Because of the protests happening in every corner of the country, the police needed a “gentle” weapon that could restore the peace and raise their voice. So, they came with sonic weapons.
These weapons go by many names, such as sound cannons and Long Range Acoustic Devices or LRADs. The sound cannons are designed to eliminate a certain threat over a long distance by dispersing a high-pitched tone. Wondering how to protect yourself from sonic weapons?
These audio devices are often used to calm down general public speakers. In a worst-case scenario, the sonic weapons may cause disorientation, ear pain, headaches, and other negative effects on the body. Introducing sonic weapons with loud sounds may induce ear damage and vomiting as well.
In this article, you can learn how to protect yourself from sonic weapons.
How to Protect Yourself From Sonic Weapons
Police departments have obtained LRADs, and every officer has the right to use the sonic weapon to calm a large group of civilians. People who like to express their opinions outside of their homes surely want to know how to protect themselves from sonic weapons.
Before I answer the question, I would like to point out that nothing can fully protect your hearing from sonic cannons, and they should be utilized as little as possible. But, since I am not in uniform, I cannot speak on behalf of the authorities.
To protect yourself from sonic weapons, you can wear earplugs, know how the device looks, and prepare yourself, move until you find the closest wall, or run away perpendicularly.
What Is LRAD?
To fully understand how to protect yourself from sonic weapons, you first need to be aware of what an actual LRAD is so that when the time comes, you can avoid it. The sonic cannon or Long Range Acoustic Device is a sound energy weapon and speaker system initially designed for military use only in the 2000s.
The sonic weapon renders sound with extreme volume in a directional focus. Additionally, it works from a great distance and has more geographical precision than your average loudspeaker. On top, the weapon may incorporate crosshairs and a viewfinder so police officers can specifically target the sound’s location.
The LRADs have a built-in microphone and a deterrent tone based on frequencies that are, in most cases, painful to people’s ears. The microphone can be used for speech and includes a playback feature of the recording. The next time an officer uses the microphone to give orders to the crowd, you can prepare for the blast.
Truth be told, in most cases, the police use a polite tone to talk with people and give announcements. But there is always a possibility of the sonic cannon being used as a sound-blasting weapon.
Why are LRADs dangerous?
The Long Range Acoustic Devices produce a loud sound which can damage the auditory and vestibular systems. The sonic weapons have a range of sound from 80 to 160 dB.
People exposed to a prolonged sound of 85 dB have a high risk of damaging their hearing. At 120 dB, the sound is equal to a working jet engine, and there is instant hearing damage.
The sound at 130 dB has the ability to cause physical pain. At 140 dB, the body starts to experience physical discomfort, such as dizziness, vomiting, loss of balance, etc. A high level of 160 dB can burst your eardrum.
Protecting Yourself From Sonic Weapons
Now that you know what a sonic weapon can actually do, you can take all the necessary measures to protect yourself. Let me explain how to protect yourself from sonic weapons once you know a blast is coming.
First off, it is always a good idea to have a pair of earplugs in your pocket if you go out to protest. It will also help if you own a pair of earmuffs with a high decibel rating.
The earmuffs are a great choice because they can be quickly put on. Now, you may think that each pair of headphones is easy to put on but keep in mind that panic is involved, and the group around you is also trying to avoid the sound.
Something else worth mentioning here is that noise-canceling headphones are not the same as earmuffs and do not offer the same level of protection.
The noise-canceling earplugs are great for diminishing low-frequency sounds, but they cannot protect you from the high-frequency tone from LRADs.
Prepare yourself and move
The sonic weapons used by the police can trick you into thinking that it is a megaphone when instead it is a sound cannon. Therefore, you must be aware of your surroundings and move whenever you notice the weapon nearby.
LARD can be mounted on a vehicle or carried by officers. You can imagine the sound of a large beam coming towards you. Because sound waves deflect off rigid surfaces, you can put your earmuffs on and find shelter. If the weapon is directly in front of you, move left or right, definitely not backward.
Hiding behind a large brick wall is great because the sound will bounce off the hard surface.
Run away perpendicularly
If the police use the microphone on the sound cannon and the civilians are still proceeding, you can be sure that a blast is surely coming. You can always run and escape the sound if that happens and the LRAD is deployed.
However, you should run away perpendicularly because no matter how hard you try, you cannot outrun the high-frequency noise.
In this article, I gave you some tips on how to protect yourself from sonic weapons. I also explained the true power of sound cannons and what they can actually do. The impact of sonic weapons may cause permanent damage. If you are experiencing ringing in your ears after a sound blast, you may need to visit an audiologist.