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"Prepare. Respond. Recover. It's time to get Ready LA" - Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
 It's a act of today';s modern life. Chemicals are all around you. They serve many important roles... simplifying your household cleaning, purifying your water softening your skin, controlling pests and enhancing crop production, to name just a few But improper y used or stored chemicals can also create unsafe conditions for working, living and playing. Because these hazardous materials can be found in our homes, in stores, hospitals, gas stations and many other sites, there is always the potential for a hazardous materials incident. Here are some facts.

Hazardous Materials

When an incident occurs
Hazardous material can
  • Hazardous materials of some type are manufactured, used or stored at approximately 4.5 million facilities in the U.S.
  • Included in this group are explosives, flammable and combustible substances, poisons and radioactive materials.
  • Over 40 million tons of hazardous waste is generated in the U.S. each year
  • Transportation accidents or in-plant mishaps cause the majority of dangerous chemical leaks.
  • Hazardous materials are shipped daily via our roadways, waterways, railroads and pipelines.
A look at the facts
hazardous material fire
You’ve just heard the news… a tanker has dumped ammonia on a well-traveled freeway near you. Or maybe a train carrying explosives has derailed. Perhaps even a terrorist has unleashed deadly poison ricin gas! There are many types of incidents where hazardous chemicals or materials can put you at risk. Just remain calm, think logically and follow these tips.

In Your Home:

  • Stay tuned to your radio or TV for information about evacuation routes, temporary shelters and different procedures.
  • Minimize contamination in the house by closing all windows, shutting all vents and turning off attic fans.
  • Turn off air conditioners.
  • Bring your pets inside.
  • Seal gaps under doorways and windows with wet towels or plastic sheeting.
  • If gas or vapors have already entered your building, take shallow breaths through a cloth or towel.

Caught Outside:

  • Be prepared to evacuate if instructed to do so.
  • Stay upstream, uphill and upwind from the accident site.
  • Travel at least one-half mile away from the danger zone.
  • Warn others whom you encounter.
  • If possible, try to cover your mouth with a towel or cloth when leaving the area.
  • If you are in a motor vehicle, drive quickly away from the accident site, shut off your heater or air conditioner and keep your car windows and vents closed.

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