Emergency Preparedness

Emergency Preparedness Tips for Hazardous Materials

Exposure to hazardous materials

  • If you have been exposed to or have been affected by a hazardous material release, call 9-1-1 immediately. 
  • Stay away from the incident site to minimize the risk of contamination.
  • If you are caught outside during an incident, try to stay upstream, uphill, and upwind.
  • If you are in a motor vehicle, stop and find shelter in a permanent building if possible.
  • If asked to evacuate your home, do so immediately.
  • Listen to a local radio or television station for further information. Follow instructions carefully.

Shelter in-place

  • Close doors, windows and vents in all rooms and seal the windows using the pre-cut plastic sheeting, duct tape. Tape around the sides, bottom, and top of the doors leading to outside.
  • Do not eat food or drink water that may have been contaminated.
  • Turn off fans in ventilation systems.

After a hazardous material incident

  • Do not return home until local authorities say it is safe.
  • Upon returning home, open windows and vents and turn on fans to provide ventilation.
  • If you or your animals have come in contact with or have been exposed to hazardous chemicals, you should follow decontamination instructions from local authorities.
  • If you think you might be contaminated, remove all of your clothing and don’t allow them to come in contact with other materials such as linens and furniture.
  • Shower thoroughly and change into fresh, loose clothing and get medical advice as soon as possible. Place exposed clothing and shoes in tightly sealed containers or plastic garbage bag. Call local authorities to find out about proper disposal.