Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT)

Hazardous materials are common in Alachua County because they are used by industry, business, government and private citizens on a daily basis. If a material, either alone or in combination with other substances, has the potential to damage human life it is considered hazardous.

The following preparedness information is from the North Central Florida Local Emergency Planning Committee and is printed in the front of the local telephone directories.

If told to "PROTECT YOUR BREATHING":
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a damp handkerchief or if possible, a large wet bath towel or cloth.
If told to "SHELTER IN PLACE":
  • Go inside. Stay there until your radio or TV stations report that you may leave.
  • Close all doors and windows. Use masking tape or damp towels to seal the openings if possible.
  • Turn OFF heating, cooling and ventilation systems.
  • Do not use fireplaces. Put out the fire. Close the dampers.
  • Do NOT go to school to pick up your children. They will be safe with school officials who are prepared to take special care of them.
  • Listen to your radio or television stations for further instructions.
If told to "EVACUATE":
  • Stay as calm as possible.
  • Gather items you and your family will need such as:
    • Extra clothing, eyeglasses, prescription drugs, other important medicines and a first aid kit.
    • Baby and children supplies for at least three (3) days.
    • Portable radio and flashlight.
    • Checkbook, credit cards, drivers license or other identification.
  • Turn OFF the lights and your household appliances. Leave your refrigerator and freezer ON.
  • Move to the place designated by public authorities.
  • When you leave, tie a towel or rag on your front door handle so that law enforcement and rescue personnel will know you are not inside.
  • Keep your car vents and windows closed. Do not use the heater or air conditioner. Drive carefully! Be patient with fellow drivers.
  • If you need a ride go with a friend, relative or neighbor. Ask law enforcement officials for transportation if nothing else is available.
  • If your children have to leave their schools, you will be told by the radio and TV stations where to pick up your child when it is safe.
Preparedness Brochures:
Links: