WHAT TO DO IN HAZARDOUS MATERIALS INCIDENTS
1. If you witness a hazardous materials accident, call 9-1-1.
2. If you hear a warning signal, listen to local radio or television stations for further information and follow instructions carefully.
3. Stay away from the incident site to minimize the risk of contamination.
4. If you are caught outside during an incident, try to stay upstream, uphill and upwind.
Hazardous materials can quickly be transported by water and wind. In general, try to move at least 1/2 mile (10 city blocks) from the danger area; for many incidents you will need to go much further.
5. If you are in a car, close windows and shut off air vents. This will reduce the risk of
6. If you are asked to evacuate, do so immediately. If local officials say there is time, close all windows, shut vents and turn off attic fans to minimize contamination.
7. If you are requested to stay in-doors rather than evacuate, strictly follow all instructions given by emergency authorities. To reduce the possibility of toxic vapors entering your home, seal all entry routes as efficiently as possible. Close and lock the windows and doors. Seal gaps under doorways and windows with wet towels and duct tape or similar thick tape. Seal any gaps around window air conditioning units, bathroom and kitchen exhaust fan grilles and stove and dryer vents with tape and plastic sheeting, wax paper or
aluminum wrap. Close all fireplace dampers. Close as many internal doors as possible.
If authorities warn of an outdoor explosion, close all drapes, curtains and shades. Stay
away from windows to prevent injury from breaking glass. Turn off all ventilation systems, including furnaces, air conditioners, vents and fans. Building superintendents should set all ventilation systems to 100 percent recirculation so that no outside air is drawn into the building. If this is not possible, ventilation systems should be turned off. If you suspect that gas or vapors have entered the building, take shallow breaths through a cloth or towel.
Remain in protected, interior areas of the building where toxic vapors are reduced, and
keep your radio with you.
8. Avoid contact with any spilled liquid materials, airborne mist or condensed solid chemical deposit. Keep your body fully covered and wear gloves, socks and shoes, although these measures may offer minimal protection.
9. Do not eat or drink any food or water that may have been contaminated.
10. If you need to stay indoors, fill the bathtub (sterilize it first) and large containers with water. Be prepared to turn off the main water intake valve in case authorities advise you to do so.