Major Chemical Emergencies
About Major Chemical Disasters & Accidents
A major chemical emergency is an accident that releases a hazardous amount of a chemical into the environment. Accidents can happen underground, on railroad tracks or highways, and at manufacturing plants. These accidents sometimes result in a fire or explosion, but many times you cannot see or smell anything unusual.
How You May Be Notified of a Major Chemical Emergency
In the event of a major chemical emergency, you will be notified by the authorities. To get your attention, a siren could sound, you may be called by telephone, or emergency personnel may drive by and give instructions over a loudspeaker. Officials could even come to your door. Listen carefully to radio or television emergency broadcast stations (EBS), and strictly follow instructions; your life could depend on it. You will be told:
- The type of health hazard
- The area affected
- How to protect yourself
- Evacuation routes (if necessary)
- Phone numbers to call if you need extra help
- Shelter locations
- Type and location of medical facilities
Do not call the telephone company, and do not call Emergency Medical Services (9-1-1) or the operator for information. Dial these numbers only for a possible life threatening emergency.
Emergency Procedures for School Children
In an emergency, your children may be sheltered-in-place or evacuated from school. If protective actions are being taken at your child’s school, do not go to the school. School personnel are trained to handle emergencies.
Do not call your child's school. You could tie up a phone line that is needed for emergency communications.
For further information, listen to local emergency radio and TV stations to learn when and where you can pick up your children.