Hazardous Response Incidents

From industrial chemicals and toxic waste to household products, hazardous materials are part of our everyday lives.

What Is Hazardous Material?

Hazardous materials are substances or materials that, because of their chemical, physical or biological nature, pose a potential risk to life health, or property if they are released. Potential hazards can occur during any stage of hazardous materials use:

  • Disposal
  • Production
  • Storage
  • Transportation
  • Use

Hazardous Materials Transportation & Storage

Hazardous materials of all types are transported daily, in and around this County, by air, water, rail and pipeline. In addition, numerous hazardous materials, to include obsolete chemical warfare agents, are stored in or near Gloucester County. With proper management of these materials, there is little risk to the public, but accidents can and do happen. Knowing the proper procedures to follow in a hazardous materials incident can save lives and prevent unnecessary worry.


Hazardous material incidents include a person affected by fumes due to a chemical reaction of cleaners in the kitchen; a fuel spill on a road as a result of a traffic accident; a chemical release from a storage facility that requires the evacuation or sheltering of thousands of people; or a train accident with tank cars caring very toxic materials that injures, or is lethal, to hundreds of people.

  1. Before
  2. During
  3. After

What to Do Before the Hazardous Materials Incident

  • Know the warning and notification methods what will be used in the event of a hazardous materials incident
  • Read the labels carefully on all household cleaning agents, chemicals and pesticides
  • Learn the "how to" and "don't do" information the manufacturer provides for their products
  • Learn the correct methods to shelter safely in your home
  • Learn the emergency plans for schools and day care centers within your area
  • Find out what will be done with your children if there is a hazardous materials emergency of any type
  • Learn the best evacuation routes from your home in the event of an emergency
  • Have more then one choice because chemical releases will be affected by wind direction
  • Have the recommended emergency supplies on hand
  • Make sure all family members know how to respond during and after a hazardous materials emergency.