Hazardous Materials

In a disaster, you don’t rise to the occasion, you sink to your lowest level of preparedness. Your level of preparation will determine your reaction to whatever event happens and how well you will recover.

Hazardous Materials Incidents

Before an Incident

➤ Be prepared to evacuate. An evacuation could last for a few hours or several days
➤ Be prepared to shelter-in-place. You may be required to shelter-in-place for several hours

During an Incident

➤ Stay away from the incident to minimize the risk of contamination
➤ Remain uphill and upwind from the source of the hazardous materials
➤ If asked to evacuate your home, do so immediately
➤ Shelter-in-place if requested to stay indoors
➤ Schools may institute shelter-in-place procedures if there is a hazardous materials incident. If so, you will probably not be able to drive to the school to pick up your children. Follow the directions of your local emergency officials
➤ Avoid contact with spilled liquids, airborne mists, or condensed solid chemical deposits

After an Incident

➤ Do not return home until you are told it is safe
➤ When you get home, open windows, vents and turn on fans to ventilate your house
➤ Find out from local authorities how to clean up your land and property
➤ Report any lingering vapors or hazards

Billions of pounds of hazardous materials are transported across Utah’s roadways each year, with more than 400,000 trucks carrying these materials. Some of the most common commodities include flammable liquids (gasoline and other fuels), followed by compressed gasses (propane, etc.) A very small percentage carry radioactive materials. The Division of Homeland Security helps coordinate seven hazmat regional response teams throughout the state. This regional approach provides local communities with a more rapid response to hazmat incidents.

Household Chemical Emergencies

Before a Household Chemical Emergency

➤ Buy only as much of a chemical as you think you will use
➤ Keep products containing hazardous materials in their original containers and never remove the labels unless the container is corroding
➤ Never store hazardous products in food containers
➤ Never mix household hazardous chemicals or waste with other products Take the following precautions to prevent and respond to accidents:
➤ Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the proper use of the household chemical
➤ Never smoke while using household chemicals
➤ Never use hair spray, cleaning solutions, paint products, or pesticides near an open flame
➤ Clean up any chemical spills immediately. Use rags to clean up the spill. Wear rubber gloves, mask, and eye protection. Allow the fumes in the rags to evaporate outdoors, then dispose of the rags by wrapping them in a newspaper and placing them in a sealed plastic bag in your trash can
➤ Dispose of hazardous materials correctly. Take household hazardous waste to a local collection program. Contact the Tooele County Health Department for information

During a household, chemical emergency

Be prepared to seek medical assistance:
➤ Call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 and follow directions
If there is a danger of fire or explosion:
➤ Get out of the residence immediately. Do not waste time collecting items or calling the fire department when you are in danger. Call the fire department from outside (a cellular phone or a neighbor’s phone) once you are safely away from danger.
➤ Stay upwind and away from the residence to avoid breathing toxic fumes
If someone has been exposed to a household chemical:
➤ Find any containers of the substance that are readily available in order to provide requested information. Call emergency medical services.
➤ Follow the emergency operator or dispatcher’s first aid instructions carefully. The first aid advice found on containers may be out of date or inappropriate. Do not give anything by mouth unless advised to do so by a medical professional.
➤ Discard clothing that may have been contaminated. Some chemicals may not wash out completely.

Accidental Poisoning

Before Poisoning

➤ Place Poison Control Number near the phone (1-800-222-1222)
➤ Do not leave children alone or unattended
➤ Be aware of all potential hazards in your home
➤ Never call medicine “candy”
➤ Teach children to ask before putting anything in the mouth
➤ Keep activated charcoal on hand
➤ Keep potentially harmful substances locked up or out of reach of children

After Poisoning

➤ Stay calm
➤ Call the Poison Control Center
➤ Follow Poison Control Center’s instructions

Inhaled Poisoning

➤ Immediately get the victim to fresh air
➤ Avoid breathing fumes
➤ Open doors and windows wide
➤ If victim is not breathing, have someone call 911, then start CPR

Poison on the Skin

➤ Remove contaminated clothing
➤ Flush skin with cool water for ten minutes
➤ Call Poison Control Center
➤ Follow Poison Control Center’s instructions

Poison in the Eye

➤ Flood eye with lukewarm (not hot) water poured from a large glass two to three inches from the eye.
➤ Repeat process for 15 minutes
➤ Call Poison Control Center

