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Levy County Emergency Management, located in the Emergency Operations Center in Bronson, Fl, is the "Direction and Control Center" for Levy County in times of disaster.
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DISASTER PREPARENESS
Section: 2
 
CHEMICAL THREAT / HAZMAT  
 

As an industrialized nation, the United States produces, transports, stores, uses, and disposes of millions of tons of hazardous substances per day. But when they enter the environment through an accidental or deliberate release, they can contaminate the land we use, the water we drink, and the air we breathe, with potentially disastrous results.

Chemical incidents are characterized by the rapid onset of medical symptoms (minutes to hours) and easily observed signatures (colored residue, dead foliage, pungent odor, and dead insect and animal life).

Hazmat
   

Why Talk About Chemical Emergencies?

Hazardous materials are chemical substances, which if released or misused, can pose a threat to the environment. These chemicals are used in industry, agriculture, medicine, research, and consumer goods. As many as 500,000 products pose physical or health hazards and can be defined as "hazardous chemicals." Each year, over 1,000 new synthetic chemicals are introduced. Hazardous materials come in the form of explosives, flammable and combustible substances, poisons, and radioactive materials. These substances are most often released as a result of transportation accidents or because of chemical accidents in manufacturing plants.

What to Do During a Home Chemical Emergency

  • If your child should eat or drink a non-food substance, find any containers immediately and take them to the phone. The poison control center may need specific information from the container to give you the best emergency advice.
  • Call the poison control center, emergency medical services (EMS), 9-1-1, or the operator. They will give you emergency advice while you wait for professional help.
  • Follow the emergency operator's or dispatcher's instructions carefully. Often the first aid advice found on containers may not be appropriate. Do not give anything by mouth until you have been advised by medical professionals.
  • If a hazardous substance comes into contact with an eye, it is important to take immediate action. Delaying first aid can greatly increase the likelihood of injury. Flush the eye with clear, lukewarm water for a minimum of 15 minutes, unless authorities instruct you not to use water on the particular chemical involved. Continue the cleansing process even if the victim indicates he or she is no longer feeling any pain, then seek medical attention.
  • If there is danger of a fire or explosion, get out of the house immediately. Do not waste time collecting items or calling the fire department when you are in danger.
  • If there is a fire or explosion, call the fire department from outside (a cellular phone or a neighbor's phone). Once you are safely away from danger, call for professional help.
  • Stay away from the house to avoid the possibility of breathing toxic fumes.
  • Wash hands, arms, or other parts of the body that may have been exposed to the chemical. Chemicals may continue to irritate the skin until they are washed off.
  • Discard any clothing that may have been contaminated. Some chemicals may not wash out completely. Discarding clothes will prevent potential future exposure.
  • Administer first aid treatment to victims of chemical burns.
    • Call 9-1-1 for emergency help.
    • Remove clothing and jewelry from around the injury.
    • Pour clean, cool water over the burn for 15 to 30 minutes.
    • Loosely cover the burn with a sterile or clean dressing. Be sure that the dressing will not stick to the burn.
    • Refer victim to a medical professional for further treatment.
 

Possible Signs of Chemical Threat

  • Many people suffering from watery eyes, twitching, choking, having trouble breathing or losing coordination.
  • Many sick or dead birds, fish or small animals are also cause for suspicion.
 

If You See Signs of Chemical Attack: Find Clean Air Quickly

 
  • Quickly try to define the impacted area or where the chemical is coming from, if possible.
  • Take immediate action to get away .
  • If the chemical is inside a building where you are, get out of the building without passing through the contaminated area, if possible.
  • If you can't get out of the building or find clean air without passing through the area where you see signs of a chemical attack, it may be better to move as far away as possible and " shelter-in-place ."
  • If you are outside, quickly decide what is the fastest way to find clean air. Consider if you can get out of the area or if you should go inside the closest building and "shelter-in-place."
 

If You Think You Have Been Exposed to a Chemical

 

If your eyes are watering, your skin is stinging, and you are having trouble breathing, you may have been exposed to a chemical.

  • If you think you may have been exposed to a chemical, strip immediately and wash .
  • Look for a hose, fountain, or any source of water , and wash with soap if possible, being sure not to scrub the chemical into your skin.
  • Seek emergency medical attention .
 
Be Informed - Chemical ThreatAdobe PDF
 
 
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