A book that you should have if you live near a railroad, major highway or industrial area is the Emergency Response Guidebook. This is a guidebook for first responders in any type of hazardous materials incident. The book provides the codes to read the diamond shaped plaques that are located on the sides of vehicles carrying hazardous or dangerous materials.
It helps you to identify the material and provides you with information on health hazards, dangers of fire and explosion and evacuations distances. With this book and a pair of binoculars, you can stand off at a distance read the plaques and identify the hazards. You can then evacuate to a safe distance. This book is carried on almost every fire truck in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
The 2008 edition is available for purchase on the internet or can be downloaded for free from the following site http://bit.ly/pRqQ1n.