From Publishers Weekly
Preparing for the unthinkable is the key to our Code Orange way of life, according to this fact-filled but awkwardly packaged primer. Couch, an ex-Navy Seal and author of The Warrior Elite, has culled military and government publications for "best practices" in coping with nuclear, biological and chemical attacks, which he presents along with gruesome lore on the history, use and effects of NBC weapons. There's a lot of information, but much of it is not for the average reader. One chapter covers protective military gear that Couch concedes is not very appropriate for civilians, and half the book is taken up by appendices, including a lengthy one of NBC casualty treatment protocols for doctors and nurses. While many of the procedures here require special equipment and training, there are some simple tips for laypeople. Curling up in a basement corner after a nuclear blast, for example, can cut your radiation dose by a factor of ten (provided you are outside the "100 percent lethality " zone), while heavy clothing and a wet cloth over the nose and mouth help protect in a chemical or biological strike. After an attack, most fallout/toxins/spoors can be washed off, preferably with diluted bleach. And do use that duct tape. The manual is written in a dryly technical, safety-label style whose authoritative tone is reassuring ("If exposed to a chemical attack and protective gear is not available, attempt to seek shelter and to minimize the inhalation of the agent"). Readers will hopefully never need to use any of this advice, but some may sleep easier knowing they could.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
John Boswell is one of America's most successful literary agents and book packagers. He has also authored and co-authored 13 books on subjects from cooking to art history. He lives in New York.
Captain George Galdorisi (consultant) recently completed a career as an active duty naval officer. His training and experience have been focused on chemical, biological and radiological attacks. Today he is a Senior Advisor at a large Navy lab in San Diego and is frequently called upon to confer with the Pentagon leadership on chemical and biological matters. He has written fiction, non-fiction, monthly columns and countless articles. He lives in San Diego.