Hazardous Chemical Accidents

If you live near a chemical plant, highway, or train, you are in danger of a potential chemical accident involving either a solvent type substance, gaseous and vaporous, oily and all possibly highly flammable.

If you live in any of these areas, it could happen although the incidents are rare. You should have a plan worked out with your family and the community. When these incidents usually occur, it is the daytime. Kids may be in school and parents at work. You will need an outside family contact for everyone to reach to get reconnected. If you are at home with the family when this occurs, then that is one less problem you have to worry about.

You need a community plan as well. Sometimes everyone will be advised just to stay inside and close all windows and vents to the outside. You may want to keep a list of phone numbers of neighbours nearby who may have special needs and see if they need assistance or wish to stay with you until the danger passes. If they leave with you, put a note on their door saying where they are. When you are settled, do not leave until you have been signalled that everything is okay.

If you have to evacuate the area, you may be routed to some point dictated beforehand by the community or whoever is in charge of the safety of the people at the time. Use the family contact to keep track of family members. Bring along your emergency kit. (See why you need a kit in your child’s school and at work now?) Leave a note on your door to let people know that you have left and the house is empty.

If you know of neighbours who are sick or disabled that should be home, knock on their door and see if they need help. Try not to breathe in fumes or step in the toxic leak on your way to the shelter area. Try to get comfortable once at the shelter. You don’t know how long you will be there. Especially if the disaster results in a massive fire. Do not leave until it is okay.

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