FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Recovery officials are cautioning against careless disposal of any hazardous waste Kentuckians may find in remaining storm debris or during post-disaster household cleanup.
Household waste includes contaminated gasoline, oil and items such as floor cleaners, bug spray, drain cleaner, leftover paints, varnishes and similar household chemicals. They are to be disposed of only at authorized collection sites.
Although people use these items safely under normal circumstances, they are toxic and can become deadly if dispersed by a disaster where they could fall into the hands of children who do not understand the danger. Household hazardous waste should never be left for disposal at the curb or anywhere within reach of children or pets.
The Kentucky Division of Emergency Management is working with local governments and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to arrange locations for the safe collection of household hazardous waste. Stay tuned to your local radio stations or check your newspaper for a collection site near you.
Meanwhile, please separate household hazardous waste and store them in a safe place until you can remove them to a collection site. Never burn them or dump them in any body of water.
Flooding often dislodges propane and heating oil tanks. Don't try to handle them yourself. Contact your fuel provider or your local fire department.
Here are some other tips for safe debris removal:
Refrigerators/freezers - If you have an old refrigerator or freezer with a locking door, remove the door so children can't lock themselves inside. With the door removed, the appliance can be safely put curbside for pickup.
Garbage - Separate garbage (food waste, paper waste) from household items such as flooring, carpet, furniture, drywall and small appliances. Separating the garbage will help ensure that it goes to the right place in a landfill.
For more information call your local emergency management office.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.