Research Establishment [100th Anniversary], which gave unpresidented access to the public gaze.

                    It was the place back in the early 1950s that cooked up agent VX, a nerve agent around 130 times more toxic than sarin, and that may only be made in amounts of around 4ml for experimental purposes. They are the only place in the UK licenced to handle and dispose of old chemical and nerve weapons.

                    They are heavy into research and development of means of preventing and combatting the likes of 'natural' plagues and military and terrorist attacks. As is the nature of such a 'beast', much that was/is controversial has taken place, even the likes of a political and military cover up of a human 'volunteer' who died after an experiment on him using a small trace of sarin. All the other 'volunteers' recovered.
                    For those in Britain with access to I Player the programme can be reached through this link which provides a synopsis available to all
                    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-36606510
                    Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                    Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

                    Comment

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