DHS S&T Helps Keep Communities Safe From Chemical Hazards During Hurricane Season

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June 7, 2022 | Originally published by Department of Homeland Security on May 31, 2022

WASHINGTON – Extreme weather from hurricanes and tropical storms can devastate communities along the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts, and the threat of subsequent hazard chemical releases can be just as deadly. Damage to physical infrastructure may lead to hazardous materials like ammonia or chlorine being released from containment, which could pose a serious threat to public health, safety, and the environment in the surrounding area. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) actively anticipates and prepares for this possibility.

“As this hurricane season kicks off, we know that the National Hurricane Center is forecasting up to 21 named storms and as many as three to six major hurricanes. We also know this means our federal, state, and local emergency response planners will need actionable information about chemical threats and hazards to be prepared,” said Dr. Shannon Fox, Director of S&T’s Chemical Security Analysis Center (CSAC).

Chemical security experts at CSAC provide a 24/7 Technical Assistance hotline (410-417-0910) and execute crucial modeling and analysis on a variety of chemical hazards, vulnerabilities, and incidents—including tropical storms, hurricanes, and other severe weather conditions.

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