Understanding the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG).

Learn about the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) and how it helps first responders secure hazmat incidents safely and effectively.

What is the emergency response guidebook?

Should a hazmat incident occur, it’s essential to take the necessary precautions to secure the scene within the first 30 minutes. Otherwise, the harmful toxins could contaminate the surrounding area and affect people, wildlife, and the environment.

Since cleaning up hazmat spills isn’t simple, the Department of Transportation (DOT) developed the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) to tell first responders like firefighters and police officers precisely what to do when they first arrive at a hazmat incident.

Every few years the ERG is updated to ensure it maintains the latest best practices to contain hazardous spills.

Where can you find the ERG?

According to Hazardous Materials Regulations, any vehicle transporting hazardous materials (hazmat) needs to have emergency response information included on or with the shipping papers. While it doesn’t have to be the Emergency Response Guidebook, the ERG does fulfill this requirement.

For first responders and people who want to stay informed, you can find a digital version of the Emergency Response Guidebook on the DOT website.

However, the electronic version of the ERG doesn’t satisfy the emergency response information requirement inside a vehicle transporting hazardous materials. For that, you’ll need to have a hard copy of the guide in the vehicle, which you can order directly from the DOT or various online retailers.

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