City of Devils Lake - Devils Lake North Dakota
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Emergency Plan For Disaster
Chemical Spill

There may be a time when an emergency takes place in our community due to an airborne chemical release. The outside air quality may be affected to a point where it is unsafe to be outside or to evacuate from the building you are in. In a case like this, it is usually safer to shelter-in-place until wind disperses the chemical away.

If there is an emergency that is a risk to the public, your local officials will notify you by radio and tv. The outdoor warning sirens may be activated. If you hear the sirens, immediately go inside and tune to a local radio or tv station.

If you are told there has been a dangerous chemical release, there may not be enough time for evacuation. The safest immediate action then is to shelter-in-place while listening for further instructions.

There may be times when there has been no notice, but you still need to take action. Take immediate action if you:

  • Hear a strange sound like an explosion
  • See a vapor cloud
  • Smell a strange odor
  • Feel nauseous or having burning eyes

Shelter-In-Place

  • Go inside, turn on tv or listen to radio stations for further instructions. Keep phone lines free.

  • Close all windows and doors. Chemical Barrel

  • Turn off furnace/air conditioner/exhaust fans.

  • Seal a room using wet towels at base of door. Breathe through a damp towel to filter air.

  • Unless told to do so by authorities:

    DO NOT evacuate or travel

    DO NOT bring home children from school, or other family members from work

    DO NOT call 911 for information (these lines are needed for medical emergencies)

Shelter-In-Place Pre-Planning

It is important that you have a shelter-in-place plan for your home or business. Some key steps in this plan are:

  • Know what doors and windows are likely to be open and assign someone to check and close them.

  • Know where the manual vents are and how to close them.

  • Know where forced air heating/cooling control and power exhaust vents are and how to turn them off.

  • Know what room you will go to and how to seal it.

  • Have a battery-operated radio in room.

  • Know your local news stations.

Shelter-In-Place Kit

You should gather these items together in a box and have ready for any emergency:

  • Plastic for windows
  • Duct tape
  • Towel for under door
  • Drinking water and snacks
  • Radio and batteries
  • Flashlight and batteries

In A Structure

Shut all windows, doors, chimney or fireplace vents. This includes everything that can quickly and easily be closed to prevent the chemical from entering the building you are in.

Turn off forced air heating and cooling systems. Turn off exhaust fans.

Go into a room, preferably one with no or few windows. Higher floors are better. If the incident becomes a prolonged event, sealing doors, windows, vents, etc. in that room with plastic and tape may become necessary. Also, the use of damp towels under doors will help to better seal the room.

You will be given further instructions on emergency procedures.

You will be notified when the emergency is over. Ventilating the building may be recommended after the emergency is over.

In A Vehicle


Close all windows and shut all manual vents. Turn off the heater, AC or ventilation system. Turn on the radio for emergency information.

 

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