Survive In Place

The Ultimate Step-By-Step guide to creating your Urban Survival Plan

This came to me from my bio-weapons expert who studied under Ken Alibek.  It is a basic procedure for how to go into and out of your safe room in the event of a bio event.

I’ve considered the possibility that I may have to get OUT of that safe room to perhaps retrieve medicine, shut off utilities, or heaven-forbid, draw someone away from my family.

My method consists of the following.  After building the safe room, sealing it, and getting everyone inside, I divide the remaing space into a larger living zone, and a smaller ‘warm’ zone.  The warm zone should be easy to seal to facilitate access.

Everything outside the room is a ‘hot zone’.  To be more specific, think of an airlock in a spaceship.  You want to do a space walk and need to get out.  The inside of the ship is the cold zone which leads to a sealed door which opens onto the warm zone.

Once inside, the cold door is re-sealed behind you and at that point you open the door to the outside .  In this chamber, you have your Tyvek suit, HANGING UP, for reasons I’ll explain in a moment, your gas mask, a bottle of bleach solution in a spray bottle, roll of duct tape, box of latex (or nitrile) gloves, and an extra gallon of bleach and water to mix it.

Going out, all you have to do is put on the suit, gas mask, and latex gloves, duct tape your wrists and ankles, and place the duct tape roll on one wrist.  The reason you do this is so that if you tear your suit while in the hot zone, you can instantly re-seal it.

Coming back in, this procedure must be followed exactly:  Both latex gloves come off and you don’t touch anything except the bleach bottle.  If you didn’t use latex gloves, you’ll contaminate your bottle.  You take the spray bottle and start at the top of your suit on the hood.  This works easier if two people go out, so that you can get hard to reach spots, but in a pinch it can be done alone.  Working down, you saturate and make sure that no part of your suit is dry, remembering the bottoms or your feet.  Once, done, you unzip the suit, let it fall to your ankles, step out, and hang it up with the back towards you, and without touching the back because this part is still ‘hot’.  Now you can spray the back.  You are almost done.

Retake the spray bottle and mist over the walls and floor and then, making sure the door to the hot zone is closed and sprayed, you open your inner door, enter, and then re-seal it.  No door shoud ever be open without the one preceding it being shut and sealed.

This antechamber is also important in that you can use it to decon other occupants if they’ve been exposed, and also decon people who come in from the outside after you’re already in there.  It must be insisted upon that those entering remove all clothing and be sprayed with bleach and then rinsed off.  Modesty is trivial in this situation and a pair of scrubs will fit just about anyone.  These need to be kept in the cold zone so people will just have to turn away while they dress.  As for the bleach bath, it need not irritate the skin, because a 10 to 1 water to bleach ratio is extremely effective.

Note from David:

The same concept of “hot”, “warm”, and “cold” areas can be used for a chlorine gas incident or other non-weaponized chemical incidents, except you do not need to use bleach.  Depending on the chemical agent, it may or may not make sense to do this.  If you have specific chemical threats in your area, you will want to find out the concentrations that are lethal, what kind of mask you need to filter the chemical out, and what you need to have on hand in your “warm” area to neutralize it.


Love this info?  Hate it?  Either way, let me know you’re alive by commenting below 🙂

If you’re reading this post and you’re not already a Survive In Place student, you need to go to right now and sign up.  It’s a 12 week course on surviving disasters in an urban environment.  We cover logistics and responses that will help you in the event of natural disasters, terrorist attacks, accidents, breakdowns in civil order, economic collapse, and even flu pandemics.


David Morris    Send article as PDF   

239 Responses to “Tyvek Suits and Gas Masks”

  • mike anderson says:

    thanks Dave,
    Good information to have, keep it up. Good place to get gas masks and tyvek suits is

  • Travis says:

    Things like this most of us do not think about till it’s to lat to really do so. Knowing how ahead of time is so important in your protection.

  • Terri says:

    This is good information, but what if you live in an older mobile home? There isn’t any centralized space that can be converted to a safe room. Or is that covered in the full 12 week lessons?
    Keep the info comming please. Thanks!

  • Marc Mercury says:

    The above article was fairly interesting but in your course dies how many types of biochemical toxins does it cover and does it show a different anti-substance and ratio of that substance to spray or use?

  • Rainbow says:

    I don’t think that a safe room is something that a lot of people can work into their homes, backyards. Maybe one room in their house but it’s not practical for everyone. So what does someone do if they don’t have this? And if I go buy masks and chemical suits won’t that be considered suspicious activity? This one tip for now is unpractical………I know until I need it but there’s got to be some things I can do if I don’t have this type of room in my home. Any suggestions?

  • J Stone says:

    Thank-you for the info on safe rooms. I live in a basement/groundfloor apt. that is quite small. Chemicals are heavier than air, I am guessing it would be better to be up a story or two. The article has me thinking about what to do! I appreciate your insights, and information.

