Hazardous Material Incident
A major hazardous materials release on or in close proximity to the university could require sheltering or evacuation of all or part of the campus. A sudden release of hazardous materials may allow little time for an organized response.
If time permits, evacuation may be the most appropriate protective action to take. Evacuation would most likely occur on notification from county or city officials responsible for managing the incident. The implementation of this protective action at the University of North Dakota will be closely coordinated with the county/city Operations Center (OC) to ensure the timely integration of the traffic flow from the university campus into the routing designated by the county/city.
Priority use of available campus transportation resources will be allocated first to the disabled and children and then, to the extent available, to others in need. If additional transportation resources are needed, they will be requested through the county/city OC.
In the Case of Hazardous Spills or Leaks
- Remove yourself from the area, and keep others away. Do not walk into or touch any of the spilled substance. Try not to inhale gases, fumes and smoke. If possible, cover mouth with a cloth while leaving the area. Stay away from the accident victims until the hazardous material has been identified. Try to stay upstream, uphill and upwind of the accident.
- Call 9-1-1 immediately on or off campus. Provide dispatcher with information about the spill (location, injuries, type of chemicals, amount).
- Leave immediate area but remain nearby to direct emergency personnel to the affected area.
- Advise others to stay out of the immediate area.
- Assist with obtaining information about the material: material safety data sheet (MSDS), constituents, common use.
In the Case of Nonhazardous Spills or Leaks
- Barricade the area.
- Attempt to contain the spill if possible. Notify University Police at 777-3591 if the material is in danger of entering a storm drain or waterway.
- Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (if necessary) while cleaning the spill.
- Notify the area supervisor.
Authorities will decide if evacuation is necessary based primarily on the type and amount of chemical released and how long it is expected to affect an area. Other considerations are the length of time it should take to evacuate the area, weather conditions and the time of day.
Seal space so contaminants cannot enter.
- Close windows and doors.
- Seal gaps under doorways and windows with wet towels and duct tape.
- Seal gaps around window with duct tape and plastic sheeting or other impervious material.
- Turn off ventilation systems.
Immediately after the in-place sheltering announcement is issued, fill up large containers for an additional water supply, and turn off the intake valve to the building.
If gas or vapors have entered the building, take shallow breaths through a cloth or towel.
Avoid eating or drinking.
Assisting Accident Victims
- Don't try to care for the victims of a hazardous materials accident until the substance has been identified and authorities indicate it is safe to go near victims. After that point you can move victims to fresh air and call for emergency medical care.
- Remove contaminated clothing and shoes and place them in a plastic bag.
- Cleanse victims who have come into contact with chemicals by immediately pouring water over the skin or eyes for at least 15 minutes, unless authorities instruct you not to use water on the particular chemical involved.