Disaster Preparedness For Chemical Spill/Oil Spill
In light of the recent and numerous oil spills in Trinidad, here are some guidelines to help persons who may be affected:
PREPARING FOR A CHEMICAL SPILL/OIL SPILL:
Supplies such as plastic sheeting, duct tape, scissors, dust masks, hand gloves, skin crème for itching or skin irritation, basic first aid kit, disposable rubber boots, few bottled water and canned foodstuff etc should be added to your disaster supplies kit.
DURING A CHEMICAL SPILL/OIL SPILL:
1) Listen to the radio or television stations for detailed information and instructions and follow them carefully.
2) Report to the Environmental Management Authority in your area, any odour from an unknown source, discoloured area, dead animals, fumes, flames, sparks or anything of a suspicious nature. These are often signs of the presence of hazardous materials.
3) Stay away from the affected area to minimize the risk of contamination and if asked to evacuate, do so immediately.
4) Avoid inhaling all gases, fumes and smoke.
5) If you are caught outside, stay upstream and upwind; at least ½ mile from the affected area.
6) Do not walk into or touch any spilled liquids, airborne mists or condensed solid chemical deposits.
7) If you are in a motor vehicle, keep windows and vents closed and shut off the air conditioner.
8) If you are requested to stay indoors, close and lock all exterior doors and windows. Turn off air conditioners and ventilation systems.
9) Seal the room by covering each window, door and vent using plastic sheeting and duct tape.
AFTER A CHEMICAL SPILL/OIL SPILL:
1) Leave affected area without walking into or touching any spilled material.
2) Wear rubber boots outdoors.
3) Place exposed clothing and shoes in tightly sealed containers. Do not allow them to come into contact with other materials. Call local authorities to find out about proper disposal.
4) Find out from local authorities how to clean up your land and property.
5) Report any lingering vapours or other hazards to your local emergency services office.
6) Seek medical treatment for unusual symptoms as soon as possible.
7) Follow instructions from local authorities.
8) Remember that some toxic chemicals are odourless.
9) Act quickly if you have come into contact with or have been exposed to hazardous chemicals and do not enter the affected area until the relevant authorities say it is safe to do so.
CALL 62-SPILL (Hotline) OR 682-4113/680-9588 to report incidences in Trinidad.