Charleston County Local
Emergency Planning Committee
L E P C
What to do during a Chemical Emergency
Depending on the
situation, emergency personnel could ask you to Shelter in
Place or Evacuate.
Try to stay calm.
Familiarize yourself with this brochure so you will be
better prepared in the future. If your neighbors are
elderly, disabled or have small children, they may
need extra help. It is critical that you monitor your local
radio or TV stations for the latest information and official
With a relatively minor chemical incident, you should go
indoors unless otherwise directed by emergency personnel.
Remain inside until local officials report conditions are
all clear. School officials will shelter your children
while they are in school. Please do not call the
school or go to the school.
If you are at
doors and windows, placing damp towels around any sills or
your heating or air system. Close all vents.
Do not use
your fireplace and make sure to close the dampers.
If you are in a
Go inside a
public building or your home, if possible. Otherwise,
remain in your car.
car windows and vents, turn the air conditioner and heater
and cannot go indoors…
if possible, and stay out of low areas; or
Move crosswind so the wind blows from your left or
right, but not in your face or from behind.
In a chemical incident,
you may be directed to leave and given specific route
instructions. If no route is give, use the shortest path
out of the area.
If you are
asked to evacuate immediately…
Turn off all
electrical and working appliances but keep the
refrigerator and freezer on.
doors and windows. Be sure to lock your house and garage.
Do not use
your phone unless you have a police, fire or medical
Disaster Supplies Kit.
Always have a
Disaster Supplies Kit Ready…
A supply of
water in sealed, unbreakable containers. Replace every six
A supply of
non-perishable packaged or canned food and a non-electric
A change of
clothing, rain gear, sturdy shoes.
pillows, sleeping bags.
A first aid
kit and prescription medications.
battery-powered radio, flashlight, batteries.
cards, cash, car keys, eye glasses.
A list of
important family information including personal
identification and a list of family physicians.
items for infants, elderly or disabled family members.
A note about
If shelters are opened,
their locations will be announced by the media. Do not call
or go to your children’s schools or day care facilities.
Children are the first to be evacuated. Officials will
transport them to the appropriate shelters. You can find
out your children’s location by either monitoring the news
or by speaking with personnel at your shelter.
The Storage and Use of Chemicals at Home
The careless storage and
improper use of chemicals can lead to an accident at home.
These precautions can reduce the possibility of an incident:
Be sure to
separate hazards such as pesticides, fertilizers, as well as
pool and auto supplies, from each other.
flammable liquids like gasoline or kerosene in cool areas
and away from flame and heat producing devices like
furnaces and water heaters.
Try to store
liquid chemicals at floor level to reduce the
of accidental falls and breakage.
At the same
time, make sure to lock cleansers, solvents, medicines, etc.
in a place where children cannon get to them.
unnecessary storage by only purchasing items you will use
In the event
of a chemical emergency at home or if you need to report an
incident, call 911.
If you or
anyone else are involved in a hazardous materials incident,
never attempt to drive to the hospital or doctor for
Medical Services responders are trained to evaluate, treat
and transport people who may have been exposed during a
Questions about hazardous chemicals
are there so many incidents involving hazardous materials
There are not,
really. Far more incidents occur at home, at the office
or in transit than occur at business facilities which
manufacture or use hazardous materials. You may hear
about industrial incidents because they have the
potential to affect many people. Since these incidents
are relatively rare-especially considering the frequency
of other hazards like auto accidents or acts of violence
– they capture our curiosity and make the headlines.
Q Why do we
even have these hazardous materials, and, how are they
Because as consumers, we want the products that are made
from these materials. We have lighter, more
efficient vehicles, lifesaving medicines, wrinkle free
clothing and flame-retardant plastics because of the
hazardous chemicals necessary in their manufacturing.
is being done to reduce the impact of a chemical spill?
Your emergency services agencies – law enforcement, fire
and EMS have training in response to chemical incidents.
Additionally, each emergency service has a response plan
that is coordinated with other area departments in
additional to municipal, county, state and federal
response plans. Local emergency responders are
specially trained and equipped to deal with chemical
releases. All these plans and responders work with
industry to reduce the impact of potential chemical
Charleston County Local Emergency Planning Committee
The LEPC is a
volunteer organization with representatives from private
industries along with public service and emergency
response agencies throughout Charleston County. The
group’s purpose is to develop and maintain a
comprehensive emergency plan to deal with hazardous
materials incidents and to work with facilities to
minimize associated risks.
The LEPC meets the
second Wednesday of each month at 9:30 am. Guest are
welcome to attend. A current schedule, membership
information and the next meeting location are available
Hazardous Materials Division
4045 Bridge View
Drive ( Second Floor)
South Carolina 29405
(843) 958-4071 or
(843) 958-4070 Fax
information on the handling or disposal of chemicals,
contact the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental
Control (SC DHEC) at (843) 740-1590.
LEPC is a partner
S.C. Area Project Impact