Some practical advice in jittery times

Times Staff Writer

Given the nationwide fear over the possibility of terrorist attacks, one could argue that the decision to release Dr. Angelo Acquista's book on March 11 is an effort to cash in on shaky psyches. But, as the introduction says, it could save your life.

Acquista certainly has good credentials. An internist with specialties in pulmonary medicine and tropical diseases, he is also medical director of the New York City Mayor's Office of Emergency Management. And he served on a bioterrorism task force for former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani after Sept. 11.

In this carefully organized guidebook, he describes the agents that could potentially be used in an attack, from bacteria that cause smallpox and botulism to those likely to be recognized only by biologists and specialists in modern warfare.

He explains what each agent is, how a person could be exposed and what to do if that happens. He also describes how to diagnose and treat the resulting illnesses.

The book provides information on how to formulate an emergency plan, stock an emergency kit and talk to children. It also offers suggestions on what to do if an attack occurs while you're on a train or plane.

Of course, to be truly useful, you'd need to have the book handy when disaster strikes.


The Survival Guide

What to Do in a Biological, Chemical, or Nuclear Emergency

Dr. Angelo Acquista

Random House Trade Paperbacks: 284 pp., $12.95 paper

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