gas masks and filters

how to survive a Sarin Gas attack

------------------------------------------------- Revised 05/03/17
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Chemical Agent Detector
How to prepare for a Sarin Gas Attack
Above, Hank Green of the SciShow explores the unexpected chemistry of
sarin, the nerve agent that killed more than 1400 people in a chemical
weapons attack in Syria.

Is there anything more you can do about Sarin gas?
A chemical agent detector, like the orange one pictured below is
rather pricey and it's unclear whheter. It's a compact portable
gas detector with a color LCD. It can monitor for CO, H2S, O2
and combustible gas simultaneously.

Happy endings...
Remember that anything is possible! Having hope is perhaps the
most valuable tool in your arsenal for survival. Like they say,
knowledge weighs nothing. In the absence of a gas mask at the
time of exposure know this: you can put a distance between you
and the Sarin gas by using a sleeve, coat jacket or any piece of

Even the State Department says that you can improvise a mask
by soaking a clean cloth in a solution of 1 tablespoon of baking
soda in a cup of water."

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How to prepare for a Sarin Gas Attack
What a prepper needs to know about Sarin gas

Sarin gas works like an insecticide on humans!
Colorless and odorless, you won't know you've been exposed until
it's almost too late. Once you’re exposed to Sarin nerve gas, you’
ve got a mere 10-15 minutes to deal with it or you’re toast!

What makes Sarin gas so appealing to terrorists is that it can
vaporize and spread quickly into the environment. Other nerve
agents are so quick to infiltrate.

Terrorist groups have the knowledge and the financial support to
disperse chemical weapons. Are you ready for them? The risk of
chemical warfare is real. Beyond getting a
gas mask, what can a
prepper do to prepare?

How to Survive a Sarin Gas Attack
As chemical weapons have expanded beyond the battlefield and
used against civilian populations, preppers have grown
increasingly aware of the terror inflicted by fearsome chemical
weapons, such as the lethal Sarin nerve gas.
You can survive a Sarin gas attack! To prepare yourself for a Sarin
gas, or surviving another kind of chemical weapons attack,
consider the following...

#1: Know the objective of the attackers.
The goal of weaponizing chemicals against civilians is to create
chaos and horror. Such attacks not only are intended to cause
panic, but also they will overwhelm the medical response system.

Dictatorship is a central concern Sarin gas used as a weapon.

How might a chemical attack happen?
It could happen in any number of ways. Exposure to lethal
chemicals may happen by accident during transportation from the
manufacturing plants or intentional release by terrorists.

It's happened in a subway in Tokyo, its happened in war-torned
Syria, and it can happen again anywhere in the world.

How would the Sarin nerve gas kill or injure you?
Just a pea size amount of Sarin gas could be dispersed by a shell
that can explode into a building or vehicle near you.  

How might chlorine gas kill or wound you?
A suicide bomber could detonate a truck loaded with chlorine gas,
and kill or wound civilians in the street.

#2: Know that some chemical weapons are odorless.
The military uses a special replaceable paper to detect liquid
nerve and blister chemical agents (usually as an arm band of
sorts). You see, Sarin nerve gas is not only odorless, but it’s
tasteless. You may be surprised to learn that it’s an insecticide
and pesticide. It works on humans the way it works on bugs. It
blocks the brain’s ability to control muscles. In other words it
affects the nerves.

The thing is that this special paper, which is double-sided sticky
tape, doesn't identify which of the agents encountered. It leaves
you a bit vulnerable as to how to handle the toxins.

  • M9 Chemical agent paper. It may be impractical to get M9
    Chemical agent paper. If your pocket book can afford it and
    you're concerned enough about the threat then know that
    this paper is expensive (it costs around $40) and you do not
    open the bag until you're ready to head on out into a
    potentially exposed area. It has a relatively short shelf life
    and the manufacturer will post a discard date on the
    package. If you buy online, be sure to know the discard date.

#3: Recognize the symptoms.
Recognizing the symptoms early is important as you have very
little time to respond to the threat.

A person overcome with Sarin gas may experience:
  • blurred vision
  • breathing problems ~ the deadliest of symptoms and main
    cause of death
  • chest tightening
  • dizziness
  • excessive runny nose
  • release of tears
  • foaming at the mouth
  • uncontrollable muscle twitch or spasms
  • tear ducts will release uncontrollable tears
  • sweating
  • sudden nausea, diarrhea, vomiting

High exposure of Sarin gas can mean death if not:
  • severe convulsions
  • loss of consciousness
  • paralysis

#4: Know the antidote.
There are antidotes (drugs to break the chemical bond of the
nerve agent), but unless you work for the government, a
pharmeceutical company or you are a doctor, you may not be able
to get the treatment. Okay, this is perhaps a bit of false hope of
surviving a Sarin gas attack because while antidotes are possible,
it's extremely hard to get them and you have only minutes to use

Once you start seeing symptoms you have around fifteen minutes
to dispense a drug:

  • 2-PAM (Pralidoxime) ~ This drug breaks the chemical bond
    of the acting nerve agent. Unfortunately it’s not something
    you can buy.

  • Atropine ~ A drug called Atropine can reverse the
    immediate effects of the nerve agent. TOXIBAN Suspension
    is intended for use as an adsorbent of orally ingested
    toxicants. Dosage and administration: ToxiBan Suspension
    should be used with atropine sulfate for organophosphates
    and carbamates or with 2-PAM for organophosphates.
    ToxiBan Suspension effectively adsorbs alkaloids
    (strychnine), organochlorine, organophosphate and
    carbamate insecticides, herbicides, rodenticides,
    parasiticides, depressants and analgesics. ToxiBan
    Suspension may be useful in treating ethylene glycol
    (antifreeze) poisoning. Tests for ethylene glycol must be
    conducted before ToxiBan is administered to prevent false
    positive reactions.

While the
CDC refers to gas mask as respirators, and surprisingly
doesn't recommend them*,  could be as simple as a dust mask or
surgical mask. A gas mask on the other hand is a more
substantial protective shield and breathing apparatus with the
specific purpose of covering a person's face as a defense against
poisonous gas.

    *Say what!? The CDC does not recommend gas masks
    during a chemical threat (because of a false sense of
    security). The Centers for Disease Control says that gas
    masks don't fit everyone. This is true! Children and people
    with beards will have a problem with gas masks because
    they will not be snug enough to allow the proper barrier.

#6: Get an NBC Gas Mask.
NBC masks cover Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical exposures.
These are the top three threats that a soldier would face, which
is why military personnel has access to them in targeted zones.

Reasons to own a gas mask, include:
  1. Nuclear: protection from particles of radioactive fallout from
    accident or attack.
  2. Biological: Anthrax (bacterial agent); Ebola, Avian flu and
    other pandemics; also volcanic ash.
  3. Chemical: mustard gas, sarin gas, tear gas, blister gas,
    blood gas, choking gas (nerve agent), etc.

Other gear for your gas mask
Consider the following additions:
  • Chemical suit (with booties and gloves);
  • canteen and hydration straw;
  • Kevlar tactical helmet
  • gas mask pouch
  • spare filters!