Chemical or Hazardous Materials Spills

  • Any spill of a chemical or radioactive material is to be reported immediately to the University Department of Public Safety at extension 911.
  • Be specific about the nature of the material and the location. Responders trained in chemical spill containment techniques will be contacted.  They will begin containment immediately.
  • Risk assessment should be conducted immediately. Stop, look, listen and think before taking any action.
  • Do not walk into or touch spilled liquids, airborne mists or solid chemical deposits. Try not to inhale gases, fumes or smoke.  Cover the mouth and nose while evacuating.
  • If asked to evacuate the area, do so immediately and contact DPS at extension 911 from a campus phone. Move quickly to the nearest exit and tell others to do the same.
  • Once outside, move to an assembly area away from the affected building(s). At a minimum distance of 1,000 to 1,500 feet UPHILL and UPWIND of the spill area.

  • Check in with an assembly area coordinator, co-worker, or Building Coordinator.
  • Keep streets and walkways clear for responding emergency vehicles and personnel.
  • If requested, assist the University Department of Public Safety and/or the Building Coordinator.
  • DO NOT RETURN TO AN EVACUATED BUILDING unless directed to do so by the University Department of Public Safety or the Building Coordinator.
  • Only persons trained in chemical spill containment techniques should begin spill containment. DPS should be notified of the containment actions and kept apprised of the process.
  • A Decontamination Station may be set up near the spill site. If you have been contaminated by the spill, report for decontamination as soon as possible.
  • Anyone who may be contaminated by the spills should avoid contact with others as much as possible. These persons should follow the procedures for removing the contamination as directed by trained personnel. 
  • Required first aid and contaminate removal should only be conducted by trained personnel.


            A situation may arise where emergency responders will tell you to ‘shelter in place.’ This means that the emergency situation at hand is such that it is safer for you to stay indoors and take sheltering precautions, than to evacuate the area. If this occurs, close and lock all exterior doors and windows; close vents, fireplace dampers, and interior doors.  If your building contains a pre-selected haz-mat shelter room, go to that room. This room should be above ground and have the fewest openings to the outside. 

            Turn off air conditioners and ventilation systems. In large buildings, set ventilation systems to 100 percent recirculation so that no outside air is drawn into the building. If this is not possible, ventilation systems should be turned off.  Seal gaps under doorways and windows with wet towels or plastic sheeting and duct tape. Seal around window and air conditioning units, exhaust fans, stove and dryer vents with duct tape and plastic sheeting, wax paper or aluminum wrap. Use material to fill cracks and holes in the room, such as those around pipes. If gas or vapors could have entered the building, take shallow breaths through a cloth or a towel.  Avoid eating or drinking any food or water that may be contaminated. Remain in the shelter until emergency responders tell you that it is safe to leave. If a medical emergency occurs while sheltering, contact DPS for immediately for assistance.


(573) 651-2215

1401 N. Sprigg Cape Girardeau
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701