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.
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.
Emergency Preparedness Tips for Shelter-In-Place
Know how to shelter-in-place
Sheltering is appropriate when conditions require that you seek protection in your home, place of employment or other location when there is a threat to personal safety (i.e. hazardous spills, dangerous predators).
Local authorities will advise you to stay in your home or shelter-in-place until the emergency is over.
Emergencies that require shelter-in-place include:
A hazardous substance in the air
A severe winter storm
Event that could harm the public
If the emergency is related to an environmental hazard:
Close all windows and doors
Tape around windows, air ducts, and vents
Turn off fans, heating and air conditioning systems
Close the fireplace damper
Move to an interior room above ground level
In all other cases:
Listen to the radio for updates and do not go outside until authorities say it is safe to do so
The length of time you are required to shelter may be short, such as during a tornado warning, or long, such as during a winter storm. It is important that you stay in shelter until local authorities say it is safe to leave.