NBCS kit

The preparations for all these things are similar
Last updated 14nov21

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Be prepared - Know your NBCs

N - Nuclear accidents & fallout
B - Biological agents & epidemics
C - Chemical spills & agents
S - Skunk stench removal (and poison oak neutralizer)

Nuclear accidents & fallout (dust is bad)

Radiological accidents, reactor meltdowns, terrorist "dirty" bombs, and nuclear weapons all generate nuclear fallout. It is mixed with dust and drifts downwind. Beware of rain, which brings down fallout.

Leave the affected area immediately. If you cannot leave the area in time, take shelter for at least 30 minutes so the worst blows over.

Wear goggles and a respirator. Shower often, and wash your hands & face before eating drinking, or touching food. Consume only bottled water & canned food.

The single most dangerous component of fallout is Iodine-131. Iodine pills protect you from it (and nothing else). Most of the I-131 from the incident is gone in a month.

Biological agents & pandemics (germs are bad)

Update: Covid-19 seems to spread mostly by air. Masks plus 2-meter/6-foot social distancing seem to be pretty good protection.

Pandemics and other biological agents spread from person to person. You can breathe airborne pathogens, but the most common way to be infected is to touch something contaminated and then touch your face. Doorknobs and water faucets are notorious because people touch them all day long and they are rarely sterilized.

While a virus is smaller than the holes in cheap respirators, airborne diseases are often spread through droplets from coughs & sneezes. Respirators protect against aerosols. They also keep you from touching your mouth and nose, which is even more important. A scarf or handkerchief over your mouth isn't as good, but is better than nothing.

Goggles keep you from touching your eyes, and also protect you from aerosols landing in your eyes. Wrap-around sunglasses can keep you from touching your eyes if you don't have goggles.

Wash your hands before taking off your mask or goggles.

Use alcohol to sterilize things that get touched a lot, like handles, knobs, pulls, and switches. Sterilize them frequently. A gellied alcohol hand sanitizer is just as good, and can act as a waterless hand-wash.

Wash your hands frequently, keep your hands away from your face, and don't pick your nose. Limit exposure to other people and wear a respirator when you cant. Run your air purifier continuously.

Floodwater usually contains sewage and it renders food, pots, and dishes unsafe. Wash thoroughly and then disinfect for 15 minutes by bleach or boiling. If you touch something that touched floodwater, and later eat before washing your hands, you may get violently ill.

Chemical accidents & agents (air is bad)

Chemicals in powder, liquid, or gas form can get into the air and cause havoc. Stay indoors or leave the affected area immediately. Wear a respirator. Run your air purifier continuously. Do not turn on anything that sucks air from outside. A bathroom exhaust fan sucks air into your house to replace the air it blows out. So does the one over the stove.

Some chemicals remain on surfaces. Bleach decontaminates most chemicals, and peroxide is almost as good. Physical removal with soapy water will do in a pinch (adding baking soda to the soapy water helps).

Firefighting chemicals cover food-preparation surfaces and require decontamination before preparing food. Peroxide is the best decontaminant for this.

Shower as soon as you are out of the contaminated area.

Put on your mask and goggles before going outside to leave the contaminated area.

Skunk stench removal (stink is bad)

Tomato juice does not remove skunk stench well (it is not acidic enough). Skunk stench is an oil, so is attacked by acids and oxidizers. Bleach & peroxide are good oxidizers.

If the stink is not on you, wear gloves and protective clothing. If it is on you, the clothes can be saved.
  1. Put a quart of hydrogen peroxide into a bucket.
  2. Add a teaspoon or two of dish soap and swish it around with a sponge until it dissolves.
  3. Add a small box of baking soda (which will foam like crazy).
  4. Start sponging the stink off, because the baking soda will only foam for a few minutes.
  5. Allow it to soak in for 5 minutes before rinsing.
The dish soap lifts out the stench so the other ingredients can get at it. The peroxide chemically attacks and neutralizes the stench. The baking soda mops up whatever is left.

Bleach is almost as good as peroxide, and vinegar is better than nothing. Both bleach and peroxide can discolor things.

This mixture neutralizes poison oak if applied before it soaks into the skin. The bad stuff in poison oak is another oil.

This mixture takes pepper spray off your skin, but don't put it in your eyes. First get the pepper spray off your hands and face with neutralizer, then you can flush it out of your eyes with lots of water.

Keep these ingredients outside, and buy them before you need them. You will not want to go into your house or drive your car for them.

Remove lingering skunk stench from your house or car with bowls of vinegar, pans of ground coffee, or trays of baking soda.

Some liquid soaps contain an ingredient that can liberate a little chlorine gas from bleach. If the solution makes you cough, don't breathe it.

Wonderful bleach

Ozone generators are bad

Ozone generators are effective air fresheners. They can also cause health problems when used long-term. Ozone ages rubber rapidly, so repair bills for everything you own can bleed you white.
Prefer an air purifier with a filter rather than an ozone generator.

Background information

Your indoor NBCS supplies

Your outdoor NBCS supplies

See also

Things to keep at work Things to keep in the car
Home emergency kits 72-hour kits
Zip kits During & afterwards

This information was downloaded from http://www.FamilyReady.org