Hazardous materials can pose a risk in a number of situations, because they can be found in a number of everyday locations such as at home, at work, or on the road. If hazardous materials are released into the environment in large amounts or are used unsafely, they can be extremely dangerous to one’s health.
- Develop a household emergency plan and assign specific safety tasks to family members. Practice your household emergency plan every six months.
- Put together an emergency kit to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours, but aim for one week. Keep a kit in your vehicle, and at school or work.
- Plan a family meeting spot and have an contact, such as a family member in another region, to check in with if you become separated.
- Get training in emergency preparedness and first aid.
- Keep your vehicle in working order and always have at least half a tank of gas.
- Pay attention to notices of danger and information updates on radio, TV and the internet.
- If a hazardous material spill happens in your area, listen to instructions from emergency officials.
- If you are instructed to shelter-in-place, remain indoors and await further information.
- Limit contact with the spill area. If you have time before evacuation, close windows, shut vents, and turn of fans.
- If you have been contaminated, follow decontamination instructions from authorities and place exposed clothing in sealed containers. Advise those that you have come in contact with that they may have been exposed to contamination as well.
- Only return home if you are told that it is safe to do so by an emergency official. Open all ventilation you may have closed off.
- One Step at a Time: A Guide to Disaster Recovery