What should I do in the event of a chemical emergency?
Sheltering-in-place is considered to be a proven method for protecting yourself and your family in the event of a chemical emergency. As soon as you hear a warning or become aware of a situation, and there is no order to evacuate, do the following:
- Go quickly inside the nearest building. Bring pets inside.
- Close all windows and doors.
- Turn off all air conditioning and heating systems. Additionally, place masking tape and/or wet towels along the base of doors and window sills to prevent entrance of atmospheric gases.
- Put out fire completely and close off fireplace.
- If you are in a vehicle and the release is visible, turn off all air conditioning and outside air, close windows, and avoid going through the visible cloud by turning onto a side street. Otherwise, stop and seek shelter inside a building.
- Turn on your radio or television. Public announcements concerning specific emergency procedures, as well as all clear signals, will be broadcast by regional radio and television stations.
- Do not try to pick up your children from school. The presence of parents searching for children only causes confusion and delays. Media broadcasts will inform parents whether their school-age children have been taken to an evacuation center and its location.
- Do not tie up telephone lines. Fire officials, Police officials and involved businesses may need every available telephone line to initiate emergency procedures. Use the telephone only when absolutely necessary.
- If an evacuation is ordered by fire or police authorities, follow their instructions. Otherwise, shelter-in-place.
- If you have trouble breathing, place a wet cloth over your nose and mouth and breathe through it.
- Stay indoors and wait for the all clear signal.