If you are involved or observe a hazardous material incident or release, which includes biological, chemical, radiological, fuel and oil, the following steps should be performed:

  • If the incident is indoors, close all doors in order to isolate the area if it is safe to do so.
  • From a safe area, call 911 or the University Police at 205-348-5454.
  • Be prepared to provide the following information regarding the spill or release:

Name of material
Quantity of material
Time of incident
Location of incident
If anyone is injured or exposed to material
If a fire or explosion is involved
Your name, phone number, and location

  • Follow instructions provided by the emergency responders.
  • Arrange for someone to meet the emergency responders.
  • Evacuate, if necessary.  Remain in a safe designated area until released by emergency responders.
  • Present the Material Safety Data Sheet of involved substances to emergency responders if the information is available.
  • Do not attempt to clean up a spill or release.


If you are notified of a hazardous material incident, follow the instructions provided by the emergency service officials:

  • Clear the area immediately if instructed to do so by the emergency providers, providing assistance to those with special needs.
  • When evacuating, move crosswind, never directly with or against the wind.
  • Account for persons in your area.


The Department of Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) oversees and monitors the use of hazardous materials on campus.  More information is available at their web site or at 205-348-5905.


Emergency Response Guide 2016 (pdf)