Hazardous Materials

Hazardous materials are everywhere, in our homes, where we shop, at our work, and on the streets, highways, railways and waterways. They are a routine part of our lives and many have good uses. Simple cleaning chemicals can become hazardous material if not used properly or if they're mixed with other chemicals.  Hazardous materials become a problem when they are released from their appropriate containers and released into the air or water, or if we come in physical contact with them.


What should you do?

 1. Have a plan:

  • If you see an accident or see a vapor cloud, do not walk near it, or touch any spilled liquid. Call 9-1-1 to report it immediately.
  • If you get liquid on you, wash your hands, arms or any other parts of your body that may have been exposed to the chemical.
  • Place any clothing that may have been exposed in a plastic trash bag and take it outdoors, away from you and your family. The authorities will dispose of it for you.
  • Listen to your local radio station and TV for information and specific instructions.

Be prepared to evacuate, but do not take short-cuts. Follow the evacuation routes given. a short-cut may put you in the path of danger. Be sure to closed your car windows and vents while driving.


2. Shelter-in-Place

This is a method to help keep contaminated air out of your home. If you are told to "shelter-in-place" follow this procedure:

  • Gather your family and go inside.
  • Seal the house by closing all doors, windows, and fireplaces. Seal them with duct tape.
  • Turn off fans, heating & conditioning, and any other ventilation systems.
  • Seal gaps/cracks with duct tape or wet towels.
  • If you have more than one level in your house or building, go to the highest area.
  • Listen to your local radio station (1530 AM or 107.3 FM) and TV for information and specific instructions.


What will the City do?

  • A City-wide, official announcement will be made with information and instructions.
  • The Stockton Fire Department Hazardous Materials Team and the Stockton Police Department will respond to stop the spread of the hazardous materials and provide first aid to any victims.

Disaster Preparedness

Disaster preparedness is essential for everyone. Please take the time to develop a plan with your family. Visit the City of Stockton Emergency Preparedness Personal Readiness webpage or the links below for helpful personal safety planning tips.


If you have questions about the City of Stockton Office of Emergency Services, contact Stockton Fire Department Administration or the Office of Emergency Services.

In case of emergency, dial 9-1-1.


External Links

San Joaquin County Office of Emergency Services (SJ- OES)

American Red Cross

California Emergency Management Agency (CALEMA)

F.E.M.A.- Federal Emergency Management Agency

Ready.Gov - Provides disaster preparedness tips

This City of Stockton webpage last reviewed on --- 3/21/2011