Emergency Preparedness and Procedures


Your business must be maintained and operated to minimize the possibility of a release of hazardous waste to the air, soil, or surface water which could threaten human health or the environment.

Employees handling hazardous waste must have access to either an alarm system, a communications system, or be in voice contact with another employee. If one employee is working alone, he shall have access to a telephone or two-way radio to summon external assistance.

The owner/operator must maintain adequate aisle space to allow the unobstructed movement of personnel, fire protection equipment, spill control equipment and decontamination equipment in case of emergency.

 Emergency Equipment

 The following emergency equipment should be provided and maintained at your job site.

  • Portable fire extinguishers
  • Fire control equipment
  • Spill control equipment
  • Decontamination equipment
 Spills, Releases, Fires or Explosion Emergency Procedures

If your business has a hazardous waste spill, release, fire or explosion, you must report this release as follows:

  1. Notify your local fire department (911) and the Hazardous Materials Division at (858) 505-6657
  2. Additionally in every situation which threatens human health or the environment a notification must be made to the California Office of Emergency Services (OES) Warning Center at 1-800-852-7550, and provide the following information:
  • Name and telephone number of person reporting
  • name and address of the facility
  • Time and type of incident
  • Name and quantity of hazardous material(s) involved
  • Extent of injuries
  • Possible hazard to human health and the environment outside the facility 

During the emergency, you must take all reasonable measures to ensure that fires, explosions, and chemical releases do not spread. These measures may include:

  • Stopping operations
  • Collecting and containing released waste; and
  • Removing or isolating chemical containers.

For additional Spill Reporting information visit:
California Office of Emergency Services (formerly California Emergency Management Agency) 
County of San Diego Spill and Release Reporting webpage

 Business Plans or Emergency Contingency Plans

Every hazardous waste generator is required to have an emergency contingency plan (business plan) designed to minimize hazards to human health and the environment from fires, explosions, or an unplanned release of hazardous waste to air, soil, or surface water. The plan shall be carried out immediately whenever a fire, explosion or unplanned chemical release occurs. All business plan forms are required to be submitted through the California Environmental Reporting System (CERS) website.  Templates for business plan forms are available from the HMD Forms link below.