General procedures for responding to incidents involving hazardous materials/weapons of mass destruction.
- REMAIN UPWIND, UPHILL OR UPSTREAM OF THE INCIDENT. FROM A SAFE DISTANCE, ASSESS THE SITUATION. Use binoculars, if available, to view the scene. Attempt to determine if hazardous materials (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive – CBRNE) are present. Be alert for secondary devices meant to harm. Observe and note the following:
- Effects on people, animals, and the environment;
- Container types, markings, placards and labels. Use the North American Emergency Response Guidebook for reference, if available;
- Signs of any released or discharged materials or any unusual or pungent odors. Move farther away or upwind if you are not positive that it is safe;
- Wind direction and prevailing weather;
- Distance and direction of nearby dwellings or other occupied buildings; and
- Distance and direction of any nearby surface water.
- Notify the local authorities (city or county) by dialing 911 where available. Notify StateComm at 1-800-632-8000 or (208) 846-7610 for assistance.
- Do NOT enter an area where you may become a victim, even to rescue another.
- Until help arrives, the initial responders should:
- Cordon off incident area and establish a safe zone. If hazardous materials are suspected, evacuate all persons from the immediate area and remain upwind of the incident area. Call 1-800-632-8000 or (208) 846-7610 for advice.
- Enter the incident area only when properly trained and equipped with appropriate protective clothing and equipment;
- Render first aid to victims if substance is known and it is safe for responders or after decontamination is completed; be sure to notify medical personnel if any exposure to a hazardous material is suspected;
- Establish Incident Command and serve as an on-scene communication point;
- Brief arriving response team leaders, incident commanders and additional responders.