Home Chemical & Major Chemical Emergencies

Chemicals are a natural and important part of our environment. Even though we often don't think about it, we use chemicals every day. They can be found in our kitchens, medicine cabinets, basements, and garages. Chemicals help us keep our food fresh and our bodies clean. They help our plants grow and fuel our cars. And chemicals make it possible for us to live longer, healthier lives.

Home Chemical Emergencies
A home chemical emergency arises when chemicals are used improperly. Some chemicals that are safe, and even helpful in small amounts, can be harmful in larger quantities or under certain conditions. In fact, most chemical accidents occur in our own homes, and they can be prevented.

Major Chemical Emergencies
A major chemical emergency is an accident that releases a hazardous amount of a chemical into the environment. Accidents can happen underground, on railroad tracks or highways, and at manufacturing plants. These accidents sometimes result in a fire or explosion, but many times you cannot see or smell anything unusual.

In the event of a major chemical emergency, you will be notified by the authorities. To get your attention, a siren could sound, you may be called by telephone, or emergency personnel may drive by and give instructions over a loudspeaker. Officials might even come to your door.

More Information
Learn more about your risk of chemical emergencies by contacting your local poison control center, local authorities on hazardous materials, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Brownsville Office of Emergency Management, your local emergency manager, or local American Red Cross chapter.