Swallowed Poison

➤ Do not give the victim anything to eat or drink
➤ Call Poison Control Center
➤ Follow Poison Control Center’s instructions

Poison Control Center: 1-800-222-1222

Radiation Emergency

During a Radiation Emergency

➤ If you have advanced warning, take your emergency supplies kit and go to an approved shelter or your basement. Huddle close to the floor and as near to a wall as possible. Get under a table for protection from falling objects.
➤ DO NOT attempt to evacuate your shelter until advised
➤ If you see a nuclear flash and feel sudden heat, take cover INSTANTLY, within one to two seconds. Drop to the ground and curl up tightly, covering as many parts of your body as possible.
➤ Go to a shelter once the heat and blast effects have cleared
➤ Never look at the light of a nuclear explosion
➤ Try to get as much time, distance and shielding as possible from the radiation or fall-out (down-wind)

After a Radiation Emergency

➤ Take cover in an underground shelter, basement, etc.
➤ Remove contaminated clothing
➤ Wash yourself thoroughly with soap and water. Wash your head and nose hairs especially well
➤ If source of radiation is known and travel advisable, travel in the opposite direction and go upwind from radiation
➤ Remain in protective shelter for three days. Limit your exposure to contaminated areas
➤ If someone needs radiation sickness treatment, keep the victim calm, give emotional support, and plenty of fluids
➤ Wipe food and water containers with a clean cloth to remove particles of fallout, which resembles sand or salt


Preparing for Terrorism

➤ Wherever you are, be aware of your surroundings. The very nature of terrorism suggests there may be little or no warning. Report suspicious activities immediately to law enforcement authorities. If you “See something, say something.” Describe specifically what you observed including: Who or what you saw, when you saw it, where it occurred, and why it is suspicious.
➤ Take precautions when traveling. Be aware of conspicuous or unusual behavior. Do not accept packages from strangers. Do not leave luggage unattended. Unusual behavior, suspicious packages and strange devices should be promptly reported to the police or security personnel
➤ Do not be afraid to move or leave if you feel uncomfortable or if something does not seem right
➤ Learn where emergency exits are located in buildings you frequent. Notice where exits are when you enter unfamiliar buildings. Note where staircases are located
➤ Assemble an emergency supplies kit at home and learn first aid

Active Shooter Event

“Active Shooter” is a phrase used by law enforcement that describes an armed person actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area. An uncontained active shooter subject uses deadly physical force on individuals and continues to do so while having unrestricted access to additional victims, causing serious injury or death. In most cases, active shooters use firearms and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims. Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly.


AVOID starts with your state of mind.

• Pay attention to your surroundings.
• Have an exit plan.
• Move away from the source of the threat as quickly as possible.
• The more distance and barriers between you and the threat, the better.

DENY when getting away is difficult or maybe even impossible.

• Keep distance between you and the source.
• Create barriers to prevent or slow down a threat from getting to you.
• Turn the lights off.
• Remain out of sight and quiet by hiding behind large objects and silence your phone.

DEFEND because you have the right to protect yourself.

• If you cannot Avoid or Deny, be prepared to defend yourself.
• Be aggressive and committed to your actions.
• Do not fight fairly. THIS IS ABOUT SURVIVAL.

CALL 911 When safe to do so.


➤ Remain calm, and follow officers’ instructions
➤ Avoid pointing, screaming and/or yelling
➤ Immediately raise hands and spread fingers
➤ Do not stop to ask officers for help or direction when evacuating, just proceed in the direction from which officers are entering the premises
➤ Keep hands visible at all times
➤ Avoid making quick movements toward officers such as attempting to hold on to them for safety

• Location of the active shooter
• Number and type of weapons held by the shooter/s
• Number of shooters, if more than one
• Number of potential victims at the location
• Physical description of shooter/s

The best way to prepare is to learn what to do, be aware of your surroundings and the people who are around you, and make the decision to not become a victim, but a survivor. As a result of increased public awareness, many citizens have learned how they can protect themselves and reduce the dangers faced during one of these events.

