Chemical/Chembio Emergencies

Chemical/Chembio Emergencies & Plan

Chemical and Chembio Emergencies

Chemicals are found everywhere. They purify drinking water, increase crop production, and simplify household chores. However, chemicals also can be hazardous to humans and the environment if used or released improperly. Hazards can occur during production, storage, transportation, use, or disposal.

Whether it is an accidental chemical release or an intentional attack, be prepared by knowing what to do before, during, and after a chemical/hazardous incident that affects your area. Your local emergency management office is equipped with an automated phone system that will be used to notify you and provide instructions for these types of incidents. If you witness a chemical/hazardous incident, call 911 immediately.


Seek shelter inside. Heating, cooling, and ventilation systems should be turned off. Emergency kit should be handy. Locate all family members. Tape or seal windows. Exits should be sealed at bottom of doors. Radio, television, or emergency notification network will provide further information.

What to Do Before Chemical Disasters:

  • Know what your threats are in the community.
    • Contact your local emergency planning committee.
    • Contact your local emergency management office.

What to Do During Chemical Disasters:

  • Know your evacuation routes and evacuate, if told to do so.
  • Shelter in place, if told to do so.
  • Keep your disaster kit with you in your safe room.
  • Listen to local radio or television stations for detailed information and instructions.
  • Remember that some toxic chemicals are odorless.

What to Do After Chemical Disasters:

  • Return home or go outside only when told it is safe to do so by local authorities.
  • Open windows and vents and turn on fans to provide ventilation.
  • Follow decontamination instructions from local authorities.
  • Seek medical treatment for symptoms related to hazardous materials.
  • If you are contaminated and medical assistance is not immediately available, remove your clothes, place them in a plastic bag or sealed container, and dispose of as instructed by local authorities. Take a shower and put on clean clothes.
  • Remember that eyeglasses, contacts, and hearing aids may be contaminated and must be cleaned properly or disposed.
  • Seek information from local authorities on how to clean your property.
  • Continue to monitor your television and radio for current information.