There are many facilities across the country that produce and/or store chemicals that could be harmful to humans in the event of human exposure. While many facilities have secure storage and detailed chemical safety plans, emergency releases can occur from damage caused by natural hazard events (tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, and fires) or by human error. It is important to know how to shelter properly and take action in the event of a hazardous material spill in our area.
If local officials send a hazmat release warning message, be sure to follow the directions of the message immediately to protect yourself. The actions requested could include staying away from an area (closed road or location), sheltering in place inside, or evacuation from an area. To be able to take action quickly in the heat of the moment, it is recommended that each family creates a generalized shelter in place plan and evacuation plan. You can receive planning information from Ready.gov.
As the emergency unfolds, be sure to have multiple ways to stay informed about the event. This could include television, radio, internet, and messages straight from local officials. Always make sure your information is coming from a valid source.
Do not return to the closed area, leave your shelter, or return to your home until local officials give an all clear message. The release could take a long time to clean up. Officials will give an all clear when there is no longer a threat to the public.