SandstormsI knew something was amiss this morning when I woke up to an orange light shining in my window. It only meant one of two things… either the sun was about to nova, or a sandstorm had blown in.

It turns out that sandstorms are a very frequent occurrence here in Baghdad. Visibility is limited, and people frequently have trouble breathing. The best defense on this thing that literally coats EVERYTHING with dirt is to stay inside and keep the door shut.

When you’re in the middle of a deployment with a mission to complete, that’s easier said than done. So, here are the three steps to keeping sandstorms from killing you.

1) Always use recirculated air in your car. When it’s not recirculated, where do you think the air comes from?

2) Move from your indoor location to another indoor location very quickly.

3) Stay there until you absolutely need to go someplace else.

These are basic steps. Advanced steps include “breathing less” and acquiring one of those SARS face masks. Believe it or not… they sell those here.