FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Jan. 15, 2016
CONTACT: HSEMDPIO@iowa.gov or (515) 725-3231
Gov. Branstad designates Jan. 17-23 as Hazardous Materials Awareness Week
DES MOINES – Governor Terry Branstad has designated the week of Jan. 17-23, 2016, as Hazardous Materials Awareness Week in Iowa.
It is the fifth year that the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMD) and the Iowa Emergency Response Commission (IERC) will recognize the third full week in January as Hazardous Materials Awareness Week. The goal of the week is to provide Iowans a better understanding about hazardous materials, their proper use, storage, and disposal, and the emergency response actions that can help minimize unnecessary accidents and exposure.
Nearly all households and businesses use products that contain hazardous materials, and hazardous materials are transported on our roadways, railways, and waterways daily. Knowing how to handle such products and how to react during an emergency can reduce the risk of illness, injury or death.
Household hazardous materials
Household hazardous materials are found in most of our homes. These products are either toxic, flammable, corrosive, reactive, or a combination of these properties, and have warning labels that contain the following words: Caution, Danger, Poison, or Warning.
Some things you can do to ensure your family’s safety:
- Store all household products according to the instructions on the label.
- Keep chemicals and medication out of reach of children.
- Never mix household chemicals together!
- Read the instructions on how to dispose of chemicals properly. If possible, recycle or reuse leftover hazardous materials. Learn how to safely store, or dispose specific materials on the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ website at www.SafeSmartSolutions.org.
- Put the number of the Iowa Poison Control center by the telephone, and save it in your mobile phone: 1-800-222-1222 (Voice/TTY)
Brochures and fact sheets about hazardous materials safety are available for download on the Ready Iowa website, and additional information can be found on HSEMD’s Facebook page and Twitter feed, where updates will be posted throughout the week using the hashtag #IowaHMAW.
The Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management leads, coordinates and supports homeland security and emergency management functions in order to establish sustainable communities and ensure economic opportunities for Iowa and its citizens.
A PDF of the proclamation can be found here. The text of the proclamation is as follows:
WHEREAS, the safe use of hazardous materials is essential to citizens, businesses, industry and local governments to maintain economic stability and the public health; and
WHEREAS, it is essential for local governments and the local emergency planning committees (LEPCs) to work together to keep their communities safe by educating the public; and
WHEREAS, citizens need to know that local governments, businesses, emergency responders and emergency planners are working together to ensure that our communities are as prepared as possible for both accidental and deliberate releases of hazardous materials; and
WHEREAS, knowledge of chemical hazards, employee safety training, proper use and storage of hazardous materials, and proper emergency response actions can help minimize unnecessary incidents and exposure to hazardous materials; and
WHEREAS, hazardous materials are manufactured, stored, used, or transported in every community of our state; and
WHEREAS, accidents involving chemicals and other hazardous materials do occur; and
WHEREAS, the Iowa Emergency Response Commission (IERC), created by statute in 1989, is responsible for implementation of the Federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA); and
WHEREAS, EPCRA is designed to help communities prepare for and respond to emergencies involving hazardous substances and every community must be a part of a comprehensive plan:
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terry E. Branstad, Governor of the State of Iowa, do hereby proclaim the week of January 17-23, 2016, as
HAZARDOUS MATERIALS AWARENESS WEEK
in Iowa, and urge all Iowans to learn about the dangers involved in hazardous materials releases and accidents, and what actions they should take to prevent injury to themselves and their families.