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2001 CAER.
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Personal Action Guide - Chemicals


A chemical emergency can happen anywhere - in the Chemical Valley, on the highway or railroad, or at some other location in our community. Your family should be prepared to respond to warning anywhere, at any time.

Locate all shut off-switches for heating and ventilating equipment in your home. (In certain situations, any spark could be dangerous, and channeling outside air into the home could be harmful.) Flag these switches with brightly coloured tags or tape. List them here:



Air Conditioning:


Show all family members how to shut off and restart these pieces of equipment.

Locate all pilot lights. List them here:

Stove burners:




Gas Dryer:


Show all family members how to safely extinguish and re-light all pilot lights. Review evacuation procedures.

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If you witness what you believe to be a chemical emergency situation:

Move to a safe location. Then notify the nearest Fire or Police Department of the exact location and nature of the emergency. In our area the phone number to call is: 911

If you are at home:

  • Stay calm. Assemble all people and pets at the agreed upon meeting place in your home.
  • Do not jump in your car and attempt to evacuate!
  • Turn your radio on to (station & frequency):
  • Our emergency radio is located:
  • Extra batteries are located:
  • If advised that the emergency may involve a spill that endangers drinking water, immediately obtain tap water for future use. Fill a bathtub.
  • Our emergency supply of bottled water is located:

  • If advised that the emergency may involve potentially toxic fumes, take the following precautions:
  • Close all doors and windows tightly.
  • Turn off all heating and ventilating equipment listed on page 3.
  • Extinguish all pilot lights listed on page 3.
  • Extinguish all fireplace fires, and do not use matches or lighters.
  • Close all fireplace dampers.
  • Close draperies and curtains.
  • Wet several towels and place them at the base of doors leading to the outside. Moisten more towels and use them over your nose and mouth to filter the air you breathe.
  • If your children are in school or daycare, do not attempt to bring them home. School officials will be notified if an emergency exists, and will begin the proper procedures to protect the children in their care.
  • DO NOT USE THE TELEPHONE except in an extreme emergency (calling for assistance if ill or disabled). Phone lines should be left open for emergency communications.


  • Refer to Emergency Evacuation Procedures. DO NOT EVACUATE UNLESS INSTRUCTED TO DO SO by radio or emergency personnel.

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If you are not at home:

  • Seek appropriate shelter. In public buildings, determine who is in charge and follow their instructions. Your calm, orderly behaviour will set an example for others, and help avert panic.


If you cannot get indoors:

  • Determine wind direction. If you are DOWNWIND of the site of the emergency, move quickly in a crosswind direction (so the wind is blowing against the side of your face). If you are UPWIND of the site of the emergency, move further up wind until you reach shelter or until you are picked up by rescue personnel.
  • If you detect fumes, wet a piece of clothing with water, and use it as a filter over your nose and mouth.
  • Special notes for our family:

When the "All Clear" is issued ....

  • Open doors and windows, restart ventilating equipment and move outdoors immediately. Do not restart pilot lights until your home has been well ventilated.
  • If you have experienced unusual physical symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.


Emergency Evacuation Procedures

DO NOT EVACUATE UNLESS INSTRUCTED TO DO SO BY RADIO, TV OR EMERGENCY PERSONNEL. Exposure to chemicals could put you at risk, and unnecessary traffic could hamper emergency operations.

KNOW THE EVACUATION ROUTE from your home and from your place of work, as it is specified in your community's emergency evacuation plan. For information on the plan specific to your immediate neighbourhood, call the Lambton CAER office, at (519) 336-3656. If there is no evacuation route for your location, you should be prepared to take the most direct route to a major highway, and travel away from the area, in a safe, crosswind direction.

Depending on the nature and location of the chemical emergency, evacuation routes may be altered. LISTEN CAREFULLY TO EVACUATION INSTRUCTIONS AS THEY ARE BROADCAST, AND FOLLOW THEM EXACTLY.

IF YOU MUST EVACUATE, assemble only the essential items you will require for the short term. No matter how important your possessions are, your health and safety take precedence. Take items appropriate to the care, feeding and entertainment of infants and young children. Pets should be caged or on a short leash. Don't forget any necessary medications or prescription drugs.

List essential items here:

Leave your home locked. Do not restart heating, ventilating or pilot lights.

Once on the road, exercise courtesy and common sense. Obey the instructions of emergency personnel who are directing or redirecting traffic. Do not attempt to collect family members from other locations. They will be following the evacuation procedures appropriate to their location. Your safety and the safety of those in your immediate care, should be your primary concern.

Family members may become separated during evacuation procedures, or they may be evacuated to different safe shelters. Determine now the name of a friend or relative in another community who will serve as your family's "outside contact." Once phone lines are available, each family member should check in with that person, to exchange information on the location of all family members.

Our outside contact is:





Route / Destination:


Route / Destination:


Route / Destination:

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