Hazardous Materials...Are You Prepared?
There are thousands of chemicals defined by the Occupational Safety
and Health Administration (OSHA) as chemicals which represent a
physical or health hazard. Approximately 360 of these
substances are classified as "extremely hazardous".
Extremely hazardous substances can be in liquid, gas, or solid
form. Exposure to these chemicals can cause serious illness or
death. Some examples of extremely hazardous substances and
their common use include:
||Nitric acid (for etching steel)
||Sulfuric acid (used in batteries)
|Hydroquinone (photo developer)
||Sulfur Dioxide (food additive)
|Methyl Bromide (refrigerant)
||Dry cleaning materials
For Your Protection
If you see an accident or incident that may involve hazardous
materials, please notify the emergency authorities at 9-1-1, and
briefly report what you have seen. Let the authorities handle
the situation from there. Do not approach a hazardous
materials emergency scene. You may endanger your life and the
lives of others. If there is an emergency, you will be informed by the news media
and the local authorities. Emergency officials will provide
timely, accurate information and instructions. Do as they say.
If you are told to protect your breathing:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a large wet bath towel or
If you are told to stay indoors:
- Remain indoors until further notice.
- Close all doors and windows. Use masking tape or a damp
towel to seal the opening, if possible.
- Turn off all types of ventilation, unless otherwise
- Do not use fireplaces and close the dampers.
- Cover or refrigerate any uncovered food.
- Stay tuned to a local radio or television station for official
If you are told to evacuate:
- Lock all doors and windows.
- Turn off appliances (except refrigerator) and faucets.
- Enact your pet plan.
Do not take pets to reception center or shelter.
- Keep your car vents and windows closed. Do not use the
heater or air conditioner. Drive carefully.
- Bring items from your Disaster
If you have family in a nursing home or hospital:
- These facilities have their own evacuation procedures, so
please do not try to pick up your relative. Check in
advance with the facility to determine their evacuation
procedures. Local radio and television stations will
announce where patients are being moved.
If your children are in school:
- If your children are in school during an accident, please do
not try to pick them up. They will be transported to
pickup areas outside the affected area, if necessary.
Local radio and television stations will announce when and where
parents can pick up their children. School personnel will
supervise and care for the children until parents pick them up.
If you have livestock:
- Place the animals in an enclosed shelter, if possible.
- Leave plenty of food and water for several days.
- Tune to a local radio or television station for further
If you grow food products:
- Do not eat or sell products.
- Protective actions (such as washing, discarding, etc.) are
specific to the crops affected and their maturity at the time of
- For more information, contact your local agricultural