Emergency Preparedness for Research Labs

Unexpected emergencies (e.g., broken water lines, extended loss of electricity, tornadoes) at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences can significantly impact research data, samples, personnel and equipment.

It is critical that all labs have an emergency plan to avoid potential scientific impacts that could set research back for days, weeks, months, or even years.  Each lab’s plan should:

  • Describe specific priorities and critical functions (i.e., to prepare, respond, and recover) from an unexpected event
  • Identify and assign key research personnel to respond to an emergency 24/7
  • Identify critical equipment, data, specimens, research materials/processes (e.g., which materials are most valuable or irreplaceable)
  • Take steps to protect specific laboratory assets
    • Know which equipment is on emergency power (red plugs)
    • After notification, come to lab and check freezers, other critical equipment
  • Designate a lab and/or departmental contact to report and update the office of the Vice Chancellor of Research during an emergency.