Cyber Safety


➤Only connect to the Internet over secure, password-protected networks
➤Never click on pop-ups, open attachments, or e-mails from strangers
➤Most organizations will not ask for your personal information over the internet; do not respond to online requests for and Personally Identifiable Information
➤Password protect all devices that connect to the Internet and user accounts


➤If you suspect your system is infected or acting suspiciously, run a security scan of your system
➤If you find a problem, disconnect your device from the internet and perform a full system restore
➤Disconnect your device from the Internet connection to prevent an attacker or virus from being able to access your computer and perform tasks such as locating personal data, manipulating or deleting files, or using your device to attack others
➤If you believe your Personally Identifiable Information has been compromised:

• Immediately change all passwords; financial passwords first
• If you believe the compromise was caused by malicious code, disconnect your computer from the internet
• Restart your computer in safe mode and perform a full system restore
• Contact companies, including banks, as well as credit reporting companies
• Close any accounts that may have been compromised. Watch for any unexplained or unauthorized charges to your accounts

➤File a report with the local police so there is an official record of the incident
➤Report online crime or fraud to your local United States Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force or the Internet Crime Compliant Center
➤Report identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission
➤If your Personally Identifiable Information was compromised, consider other information that may be at risk.
➤Depending on what information was stolen, you may need to contact other agencies. For example, if someone has gained access to your Social Security number, contact the Social Security Administration. You should also contact the Department of Motor Vehicles if your driver’s license or car registration has been stolen.

Chemical Attack

Signs of a chemical attack would include many people suffering from watery eyes, choking, and having trouble breathing and many sick or dead birds, fish, or small animals. If you suspect a chemical attack has occurred:
➤ Avoid the contaminated area. Either get away from the area or shelter-in-place, using the option that minimizes your exposure to the chemical
➤ Wash with soap and water immediately if you were exposed to a chemical
➤ Seek medical attention
➤ Notify law enforcement or health authorities

Biological Attack

A biological attack may not be immediately obvious. Patterns of unusual illnesses or a surge of sick people seeking medical treatment may be the first sign of an attack. If you believe there has been a suspicious release of biological substances:
➤ Quickly get away from the area
➤ Cover your mouth and nose with layers of fabric, such as a T-shirt or towel
➤ Wash with soap and water
➤ Contact local law enforcement or health authorities

The Center for Disease Control has listed the following agents as Category A agents, meaning they pose the greatest potential public health threat: anthrax, botulism, plague, smallpox, tularemia and viral hemorrhagic fevers. Information can also be found with the Tooele County Health Department at www.tooelehealth.org

Thanks to the coordination of security for the 2002 Winter Olympics, Utah is better prepared to prevent and respond to acts of terrorism. In 1999, Governor Michael Leavitt created the Utah Center for Domestic Preparedness by executive order and designated the Division of and Homeland Security to serve as the central coordinating office for domestic preparedness and implementation of weapons of mass destruction protection and prevention programs in the state.

Transportation Disruptions

Other than where we work, and at home, our vehicles are the next place we spend a significant amount of time in. Because so many people in Tooele County commute to other counties it is important to understand what disruptions might happen whether there is a major disaster or not.
Before you leave to travel on the roads in Tooele County it is wise to check traffic reports. Often, knowing what the traffic is like before you leave can enable you to take a different route or be able to wait at home for a little while and possibly telework instead of going in to your place of work. It is important to let the business you work for, know the risks and hazards of the roads in Tooele County, especially during the busy commute times. It may be wise to talk to your supervisor to see if there is a possibility of changing to a flexible work schedule. By using flexible work schedules or compressed workweeks, you can skip rush hour traffic and save yourself some time.
Inevitably there are the occasional vehicle wrecks or other disturbances on the road that you may reduce the flow of traffic. If you do get stuck in traffic remember to stay calm and do not try to rush around other cars. Remember to let emergency vehicles and other authorized vehicles through so that the accident can be cleared quickly and the flow of traffic may begin moving more at correct speeds again.
The most important thing to remember is to stay focused on driving and let all other distractions be left alone. Distracted driving is dangerous. Focus on driving, be aware of the vehicle around you and that may also come upon you quickly.
If there are strong, high winds while you are driving:
• Tune your car’s radio to get the latest weather info. Stay informed of the weather’s movement and path
• Make sure your vehicle’s headlights are on
• Slow down!
• Don’t be distracted by your cell. Stay alert! Turn the cell phone off!
• Be aware of all the vehicles around you. High winds are especially problematic for larger vehicles such as RVs, Semi, Campers, Trailers, Buses, etc.
If there are wet roads or flooding:
• Allow extra distance for braking on wet roads
• Approach and navigate intersections with extreme caution. Be prepared to come to a full stop
• Don’t try to drive through flooded areas. Six inches of water can cause a vehicle to lose control and possibly stall. A foot of water will float many cars.
• Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded – Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.

