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Hazardous Materials Release

Before a Hazardous Materials Incident

o   Add plastic sheeting and duct tape to your emergency so you are ready if instructed to Shelter in Place.

o   Know how to operate your home’s ventilation system.

o   Identify an above-ground shelter with as few openings as possible.


During a Hazardous Materials Incident

o   If you are instructed to Shelter in Place:

·       Stay or go inside. Close and lock all exterior doors and windows, close vents, fireplace dampers, and as many interior doors as possible.

·       Turn off air conditioners and ventilation systems.

·       If gas or vapors have entered the building, take shallow breaths through a cloth or towel.

·       Go to your pre-selected shelter room.

·       Using plastic sheeting and duct tape, or wet towels, aluminum foil, or wax paper, to seal gaps around doorways, windows, bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans, air conditioning units, stove and dryer vents.

o   If you are caught outside:

·       Stay uphill, upwind, and uphill from the incident site.  In general, try to get at least one-half mile (8 to 10 city blocks) away from the danger area.

·       Do not touch any spilled liquids or condensed solid chemicals.  Do not walk into airborne mists.

·       Cover your mouth with a cloth or mask while leaving the incident area.

·       Stay away from accident victims until the hazardous material has been identified.

o   If you are in a motor vehicle:

·       Stop and seek shelter in a permanent building.

·       If you must remain in your car, keep windows and vents closed, and shut off the air conditioner or heater.


After a Hazardous Materials Incident

o   Go to a designated public shelter if you have been instructed to evacuate or you feel it is unsafe to stay in  your home.

o   Act quickly if you have come in contact with or have been exposed to hazardous chemicals.

o   Follow decontamination instructions from local authorities.

o   Seek medical treatment for unusual symptoms as soon as possible.

o   Place exposed cloth and shoes in tightly sealed containers.

o   Return to your home only when authorities say it is safe to do so.

o   Find out from local authorities how to clean up your land and property.

o   Report any lingering vapors or other hazards to your local emergency management agency.