Hazardous Materials Incident

Hazardous materials are substances that can cause harm to people, animals, and/or the environment. 

Chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear are all categories that make up the overarching term "HAZMAT". Hazardous materials may be solid, liquid, or gas, and are used in research, energy, industrial manufacturing, and transportation sectors.

Signs of a Potential HAZMAT Incident

  • Vapor clouds/smoke
  • Odd smells
  • Open flames
  • Traffic accidents involving tankers 

What You Can Do

Prepare before an incident

  • Ensure that you are enrolled in Flash ALERTS and your contact info is current.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • If you work or study in an area that has hazardous materials, be familiar with your response plans.
  • Be familiar with HAZMAT signage.

Respond during the incident

  • If possible, leave the affected area immediately in the direction upwind from the source.
  • If safely leaving is not possible, go indoors immediately and shelter in-place. 
    • Do not leave the safety of shelter to assist others outdoors.
  • Pay attentions to directions from first responders.
  • Avoid contact with exposed individuals until the hazardous material has been identified and interpersonal contact has been determined safe.
  • If instructed to evacuate:
    • Do so immediately.
    • If available, monitor local broadcast media for emergency information.
    • Follow the specific routes given by KSU or first responders; shortcuts and other routes may not be safe. 
    • Carpool with others to minimize traffic congestion.
    • Assist those in need (children, elderly, persons with impaired health, persons without transportation).
  • If you become contaminated, wash thoroughly with soap and water.

Recover after the incident

  • Never return to a once-contaminated area unless told it is safe to do so.
  • It may take several days for a once-contaminated area to be cleared as safe.
  • Expect updates from KSU officials.