Preparing your car beforehand to run smoothly and efficiently is a best practice. Always keep you gas tank half full and keep your car tuned and in safe working order. Preparedness, awareness, and common sense are your best protections while driving in any type of weather. Be alert and watchful, listen for weather updates, and be ready and willing to react quickly when bad weather and emergencies occur.

For Road conditions and construction updates, all over Utah, visit www.udot.utah.gov or call 511

Public Health Emergencies

What is a public health emergency?
A “public health emergency” may be defined as an event, either natural or manmade, that creates a health risk to the public.
What are examples of a public health emergency?

Natural disasters

  • Severe weather: storms, heavy rains, lightning strikes
  • Tornado
  • Blizzard
  • Flood
  • Earthquake
  • Disease Outbreaks

  • Influenza outbreak
  • Botulism
  • Salmonella
  • West Nile virus
  • Zika virus
  • SARS
  • Contaminated Drinking Water

  • Biological Threat (deliberate or accidental)
  • Anthrax
  • Small pox
  • Cholera
  • Pneumonic plague
  • Chemical Threat (deliberate or accidental)

  • May be in the form of a gas, solid, or liquid
  • Household chemical
  • Hazardous materials waste
  • Radiological Threat

  • Dirty Bomb (Radioactive materials mixed with a conventional explosive)
  • Nuclear Bomb
  • What does my county health department do in case of a public health emergency?
    The Tooele County Health Department detects and responds to public health emergencies to keep your family safe by:

    • Surveillance or monitoring any health-related changes or patterns
    • Investigating underlying causes
    • Responding as part of a team
    • Providing recovery
    • Planning ahead for emergency situations
    • Educating citizens about emergency preparedness

    “Surveillance” or the tracking of health-related changes or patterns by your local health department team is the foundation of preparedness for a public health emergency. This means health care specialists collect, analyze, and interpret data in order to predict health events.

    The Tooele County Health Department investigates reported illnesses and disease outbreaks and personally interviews victims in order to collect and document illness signs and symptoms. This information helps to develop case definitions so that others suffering from the same infection/contamination can be identified and treated.

    The Tooele County Health Department is ready to respond immediately with the staff, medications, and action plans needed to keep your family safe during a public health emergency. In the event of a public health emergency, your health department team:

    • Responds as part of a countywide team
    • Follows a County Emergency Operations Plan
    • Communicates with the local media to keep you informed

    The Tooele County Health Department provides help and recovery in the aftermath of an emergency or disaster as a partner with other emergency responders. How does your health department team assist?

    • Making sure the food and water supply are safe.
    • Ensuring appropriate sanitation practices are followed.
    • Following up on surveillance issues for infectious disease or radiation exposure.
    • Linking people to community resources.

    Planning Ahead
    The Tooele County Health Department has the staff and action plans in place to keep you and your family safe.

    The Tooele County Health Department educates you and your family about emergency preparedness.

    Where do I go for additional information on a Public Health Emergency?

    • Call the Tooele County Health Department at 435-277-2440
    • Go to the Tooele County Health Department Website at tooelehealth.org
    • Visit the Tooele County Health Department at 151 N. Main Street, Tooele, UT 84074.

    Other Resources for health information

    • Utah Department of Health Website at https://health.utah.org
    • Center for Disease Control Website at www.cdc.gov

    Have a Plan
    ➤ Stock up on supplies for an emergency (see the list in family planning booklet)
    ➤ Make a list for every member of your family of the following items: Current medical problems, prescriptions (include dosages), allergies
    If a disease is severe and widespread
    ➤ You may be asked to stay home from work/school if you are sick
    ➤ Schools, churches, and public gatherings such as sporting events may be cancelled
    ➤ Stores may be closed and food and water may be hard to find
    ➤ Healthcare will be different than it is now. Doctors and hospitals may be overwhelmed and you may be on your own to take care of family members