  • Alex G. says:

    This can be done even in a one bedroom apartment by making your living room the warm room and your bedroom your cold room, or vice versa.

  • George & Mary Strychalski says:

    Thanks mike anderson – you answered muy question about purchasing suits and gas masks.

  • Mindy says:

    This is very useful info. Keep it coming!

  • Tom says:

    When I bought a box of tyvex suits and gas masks, I told them I was remediating mold from an old house and they were quite helpful without the suspicion. Not that it is anyone elses business anyway.

  • Faith says:

    Good information for deconning loved ones and others u choose to let in. Will look for info on what to do if those not invited in come in anyway and you survive. Keep the info coming, it is great.

  • interesting, its similar to our decon system at work, but what about vitamins, foods, herbs, etc that u can take to keep the insides clean until u find an antidote or assuming u wont get one? U live too far away perhaps? Economy collapsed? Etc?

  • scott says:

    Thanks dave, good infromation. I have a 40hr.Hazmat,iam a heavy equipment operator(union) an suites an the books that go with the 40 hr course, iam going back for my 2yr update next mo.

  • Jeff says:

    We set up our room 1 year ago when I first bought the urban suvival book. Everything is in place. As said above we told people we were remediating mold and no further questions ask. But at this time we write congress so much about all the issues they are most likely watching anyway.

  • Mike says:

    Very good information,

  • Beth says:

    Thanks this is more great information. I got a dozen Tyvek suits given to me and wondered what to do with them. Now I know! I don’t live far from a power plant and the ideas here are something I can put to use. Thanks for these lessons.

  • John says:

    Unfortunately one item is never brought up. Not everybody is financially able to do all the things that are always brought up. Everyone needs to prioritize everything according to their situation and location.

  • Rosabel says:

    We live on an island, and having survived the WWII invasions, the basics of survival at that time are still applicable, however, I see some updated thoughts and suggestions that are excellent. Thank you. Looking for more to come.

  • Donna says:

    When my daughter was younger, I had a separate bag for her to carry. In it I also put a picture of the family, a 4 generation group sheet, a small wallet size copy of her birth certificate and a letter to her. If we were ever to be separated, I wanted her to know these things. Fortunately, we never needed them and she is now married with children.

  • Ricky says:

    The information is right on with NBC (Nuclear,Biological,Chemical)procedures for entering/exiting a chemical environment along with deconing your protective equipment. Thanks for the reminder! I trained for years doing the operation above while in the U.S.Army.

  • Steve says:

    One thing that will be needed to apply the plastic, is spray adhesive.
    This will take care of any irregularities in construction.
    Duct tape will work for all other applications.
    Thanks Dave for making us THINK!!

  • Nathan says:

    Excellent information and definitely sage advice.

    To Rainbow ^^ above I offer this:

    No house is ever going to be 100% airtight. In fact its dangerous for it to be as then the exhaust gases that leak into the house from heating/cooling/cooking/cleaning and even exhalation would build and become dangerous or fatal. So while talking about a safe room that’s airtight is good in theory, there are some realities that need to be realized. In the above scenario, I think it would be just as acceptable to determine a region in your house that you would seal as tight as possible using sheeting, tape, sealant, whatever. It’s obviously not going to be 100% airtight, but aiming for that is good. Now, when moving from cold to warm, and then warm to hot, part of the air that was inside the house (including stale air in need of circulation) is moved out of the house and vice versa. Because when you open the door from cold to warm, this will disturb the air, causing some of the air in the warm zone to be drawn into the cold zone and vice versa. Then that door is sealed and the warm/hot door is opened, and the same thing occurs. That hot zone air that is now in your warm zone sits there until someone comes back in, exchanging even more, or if nothing else remains the same with hot zone air in your warm zone. then the process is reversed and that hot/warm zone air is partially distributed into your cold zone. Without a true airlock system that’s the way it works, period. That’s why you have strict discipline on not opening the cold/warm door till the folks come in from the outside and decon properly and make sure they always spray down the warm zone as part of the decon procedure. Or you could add a step to have them spray the warm zone down as they’re leaving into the hot zone and the shut the door behind them, allowing the agent to do its thing and allows folks still in the cold zone to move into the warm zone (say if those in the hot zone need help)while also mitigating the risk of hot zone air making into the cold zone.

    In the end, realize that unless a room was built to that exacting specification custom built to being airtight, even what’s indicated above is not 100% airtight. It’s a huge improvement on what most houses currently are, but realize no one’s gonna be able to get it 100% sealed. So plan to do the best you can, and work up contingencies for situations where you have confirmed compromised seals (re-decontamintating a section or all of the safe room and its occupants).

  • Donna says:

    I am reading it and saving it. Thank you so much for your time, effort and concern for others. “…when ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God.” Mosiah 2:17

  • rebecca says:

    My grown daughter had a dream to buy heavy plastic and duck tape. Now I have a better idea what to do with it. Thanks

  • Patrick says:

    I hope I never need to use this info. It’s scary to think this is even a possibility. I work for a medium/large size city and we have been getting mandarory (FEMA training.) It started last year and this is the third mandatory class we have had to take. I hope that people take this seriously. Not sure if higher ups know something we don’t. But being prepared is never a bad thing. Thank you for doing this if I knew how I would do it too…….

