TALLAHASSEE - - Governor Charlie Crist has signed a proclamation recognizing February 14-20, 2010 as “Hazardous Materials Awareness Week” in Florida. Joining Governor Crist in commemorating the week is the Florida Division of Emergency Management, in partnership with the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) for Hazardous Materials and the Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs). This year’s theme is: Hazardous Materials Awareness and Safety in Florida’s Schools.
“We are grateful for the Governor’s proclamation of this important week,” said David Halstead, Interim Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. “Outreach events this year will focus on educating Florida’s students on the proper way to manage common hazardous materials found in science classrooms.”
LEPCs are responsible for preparing regional hazardous materials emergency response plans, managing local hazardous materials inventories and information, and performing outreach functions to increase hazardous materials awareness. In Florida, thousands of first responders and local emergency managers have received free training provided and/or coordinated by the LEPCs over the last several years.
2010 Hazardous Materials Awareness Week activities include:
District 2 Local Emergency Planning Committee – Leon and surrounding counties
The District 2 LEPC and the Capital Area Chapter of the American Red Cross along with Leon County Emergency Management, Tallahassee Fire Department and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection will conduct a “Shelter-in-Place” demonstration for the media during Hazardous Materials Awareness Week at the new American Red Cross office (1115 Easterwood Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32311). The demonstration will teach citizens how to create a Shelter-in-Place Kit and to properly use it in the event of a hazardous materials spill or release.
The event will be followed by a question and answer session with the media and will include a static display of the Tallahassee Fire Department’s HazMat Team truck, trailer and equipment. For more information, please contact Chris Rietow at (850) 488-6211 ext 102.
District 3 Local Emergency Planning Committee – Gainesville and surrounding counties
The District 3 LEPC’s goal for the 2010 Hazardous Materials Awareness Week is to increase public and responder safety by ensuring that fire departments have the most up-to-date information on hazardous chemicals being stored by businesses and governmental entities.
The District will offer three seminars during the week on using the new Florida HMIS Online Tier 2 data entry system at the following times and locations:
Workshop 1: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at North Central Florida Regional Planning Council (2009 NW 67 Place, Gainesville, FL 32653).
Workshop 2: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at North Central Florida Regional Planning Council (2009 NW 67 Place, Gainesville, FL 32653).
Workshop 3: Friday, February 19, 2010 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Suwannee River Water Management District (9225 County Road 49, Live Oak, FL 32060 – the corner of US 90 and CR 49).
For more information, please contact Dwayne Mundy at (352) 955-2200, Ext. 108.
District 4 Local Emergency Planning Committee – Duval/Jacksonville and surrounding counties
The District 4 LEPC distributed Science Lab Safety flyers to county emergency managers for dissemination to local area school districts. They also included the School Chemical Cleanout Toolkit for teachers, staff and administrators. Additionally, District 4 LEPC staff will conduct outreach to chemical facility operators during the week to support the Florida HMIS system. For more information, please contact Jason Taylor at (904) 279-0885, Ext. 136.
District 6 Local Emergency Planning Committee – Orlando and surrounding counties
The District 6 LEPC will conduct outreach to Lake Sumter Community College on Tuesday, February 16th and will also be speaking with students across Orange County schools about the benefits of careers in the chemistry field. For more information, please contact April Raulerson at (407) 623-1075, Ext. 335.
District 7 Local Emergency Planning Committee – Central Florida
Members of the District 7 LEPC are working with emergency managers in each associated county to present chemistry safety programs in each school district during the week. Additionally, District 7 is working to provide educational programs to local businesses in Tier II Reporting during the week. For more information, please contact Chuck Carter at (863) 534-7130.
District 8 Local Emergency Planning Committee – Tampa and surrounding counties
District 8 LEPC has scheduled four How-to-Comply/Electronic Tier 2 Filing Workshops in Pinellas Park between February 16th -18th. In addition, District 8 will notify various news media outlets of the Hazardous Materials Awareness Week (HMAW) designation and will provide the proclamations of the Governor, the State Emergency Response Commission and the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council in this regard.
Coinciding with this year’s HMAW theme of promoting science/chemistry in the public high schools, this Region is already blessed with the presence of the introduction of a four-year program at the Pinellas Park High School entitled the First Responders Program. Key elements of this Program include hazardous materials planning and emergency response and would likely spur further career interest both the public and private sector. Additional information and activities are always updated and available on the LEPC website (www.tbrpc.org/lepc). For more information, please contact John Meyer at (727) 570-5151, Ext. 29 or email@example.com.
District 9 Local Emergency Planning Committee – Ft. Myers and surrounding counties
The Southwest Florida local Emergency Planning Committee will disseminate a School Chemical Cleanout Toolkit to local school districts during the week. The toolkit also offers the availability of industry officials, firefighters and emergency responders for addressing chemical safety in schools during the course of the year. For more information, please contact John Gibbons at (239) 338-2250, Ext. 229.
District 11 Local Emergency Planning Committee – Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and surrounding counties
The South Florida LEPC will disseminate a Safety in School Chemistry Labs flyer to area schools and have also created a webpage dedicated to the Week. Visitors can download copies of the School Safety brochure, the Governor’s Proclamation and link to the SERC website at: http://www.sfrpc.com/lepc/hazmatweek10.htm. For more information, please contact Manny Cela at (954) 985-4416.
For more information on Hazardous Materials programs, please visit
http://hazmat.floridadisaster.org/ or contact the State Emergency Response Commission at (800) 635-7179 or (850) 413-9970.