Many serious survivalists carry pepper spray with them as a non-lethal means of self-defense, but that’s not what this article is about. In this article, you’ll learn how to cope with pepper spray or tear gas being used on you. This is a very real possibility in a war zone, and it’s not pretty.
If you’ve ever seen a video of a riot or police trying to control a mob, you know that the first thing the controlling forces do to disperse the crowds or put an end to the hostile protests is to fire tear gas into the crowd.
If it’s a relatively small group of protestors, grounded law enforcement is likely to use pepper spray to break up the mob. And if you’re in the midst of the protest or just a passerby trapped in, you’ll most likely you’ll be caught in the crossfire.
Knowing what to do during times like these will mean saving yourself from a lot of discomfort and potential lasting damage. Let’s look at a few tips you can follow.
Avoid the Affected Areas
Prevention is better than cure. If you know that the area you’re going to be in might have protests, it’s best to steer clear. Even peaceful protests can get violent in minutes, and you don’t want to be caught in the melee that ensues.
If, despite your best efforts, you find yourself in a situation where tear gas is being fired into the crowd, do not panic. Don’t try to pick up and throw the canisters away. They will be hot.
Don’t rub your face or any skin that comes into contact with the chemicals. That will just make it worse.
Carry a Pair of Goggles
Keep a pair of goggles with you as part of your war zone travel kit. This could be anything from a quality pair of swimming goggles to a gas mask; any eyewear that forms an airtight seal over your eyes will do. Most people could probably find a pair of swimming goggles at home, so that would probably be your easiest option.
If your eyes are protected, that’s half the battle won. Now you can see where you’re going and beat a hasty retreat instead of staggering around with the rest of the mob in blind agony.
Remove Your Contacts
We’d advise you stick to glasses if you’re passing through an area where you know these events are likely to arise, but you can’t always know. The chemicals in the tear gas/pepper spray will penetrate the semi-permeable membrane of your contact lenses and cause your eyes to burn immensely. Immediately remove your contacts if you find yourself in this situation.
Sometimes you may have no choice but to leave the safety of your home or bunker (to go to the grocery store, the hostpital, etc.). In such dangerous times, you never know what you could be faced with when you walk out your front door.
When you’re going out, carry a small bag with spare clothes, goggles, a few shemaghs or bandannas, a couple bottles of water, and some antacid (Gaviscon, Alka-Seltzer, etc.) or baking soda. All these items have a purpose.
We’ve already talked about when to use the goggles. Next, soak the bandanna in water and tie it around your mouth. Now you can breathe through your mouth. Once you do that, run away as fast as you can.
If your skin has been exposed to the chemicals, dilute the antacids in water and wash your skin with them. You can also gargle and spit out this improvised decontamination mixture.
Though simple, these solutions they are very potent and can make a world of difference when you’re in pain. Ultimately, you need get home and take a thorough shower to get rid of all the residue.
Keep these tips in mind and always remember to be aware of the situations around you. Knowing where the problem spots are and how to avoid them is your best option.