  • Cant get enough of this info keep it coming…always pays to be prepared…

  • Bret says:

    HAZMAT and cleanroom protocals are very similar to your method described above. A cleanroom (class 100, 10, or 1) is an environment, typically used in manufacturing or scientific research, that has a low level of environmental pollutants such as dust, airborne microbes, aerosol particals and chemical vapors. Most of the R&D, semi-conductor and flat panel display cleanroom I have served in have staging chambers starting from the outside environment to the greater level’s of ‘clean’. There are many vendors with off the self protable fab clean room systems with air-locks on the market.

  • Rene says:

    Are air purifiers any help and are there some that can help filter out bio agents? Also, what is the shelf life of bleach?

  • Debbie says:

    Thanks for the helpful info. I hope i never need to use it!

  • Sherri says:

    I don’t know…it’s not very practical for me. I live in a 1200 sq. foot ranch-style home in Florida (which means no storage areas – no basement and an extremely hot attic). We have surplus food/supplies spread out all over the house. I’m beginning to feel like one of those hoarders you hear about who have pathways between the “stuff”. 🙁

  • dave says:

    good info, very helpful thanks

  • Toni says:

    Great info, I thank you. I have dogs, any specific info regarding them? Appreciate it!

  • Michelle Hahn says:

    REALLY GOOD INFO. I had wondered about a situation like the & what to do. I PRAY I don’t have to do this. But, ya nevur know!

  • Michelle Hahn says:

    REALLY GOOD INFO. I had wondered about a situation like that & what to do. I PRAY I don’t have to do this. But, ya nevur know!

  • Merle says:

    I am concerned about air quality in a “safe room” that is sealed from the outside. If it is well sealed, and the outside air is highly contaminated, filtering the incoming air may not provide enough oxygen. What then?

  • thank you, george

  • Brandy says:

    I am glad to have found a source of info that is reliable and a group of people who do not think I am paranoid for trying to be prepared!

  • Brian Riordan says:

    I live far away from nuclear reactors, but there are chemical plants near me that could rupture in a disaster. And how far can killer radiation from a ruptured reactor mess travel? There are probably a lot more dangers than I realize. I have a lot of plastic and duct tape around, but I will need the masks and suits. I live in a back split and I think it will be adaptable to the set-up. Thanks, Brian.

  • val says:

    Thanks Dave for all your information. I just want to say, however, that I would like people to consider that all this energy they are giving to FEAR is not helping the general energetic atmosphere. My husband always says “Be alert, not alarmed.” and I think it’s pretty good advice for any situation.

    Please stop insisting that some catastrophy is absolutely going to happen. I’m certainly going to take basic precautions (mainly for weather and natural disaster issues), continue gardening and canning (for saving money, as well as keeping a food stock for leaner financial times ‘just in case’), and I am also allowing myself a FEW precautions for civil unrest.

    This civil unrest, however, will come from people who either did not prepare for events, or who are taking advantage of a chaotic situation. Just think about your ‘civil unrest’ precautions as ones you’d consider taking just in case there is an earthquake in your area (and miraculously your home still is standing). You’ll be worrying about the folks whose homes are NOT still standing, and you probably have a good reason to be.

    In those situations, survival in place might not be your best option! I personally would recommend a good bug out location, keep your to go bags ready, and find a really great way to hide your surplus food (randsack your kitchen so looters think you’ve already been hit). One idea a friend of mine had was to create a false wall with storage shelves behind it just wide enough for food storage (ie. jars and cans). Then put pegs on the outside of it and hang old jackets and beat up baseball hats from it on your way out the door. No one will suspect anything else is behind that wall (try beadboard, it’ll be easier to hide seams because…well…it’s full of seams already!).

    If your food is gone when you finally return, well hopefully you already had a buried store of food (we are planning to dig out a spot near our tree line, line it in concrete, and then plant pricker bushes all around the opening….planting one in a container that will be atop the moss-covered hatch. Before bugging out, we could try to slip over to the hatch, open it up, and store a stash of food in there for our return…if we ever do return).

    Anyway, back to my point about energy. We all…each of us…helps create the energy field around our community. Build an aura of peace, cooperation and a believe in the ability of our country to avoid catastrophy if we put our minds to it. Stay alert, not alarmed people. That alarm feeds that negative energy. Be joyful about your preparations, and then try to put them somewhat out of your mind as you live your life.

    Don’t feed the FEAR. Nourish the belief that a great energetic shift is upon us, and we can choose a more positive outlook on life.

    Do what you can with what you have, and then just live your life. What is a life worth if it is spent in constant FEAR and stress about something that may or may not happen??

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