Hazardous Materials Incidents
Hazardous materials are substances which, because of their chemical, physical, or biological nature, pose a potential risk to life, health, and property if they are released. Hazards can exist during production, storage, transportation, use, or disposal.
What to Do in a Hazardous Materials Incident
- If you witness a hazardous materials incident, call 911.
- Avoid incident site to minimize risk of contamination.
- If you are caught outside during an incident, try to stay upstream, uphill, and upwind.
- If you are in a car, close windows and shut off ventilation.
Shelter in Place Tips
- Follow instructions given by emergency authorities.
- Reduce toxic vapors from entering your home by sealing entry routes and closing doors and windows.
- Turn off all ventilation systems.
- Seal gaps around window air conditioning units, kitchen exhaust fan grills, stove and dryer vents with duct tape.
- Close as many internal doors as possible.
- Close all fireplace dampers.
- If warned of potential outdoor explosion, close drapes, curtains and shades, and stay from windows to prevent injury from broken glass.
- Stay in protected, interior areas of building where toxic vapors are reduced.
- Listen to news media for instructions.
- If evacuation recommended, do so immediately Listen to a battery powered radio for instructions.
- If time permits, close all windows, turn off ventilation system to minimize contamination.
- Use recommended travel routes recommended by local authorities.
- Avoid contact with spilled liquid materials, airborne mist, or condensed solid chemical deposit.
- Do no eat or drink food or water that may have been contaminated.
What to Do After an Incident
- Do not return home until authorities say it is safe.
- Upon returning home, open windows, doors, and turn on fans to provide ventilation.
- Find out from local authorities how to clean up your land and property.
- If a person or item has been exposed to hazardous chemicals, use the following the procedures:
- Follow decontamination instructions from local authorities.
- Seek medical treatment for symptoms that may be related to the hazardous materials release.
- If medical help is not immediately available and you might be contaminated:
- Remove your clothes, shower, and put on clean clothes.
- Seek medical help as soon as possible.
- Place exposed clothing in a sealed container and find out proper disposal procedures.