Hazardous Materials

What to Do

If you are asked to evacuate:

  • Evacuate immediately.
  • Monitor Rice Alert updates closely through your phone and follow emergency guidance.
  • If you have time, minimize contamination to your living area by closing windows and shutting vents.
  • Bring essential items (medications, chargers, etc.) and an emergency kit with you.

If you are caught outside:

  • Stay UP (upstream, uphill, and upwind). Try to go at least one half-mile (8-10 city blocks) from the danger area.
  • Do not walk into or touch any spilled liquids, airborne mists, or condensed solid chemical deposits.
  • Try not to inhale gases, fumes, and smoke. If possible, cover mouth with a cloth or mask while leaving the area.
  • Stay away from accident victims. Allow emergency personnel to manage the situation.

If you are in a motor vehicle:

  • Stop and seek shelter in a building.
  • If you must remain in your car, close car windows and vents and shut off the A/C and heater.

If asked to stay indoors:

  • Bring pets inside.
  • Close and lock all exterior doors and windows. Close vents and as many interior doors as possible.
  • Turn off air conditioners and ventilation systems, or set ventilation systems to 100% recirculation.
  • If gas or vapors could have entered the building, take shallow breaths through a cloth or towel.
  • Avoid eating or drinking food or water that may be contaminated.
  • Seal gaps under and around the following areas with wet towels, plastic sheeting, duct tape, wax paper, or aluminum foil:
    • Doorways and windows
    • A/C units
    • Bathroom and kitchen exghaust fans
    • Stove and dryer vents

Laboratory Guidance:

How to Prepare

How to Recover

  • Monitor Rice Alert and other communication channels for continued emergency information and guidance.
  • Follow decontamination instructions from local authorities.
  • Call REMS at 713-348-6000 to seek medical treatment for unusual symptoms as soon as possible.
  • Place exposed clothing and shoes in tightly sealed containers.
  • Advise everyone who comes in contact with you that you may have been exposed to a toxic substance.
  • Return home only when authorities say it is safe. Open windows and vents and turn on fans to provide ventilation.
  • Following a laboratory accident at Rice, file an Incident Report with EH&S.