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Hazardous Materials

We use hazardous materials in homes and businesses every day. Any material that can explode, start a fire, be poisonous or radioactive is hazardous. There are many precautions in place to ensure hazardous materials are used, stored, and moved safely in Jacksonville. But, spills can and do happen. Emergency personnel can manage small spills with few impacts to the public. But, if there is a large hazardous material spill, emergency officials will tell you what to do to stay safe.
During A Hazardous Materials Incident

Stay informed and do what officials say: 

  • Call 911 to report a hazardous materials incident.
  • If you are in the immediate area of a spill, follow the instructions of the first responders on the scene.
  • Check local news for for detailed information and follow instructions carefully. Remember that some toxic chemicals are odorless. 
  • Sign up for ALERTJAX notifications and follow JaxReady on Twitter, Facebook, and Nextdoor.
Shelter In Place If Officials Tell You To
If there is a large hazardous materials incident affecting your area, officials may ask you to "shelter in place."
  • Go inside as quickly as possible.
  • Bring pets inside.
  • Go to a room with the least number of doors and windows. 
  • Seal openings in windows, doors, air conditioning units, exhaust fans, and stove & dryer vents. 
  • Stay in place until officials say it's safe or "all clear."
Evacuate If Officials Tell You To
  • If there is a spill indoors, try to get out of the building without exposing yourself to the material.
  • Once outside, stay upwind of the incident area.
  • Follow the instructions of officials and first responders.
  • Return home only when officials say it is safe. Open windows and vents, and turn on fans to provide ventilation. 
After A Hazardous Materials Incident
  • Follow decontamination instructions from officials.
  • Advise anyone who comes into contact with you that you may have been exposed to a toxic substance.
  • Find out from officials how to clean up your land and property.
  • Report any lingering vapors or other hazards to local officials. 
Protect Yourself If You Have Been Exposed To Chemicals
Call for help:
  • Call 911 to report a hazardous materials incident.
  • For more information on what to do if you have been exposed, call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.
Remove Clothing:
  • Try not to touch the contaminated area of the clothing.
  • Don't pull clothing over your head. Instead, cut or rip off clothing.
  • Put clothes inside a plastic bag. 
  • If necessary, emergency officials will arrange for further disposal.
Wash Yourself:
  • As soon as possible, wash your entire body with soap and water.
  • If your eyes are burning or your vision is blurred, rinse your eyes with water for 10 to 15 minutes.
Seek Medical Treatment:
  • If you experience any unusual symptoms, seek medical treatment right away. 

More resources: 

Poison Control Center: 1-800-222-1222
Disposing of houshold hazardous waste