ARE YOU PREPARED FOR A HAZARDOUS
Hazardous materials are common in our environment because they are
used by industry, business, government and private citizens on a
daily basis. If a material has a potential to damage human life
it is considered hazardous.
THE KEY TO SAFETY IS KNOWING WHAT TO DO AND WHAT NOT TO DO IF A
HAZARDOUS MATERIAL SPILL OR ACCIDENT OCCURS.
The Local Emergency Planning Committee has developed the following
guidelines to help you reduce the danger from a hazardous material
release emergency. Keep this information handy and discuss it with
your family so everyone in your household knows what to do in an
If there is an emergency you will be warned by
local authorities through the news media which specific areas need
to take which type of emergency actions. Follow the directions given
during the emergency carefully. Continue to listen to the local
media until they inform you that the emergency is over. You might
be asked to take one of three actions:
1. Protect Your Breathing
2. Shelter in Place
If you have a special needs person next door make sure they know
what to do.
Protect Your Breathing:
• Cover your nose and mouth with a damp handkerchief or, if
possible, a large wet bath towel or cloth
• Could last a maximum of 2-3 hours
• Go inside and bring pets inside. (Stay there until your
local radio or TV stations report that you may leave)
• Close and lock all doors and windows (Use masking tape or
damp towels to seal the openings if possible)
• If an explosion is possible outdoors -- close drapes, curtains,
and shades over windows. Stay away from external windows to prevent
potential injury from flying glass.
• Close window curtains, shades and blinds (to keep house
• Turn OFF heating, cooling and ventilation systems (to prevent
outside air from entering)
• Turn off all exhaust fans in kitchens, bathrooms, and other
• Do not use fireplaces. (Put out the fire, close the dampers)
• Do NOT go to school to pick up your children. (School officials
will be prepared to take special precautions)
• Go to an above ground room with the fewest windows and doors.
(If possible, choose one with an adjoining bathroom)
• Jam wet towels in the cracks under doors and windows to
block air flow.
• Block air vents using plastic sheeting or bags and tape.
• If there is no building to shelter in place get into a car.
• Listen to your radio or television for further instructions.
• Limit phone calls, since lines may be needed for emergency
• Shelter in Place Instructions
• 1 gallon of Bottled Water
• Plastic Drop Cloth (to seal vents and windows)
• Duct Tape (for sealing cracks)
• Moist Towels (to seal off shelter door)
• AM/FM radio with batteries
• Know what hazardous substances are produced, stored or transported
in your area.
• Learn location of ventilation system shut off for your home/location.
• Determine your shelter-in-place location and repair seals
around windows and doors.
• Stay as calm as possible
• Gather items you and your family will need such as extra
clothing, eyeglasses, prescription drugs, first aid kit, baby and
children supplies for at least three days, portable
radio and flashlight, checkbook, credit cards, drivers license or
• Turn OFF the lights and your household appliances. Leave
your refrigerator and freezer ON.
• Move to the place designated by public authorities.
• When you leave, tie a towel or rag on your front door handle
so that law enforcement and rescue personnel will know you are not
• Keep your car vents and windows closed. Do not use the heater
or air conditioner. Drive carefully; be patient with fellow drivers.
• If you need a ride, go with a friend, relative or neighbor.
Ask law enforcement officials for transportation if nothing else
• If your children have to leave their schools, you will be
told by the radio and TV stations where to pick up your child when
it is safe.
• Secure your home before you leave.
IF YOU SEE AN ACCIDENT OR INCIDENT THAT MAY INVOLVE HAZARDOUS MATERIALS,
PLEASE NOTIFY THE EMERGENCY AUTHORITIES AT "911". REPORT
BRIEFLY WHAT YOU HAVE SEEN AND LET AUTHORITIES HANDLE THE SITUATION.
DO NOT APPROACH A HAZARDOUS MATERIAL EMERGENCY SCENE.
DO NOT WAIT FOR AN EMERGENCY, PREPARE NOW!
Coast Regional Planning Council Shelter-In-Place Brochure
National Institute for Chemical Studies (http://www.nicsinfo.org/SIP%20Center.htm)
- Reports and Publications
Center for Disease Control on SIP (http://www.bt.cdc.gov/planning/shelteringfacts.asp)-
Facts about Sheltering-In-Place
Dept of Labor: OSHA on SIP (http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/evacuation/shelterinplace.html)-
Guide for handling workplace emergencies
Ready America SIP Diagram (http://www.ready.gov/america/makeaplan/shelter_in_place.html)
- For School and Workplace
Be Ready Coloring Book (http://www.sfrpc.org/data/lepc/SIP/BeReadyColoringBook.pdf
) (American Red Cross - 528KB PDF)
Disaster Preparedness Coloring Book (http://www.sfrpc.org/data/lepc/SIP/DisasterPreparednessColoringBook.pdf)(American
Red Cross - 1.7MB PDF)
U.S. Govt READY KIDS Home Page (http://www.ready.gov/kids/home.html)-
Be prepared in every situation