Lab Preparedness Considerations

Due to the possible inclement weather one of our partner agencies, Environmental Health & Safety, has prepared a list of considerations for you and your lab. Keep in mind that utility services may be altered or completely unavailable, including water, electricity, vacuum systems, steam, and natural gas. Weather systems like these can cause conditions to deteriorate rapidly including an unexpected water pipe break causing flooding. Make your preparations now. The following list is developed to help you prepare your lab and protect your equipment. 

Consider the following:

  • Complete existing experiments to a termination point.

    • Do not start any new experiments.

    • Shut down equipment if hazardous conditions may result from loss of utilities (i.e., loss of coolant, vacuum, or steam for autoclaves).

  • If you plan to complete experiments during the inclement weather event:

    • Be prepared to terminate experiments immediately if conditions deteriorate.

  • Plug  refrigerators and freezers into emergency power where available. Red outlets are typically connected to emergency power. Avoid opening freezers and refrigerators to maximize cooling ability.   

  •  Secure and protect valuable research samples, radioactive isotopes, biohazardous agents, recombinant materials, and hazardous chemicals to prevent breakage and release.

  • Secure chemical, radioactive, and biological waste.

  • Fill Dewars and cryogen reservoirs for critical sample storage.

  • Confirm arrangements have been made for the care of laboratory animals.

  • Remove equipment, chemicals, wastes, and supplies from the floor in areas that may flood.

  • Ensure all gas cylinders are secure. Cylinders not currently in use should be capped and secured.

  • Clear out fume hoods and close sashes.

  • Remove/elevate items off of the floor.

  • Cover and secure or seal vulnerable equipment with plastic.

  • Check emergency phone numbers on lab signs. Notify EHS if lab sign contact information needs to be updated.

Closure Information

To find out more emergency information or about current campus closures, you may do one of the following:

View the decision-making process for closure due to weather events.