Hazardous Materials

Accident Preparedness

Communities located near chemical manufacturing plants are particularly at risk. However, hazardous materials are transported on our roadways, railways and waterways daily, so any area is considered vulnerable to an accident.

  1. Before
  2. During
  3. After


Learn to detect the presence of a hazardous material. Many hazardous materials:

  • Can be detected because they cause physical reactions such as watering eyes or nausea
  • Do not have a taste or an odor
  • Exist beneath the surface of the ground and can be recognized by an oil or foam-like appearance

Stay Ready

Contact your Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) or local emergency management office for information about hazardous materials and community response plans.

Be ready to evacuate. Find out evacuation plans for your workplace and your children's schools. Plan several evacuation routes out of the area.

Ask about industry and community warning systems.

Be Ready

Have disaster supplies on hand, including

  • Cash and credit cards
  • Emergency food and water
  • Essential medicines
  • First aid kit and manual
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Nonelectric can opener
  • Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries
  • Sturdy shoes

Have a Plan

Develop an emergency communication plan. In case family members are separated from one another during a hazardous materials accident (this is a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school).

Develop a plan for reuniting after the disaster. Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone knows the name, address and phone number of the contact person.