This page is an archive of Ready.gov from July 2006. (back to analysis)
- Click here to view and download the Chemical Threat Visual Guide.
A chemical attack is the deliberate release of a toxic gas, liquid or solid that can poison people and the environment.
Possible Signs of Chemical Threat
- Many people suffering from watery eyes, twitching, choking, having trouble breathing or losing coordination.
- Many sick or dead birds, fish or small animals are also cause for suspicion.
If You See Signs of Chemical Attack: Find Clean Air Quickly
- Quickly try to define the impacted area or where the chemical is coming from, if possible.
- Take immediate action to get away.
- If the chemical is inside a building where you are, get out of the building without passing through the contaminated area, if possible.
- If you can't get out of the building or find clean air without passing through the area where you see signs of a chemical attack, it may be better to move as far away as possible and shelter-in-place.
- If you are outside, quickly decide what is the fastest way to find clean air. Consider if you can get out of the area or if you should go inside the closest building and "shelter-in-place."
If You Think You Have Been Exposed to a Chemical
If your eyes are watering, your skin is stinging, and you are having trouble breathing, you may have been exposed to a chemical.
- If you think you may have been exposed to a chemical, strip immediately and wash.
- Look for a hose, fountain, or any source of water, and wash with soap if possible, being sure not to scrub the chemical into your skin.
- Seek emergency medical attention.
For more information, see "Are you Ready?" from Federal Emergency Management Agency.