Throughout history we have seen countless examples of the horror that chemical and biological warfare can inflict upon its victims. However, until recent times, use of these weapons was confined mainly to the battlefield.
That situation has changed. Today, the new battlefields are the towns and cities we live in...
We know that there is a global network of terrorists that are capable of producing poisonous weapons quickly, easily and, above all, cheaply. Indeed, chemical and biological weapons are often called 'the poor man's atom bomb' simply because they cost so little to produce.
We also know that those who attacked the World Trade Center (or their associates) had attempted to rent chemical-spreading crop dusters and tried to get licenses to transport toxic chemicals. This is troubling news which suggests that the use of poisons is now high on the terrorist agenda.
These facts all point to one thing: the threat of chemical or biological attacks from terrorist groups and hostile nations is to be taken very seriously indeed.
Many would say that such attacks are inevitable - it's not a question of if it happens it's a question of when it happens.
So what is the government doing to protect us from such attacks? Unfortunately, there's only so much the government can do. Terrorists are persistent and determined and so will always find a way to carry out their attacks regardless of security measures.
Are the emergency services capable of coping with an attack if it happens? Only partially. In many situations the emergency services will be able to cope well with the medium to long term effects of an attack, but will be able to do little to save those who are in the 'front line' of an attack. It depends on the scale of the crisis and the type of poisons released.
So are we completely powerless to protect ourselves? Fortunately, we're not powerless at all. We can protect ourselves by understanding the facts and by being ready, on a personal basis, to cope with the attack and its consequences when it happens.
Unfortunately, however, there's currently a lot of confusing and misleading information about chemical and biological weapons in the media and on the Internet. Advice on how to react in the event of an attack often puts you in a worse position than you were before.
The result of this constant barrage of inaccuracies and contradictions is that it's very difficult to decide which information you should trust and which of it should be confined to the trash can. This confusion is putting you and your family's life in danger.
The world has taken a turn. The new century has brought with it new challenges. The time to rise to those challenges is now. We need to adapt to the new situation we now find ourselves in.
A N95 will not save you against a chemical attack...maybe against a biological attack like the birdflu, SARS, Mexican Flu...whatever...but IT WILL PROTECT YOU DURING A CHEMICAL ATTACK.
You can find the face mask statistics online at 3M: 3M Full Facepiece Respirator 6000 Series.