Before, During and After

Hazardous materials come in the form of explosives, flammable and combustible substances, poisons and radioactive materials. Hazards can occur during production, storage, transportation, use or disposal. You and your community are at risk if a chemical is used unsafely or released in harmful amounts into the environment where you live, work or play. 

Although the risk of a chemical accident related to household products is slight, knowing how to handle household products containing hazardous materials or chemicals can reduce the risk of injury. For more information visit Household Chemical Emergencies page on Ready.Gov for additional information.


DURING a Hazardous Materials Incident

If you discover a spill report it quickly to ensure the protection of public health and the environment. Report spills to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC). The Anchorage ADEC office covers the Kenai Peninsula Borough and can be reached at (907) 269-3063.

Spills from residential heating oil tank systems and the resulting contamination are ongoing and widespread problems across Alaska. The ADEC works with numerous property owners every year to cleanup spills caused by leaking or failed home heating oil tank systems. In addition to the negative impact to the environment, residential heating oil spills can be expensive for the property owner, both in terms of cleaning up the environment and also the value of the lost fuel. Property values may also be diminished in association with contamination that has not been addressed.


If you are: Then:
Asked to evacuate
  • Do so immediately.
  • Visit the ADEC Active Spill Response page for incident information.
  • Take pre-assembled disaster supplies.
  • Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance - infants, elderly people and people with access and functional needs.
Caught Outside
  • Stay upstream, and upwind. In general, try to go at least one-half mile from the danger area.
  • Do not walk into or touch any spilled liquids, airborne mists, or condensed solid chemical deposits.
  • Stay away from accident victims until the hazardous material has been identified and safe procedures for rescue have been identified.
  • If in a car, stop and seek shelter in a permanent building. If not possible, keep car windows and vents closed and shut off the air conditioner and heater.
Shelter in Place
  • Bring pets inside.
  • Close and lock all exterior doors and windows. Close vents, fireplace dampers, and as many interior doors as possible.
  • Turn off air conditioners and ventilation systems, or set ventilation systems to 100 percent recirculation so that no outside air is drawn into the building.
  • If gas or vapors could have entered the building, take shallow breaths through a cloth or a towel.
  • Avoid eating or drinking any food or water that may be contaminated.
  • Go into your pre-selected shelter room.
  • Seal gaps under and around the following areas with wet towel, plastic sheeting, duct tape, wax paper or aluminum foil: doorways and windows, air conditioning units, bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans, stove and dryer vents with duct tape and plastic sheeting.


After a Hazardous Materials Incident

Act quickly if you have come in to contact with or have been exposed to hazardous chemicals.

Follow decontamination instructions from local authorities or follow directions in the products Safety Data Sheet.

Seek medical treatment for unusual symptoms as soon as possible.

Place exposed clothing and shoes in tightly sealed containers.

Advise everyone who comes in to contact with you that you may have been exposed to a toxic substance.

Return home only when authorities say it is safe.

Open windows and vents and turn on fans to provide ventilation.

Find out from local authorities how to clean up your land and property.

Report any lingering vapors or other hazards to Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation at (907)269-3063.


BEFORE an Incident Occurs, Prepare and Prevent

  1. How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
  2. What is my shelter plan?
  3. What is my evacuation route?
  4. What is my family/household communication plan?

Many communities have Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) whose responsibilities include collecting information about hazardous materials in the community and planning made available to the public upon request. For more information visit the Kenai Peninsula Borough's LEPC webpage.

The following are things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your property from the effects of a hazardous materials incident:


Visit the ADEC website for Home Heating Oil Tank Guidance for information to prevent heating oil spills. By taking the preventative measures, property owners with residential fuel oil tank systems can greatly reduce the chances of having a heating oil spill.

once around poster


The following fact sheets have been provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the American Red Cross.

Hazardous Materials Accidents Fact Sheet 
Hazardous Materials in the Home Fact Sheet