Grey's Survival Guide: Explosives
A/N- A fun little addon I thought I'd put at the tale of each story just like the actual books had. Informative but with a bit of cheek ;) Let me know what you think and I might add one for Ransom and Repercussion.
Grey Southpaw's Tips For Survival Around Explosives.
Explosions. Fun to watch not so great to be in the middle of. Explosives refer to the violent chemical reactions that result in combustion, creating ridiculous amounts of heat and energy. They come in many forms like charges, grenades, landmines, rockets and IED (Improvised explosive device). Manufactured from a variety of explosive compounds eg. dynamite, C1, C4, and RDX. Alpha Force ended up getting in the thick of things with a few of these and like them, there are few simple tricks you can observe to ensure your safety.
On the rare times when Alpha Force uses explosives they try to leave it to the one guy who has been educated; Alex. Don't try play with explosives if you don't know what you are doing and the same goes for trying to make you own. Sure they make loud noises and look pretty but they are also extremely dangerous, many purpose built to kill or maim. Some types are less stable then others and can denature with heat or detonate unexpectedly from the smallest trigger. The injuries they cause usually affect multiple organ systems and are frequently life threatening. If you want to find out how small smithereens are just be irresponsible around explosives.
Conclusion; fun, but not a toy, too much risk involved to muck around with them if you don't know what you are doing.
If you are extremely unlucky and are in the unfortunate situation where detonation is imminent or you believe you are in the presence of an explosive device you need three main things; Distance, Cover and Awareness. Get away, get behind something and get your head together.
Proximity to detonation is one of the single greatest determinants of survival during an explosion. Explosives, especially the military grade ones found in grenades and mines create huge destructive potential through a combination of pressure, heat and projectile. Each of these destructive forces however has a limited range and the further you are from it, the less chance you have of being injured.
So if you think there is a bomb and you have an idea where it is or where it will land, RUN! Get as far as you can from the anticipated detonation site, every single metre counts and puts you further from the lethal blast radius. Puts a literal meaning to running for your life!
Distance is fine, but with short notice it is pretty difficult to put enough between yourself and a bomb, this is why cover is essential. Anything that is going to put a few centimetres between yourself and some screaming hot metal is a good thing. That being said, select your cover carefully; obviously objects like windows or light foliage just aren't going to cut it. Low and solid are two good principles to base your choice on. The ground works as an excellent shield, so if you have a trench or bank handy that is pretty ideal. Why do you think shellscrapes and foxholes have been used for centuries?
If you find yourself without cover, the best you can do is protect your head and lie down, facing away from the explosive. Note that contrary to what the movies may lead you to believe, water on the whole does not provide great cover and explosions underwater actually have far greater range and shockwave. The heat and shrapnel aren't quite so deadly though, so I guess there is always that.
Being in an explosion is a scary, surreal, life-shattering event, but the hardest part is remembering to keep your head about you. Not everyone who survives will bounce back as quickly as Alpha Force did and start helping the wounded. Indeed many will be injured and in no state to help anyone. There will generally be a lot of confusion, bear in mind that most people will be distraught, unsure how to react and most likely deaf.
You too may be injured and disorientated, but to put it shortly; you need to get your shit together...
Just because you survived doesn't mean you're safe and other people may be in more urgent need of help then you. Several key things should always be considered in any explosion, but their order of priority will change depending on the circumstances involved.
Things to consider.
Whether it is more bombs falling, another grenade rolling through the door or the LPG cylinder going up, you should always be mindful to the possibility of more then one explosion occuring.
In combat zones, indirect fire from mortars or artillery rarely fall in isolation, they use multiple rounds to apply aim off on their target. Either keep running like your legs are going to fall off or find yourself some decent spot to hunker down and hope like hell they stop raining death down on you.
With IEDs or bombings, the first explosion is often used to shepard or funnel victims into the killzone of a second more powerful device. This is what occurred in the infamous Bali bombings and has become a common tactic for bombers worldwide. If you are involved in a suspected bombing, be wary of nearby parked vehicles along the easy escape route and try and avoid being in the main body of frightened fleeing people. Vehicles provide an easy way to deliver large amounts of explosives to an area unobtrusively and will usually be detonated, in this instance, when it is most likely to hit the largest group of fleeing targets. Be suspicious and stay away from individuals who aren't panicked or running; they may just be the bomber.
Burst gasmains and other ignitable sources can also cause further explosions or fires from the original blast, so hiding in the gas station is a bad idea. Bear this in mind if you anticipate this hazard and keep your distance or hold your cover until you are told it is safe to come out.
Explosives waste the heck out of buildings. If you are using one for cover, stay near the door so you can quickly bail if it sounds like the place is coming down. Accordingly, taking cover on any stories, but the ground is impractical and may leave you stranded after the blast, not a great place to be. Also be careful if you are outside or near buildings after an explosion, they may still be unstable for a while and it is unwise to return inside before the proper authorities have cleared them.
If there is one thing we learnt from Christchurch it is that digging people out of rubble takes a lot of time, manpower and creates large delays in time til treatment. The lesson from this is that if you can avoid the debris trap, the better it is for your health!
Explosives create heat, pretty straight forward right? Flammable objects in your vicinity may be burnt or catch fire with the heat wave, this includes your hair and clothes. If realistic and the resources are available, extinguish any fires near you. Obviously, if this is you or your clothes on fire and you are pretty much the Human Torch, you may want to make this a priority.
Strip off on any burning layers that are easily removed and roll on the ground or suppress flames by beating/smothering. Then consider how lucky you are, while you enjoy your uncooked flesh and watch your jacket go up in smoke. If you have water nearby, well it is just common sense to jump in, to put yourself out now isn't it?
Be aware of accelerants like gasoline or ethanol that may support burning and make the fire more difficult to put out. Take comfort from the fact that the human body is over 70% water and doesn't burn very easily.
Cover any burns completely with gladwrap or Clingfilm to keep clean and help reduce pain. If time allows, one should always cool burns under running water for 15-20mins, this is huge in reducing pain and further damage. Moist non-fluffy rags or dressings if that is the best you've got. I say non-fluffy, because picking lint out of seared human flesh is never much fun.
Or is it? Beware of the dangers presented from smoke or what appears to be smoke. Modern munitions allow for the expansion of projectile payloads to carry a pretty spectrum of smoke colors and a scary array of gases. If you are really unlucky the explosion was just a detonator to release a gas compound like CS or tear gas. As you all read in the story; not fun stuff to be smoked out with, it kind of feels like every drop of moisture in or on your body is violently turned to acid. Definitely not tears of happiness or laughter that is for sure.
If you think you've been gassed; don't touch your eyes or face and instead try to walk into the wind. The compound sits on your skin as little crystals that bind to water, touch your face and it makes the burning worse or spreads it. The wind helps blow away the crystals and you need a fair bit of water to relieve the pain. The shit sticks in your clothes too, so wash them thoroughly or better yet, swap them with someone you don't like.
Plain old smoke can be very bad for you too, especially when you think about what is being burnt to generate it. Smoke inhalation aggravates your airways and lungs; it is the biggest killer in just about any kind of fire. Accordingly, stay low to avoid it, get out of smoke filled environments quickly and don't go back in! The heroes that rush back into a burning building are the same ones the firemen trip over, unconscious in the hallway.
OR NOT, IT IS UP TO YOU.
Inkitt and The Grey Southpaw would like to make it clear that this advice is given for use in a serious situation only, where your life could be at risk. We cannot accept any liability for inappropriate usage in normal conditions.
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