• Breathing and lung protection. Any kind of hostile action can include danger from toxics. Filtering out these materials is absolutely essential for survival.
• Germs. Disease and harmful biological entities are in the inventory of many enemies. Intentional release of germs is a serious concern and gas mass are the first line of defense.
• Nuclear fallout. Fallout from a nuclear detonation or radiation cloud will saturate the air. The average time for radiation levels to fall to survivable limits is thought to be about two weeks. Still, a gas mask that filters the air is a necessity.
• Smoke and pollution. Wild fires, atmospheric pollution from a toxic spill, weather-related emergency of other breathing hazard can cause severe lung and health problems with long lasting or deadly effects. A gas mask provides a barrier that can keep harmful materials away from your lungs and eyes as well.
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Gas masks use a filtering system that uses combinations of activated charcoal, a secondary filter to clean the air of charcoal dust, and an outlet to enable the purified air into the mask. Short of a "space suit" or suit that completely covers the entire body, this is as good as it gets for most of us. Staying out of contaminated areas as much as possible is the best idea.
Israel has always placed the security and protection of all its citizens at the highest priority. Gas masks have been made available since the apparent use of several gas weapons by the embattled Assad Government.
Hamas and Hezbollah have repeatedly launched an expanding inventory of rockets and missiles from areas on Israel's borders. These missiles can be fitted with chemical weapon warheads and now the introduction of drones makes the situation even more dire.
Israelis live in a world where anywhere from 15 to 45 seconds are all there is between them and a Hezbollah-launched rocket attack and a bomb shelter. Shelters with storybook characters are in place so toddlers can be protected from those who seek their lives.
Gas masks are available to all within range of likely gas attacks. Israel lives with these dangers daily, yet they live each day fully. Israel is prepared, and fearless.
There is an ongoing debate about whether surplus gas masks or new manufactured civilian intended products are the most effective. There are too many online outlets to mention here that sell military surplus gas masks. Prices run from extremely low to high and the variety is considerable. Perhaps it is safest to say that war relics are to be avoided. Do your research and consider what type suits your needs best. Over the head masks provide eye and lung protection and are worth the extra expense over those which cover nose and mouth only.
Breathing and seeing are not optional in a survival situation. A gas mask will protect in any number of scenarios from a fire to any type of attack by an enemy. Gas masks are plentiful and affordable. But you choices are so many that an informed decision is required. Reading up, doing your homework and having the right number available for all family group members and teaching them how to put them on is part of your survival leadership. Lives are depending on you and the decisions you make. Making the right choice of gas mask is one of the most important items in your survival plan.