When we hear about chemical disasters we immediately think of Chernobyl. And they would be right to do so. Chernobyl nuclear disaster is the most serious man-made disaster in living history that still haunts many today. The consequences following the Ukrainian catastrophe translated into serious bans on commissioning nuclear power plants and in the case of the United States even into pushing a thriving nuclear power industry into Chapter 11. Chernobyl soon became the strongest argument of the opponents of nuclear power in the debate on renewable. Few know, however that what happened there could have easily been avoided if the then soviet central government in Moscow would have at least made the accident public and would have taken a few necessary precautionary steps.
Only at 9 pm, after the neighboring Swedish warned them with a petition filed at the International Atomic Energy Authority, did the officials in Moscow five-sentence statement informing on the world`s worst disaster.
Fewer still are aware that chemical disaster started ages before with our ancestors in Antiquity using biological weapons to eliminate their enemies. In 1320 BC the Hittites infested their opponents the Arzawans with deadly tularemia. They sent donkeys infected with the disease and transmitting the plague via ticks and flies. A witch named Chrysame who was an expert in ancient pharmacology used drugs to cause temporary insanity in the enemy, during the Greek colonization of Ionia in about 1000 BC. According to Polyaenus, she fed a bull with a medicinal herb that would excite madness and then presented it as a present to her enemies.
But the masters of biological warfare were the Chinese who in the 10th century BC came with the so called soul-hunting fog which contained arsenic or the five-league fog slow-burning gunpowder to which a variety of ingredients, including the excrement of wolves, was added to produce an irritating smoke.
It goes without saying that one needs to prepare for a disaster. Disaster relief shelters would be one way of doing it. Meanwhile taking a few lessons in getting yourself ready for a disaster would not come amiss: from making a first aid kit to taking vital documents and knowing how to evacuate.