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Man-Made Disasters

Man-made disasters involve hazardous materials typically related to accidental disasters at fixed facilities and transportation accidents.

Accidental Man-Made Disasters

Emergency management experts agree that transportation-related accidents probably pose the biggest threat to the public. Traffic carrying hazardous materials moves through various areas every day, via highways and rail lines. Significant air traffic flies over us. Even accidents involving ordinary cars and trucks can cause a sizable emergency. And fires can escalate into disasters, depending on their size and location.

Understand what it means to shelter in place and to evacuate. In the event of an accident involving hazardous materials, your safety will depend on following instructions from first responders about whether to stay or go.

Evacuate Or Shelter In Place?

In a serious emergency, emergency responders will advise you to do one of two things:

  • Evacuate
  • Shelter in place

Shelter in place simply means, "stay home!" In situations involving a hazardous materials release, you may be asked literally to "seal" your home.

Find detailed information about whether to stay put or to evacuate.

A natural instinct may be to flee in an emergency, however, emergency personnel may recommend sheltering in place – staying home –  instead. Sheltering in place may be the safest and most appropriate response for these kinds of disasters. Always listen to emergency responders.