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Hazardous Materials

We use hazardous materials in our homes and businesses every day. In the event of a major spill, authorities will instruct you on the best course of action. Also, be aware of chemical attacks, which is the deliberate release of a toxic gas, liquid, or solid that can poison people and the environment. Know how to protect yourself and your family from bioterrorism.

Prepping in advance for a hazardous materials incident:

  • Build an Emergency Supply Kit with the addition of plastic sheeting and duct tape.

  • Make a Family Emergency Plan.

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

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

  • Listen to local radio or television stations for detailed information and follow instructions carefully. Remember that some toxic chemicals are odorless.

Sheltering in Place during a hazardous materials incident:

  • Lock doors, close windows, air vents and fireplace dampers.

  • Turn off fans, air conditioning and forced air heating systems.

  • Take your emergency supply kit unless you have reason to believe it has been contaminated.

  • Go into an interior room with few windows if possible.

  • Seal all windows, doors and air vents with thick plastic sheeting and duct tape. Consider measuring and cutting the sheeting in advance to save time.

  • Cut the plastic sheeting several inches wider than the openings and label each sheet.

  • Duct tape plastic at corners first and then tape down all edges.

  • Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to seal gaps so that you create a barrier between yourself and any contamination.

Image by Robinson Greig
Hazardous Materials Incidents

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