Disaster Emergency Plans

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1 Disaster Emergency Plans

2 Disaster Emergency Plans for Veterinary Medical Unit at the VA Long Beach The VMU provides animal procurement, husbandry, health care, and scientific support for using animals in teaching and research. The VMU is also responsible for emergency planning and implementation with regard to the research animals. This manual will serve as a Disaster Emergency Plan in addition to the Emergency Preparedness Manual established by VA Long Beach Medical Center. Animal Observation and Health Maintenance... 1 Food... 1 Water... 1 Personnel to Care for Animals... 1 Communications Bomb Threat/Bombing... 3 Breakdown of Air Handling System... 4 Break In... 5 Fire... 6 Flood... 6 Earthquake... 8 Interruption of Water Supply... 9 Interruption of Steam Supply... 9 Power Outage... 9 Protests Against Animal Research/Animal Activist Threat Tornado Emergency Phone Numbers Campus Map Safe Drinking Water in an Emergency Emergency Plans I

3 Animal Observation and Health Maintenance All animals on campus are specifically bred for laboratory research. The health and welfare of these animals are the primary goal of the VMU. All other elements listed are necessary for adequate maintenance of the animals. The animal technicians observe the animals under their care on a daily basis and report abnormalities to the veterinarian. Failure to observe the animals may result in conditions being left untreated. Personnel are needed to observe the animals in a timely manner and adequate lighting and power is needed for proper observations to occur. Food Research animals must be ensured a continuous supply of food, which maintains a constant nutrition formula. Several research projects utilize specialized diets that have been specifically altered or vary in only one ingredient. Water Animals must have a continuous supply of water. The water supply to all animal facilities on campus is obtained from the Long Beach Water Department chlorinated/fluorinated water supply. All dog kennels and rabbit cages have automatic watering devices. Rodents have bottled water on their cages and mice that are housed on the automatic rack have automatic watering devices. Water is also essential for washing caging and equipment and other sanitation purposes. Inadequate water pressure adversely affects the level of sanitation by allowing bacteria and viruses to remain on the equipment and multiply. This will cause serious health problems for the animals and the technicians caring for them. Water is also needed for purposes such as flushing toilets and washing hands after working with the animals. Lack of adequate water supplies can cause life-threatening situations in the research populations. Most mammals can survive without food for days to weeks, but cannot live beyond 2-3 days without water. The availability of water is even more important for rodents that have a higher basal metabolic rate. Personnel to Care for Animals Currently the animal care section includes a Veterinarian and Animal Caretakers. Failure to maintain this staff due to lack of transportation to work, the need to remain with and care for their families and homes, needed rest from working excessively long hours in the facility, and a lack of personal food and water supply, could result in difficulty in maintaining proper standards of animal care. Communications The Veterinarian can be reached by cellphone or and the senior animal caretaker has an emergency pager. The Animal Technicians provide weekend and holiday coverage. Emergency phone numbers are posted on the VMU office door. Emergency Plans 1

4 Environmental support is dependent upon continuous electric power and a correctly functioning HVAC system. For emergency power outages, there are back-up generators. It is extremely important to maintain the temperature and humidity of the animal rooms within targeted thermo-neutral zones. This is the environment at which the animals are best adapted physiologically, causing the least affect on animal metabolism and behavior. Currently the animal rooms are maintained at temperatures that range from 68 to 75 degrees o F and a humidity level between 40 and 70 percent. Complete air exchanges range between 10 and 15 changes per hour. Light cycles are set at 12 hrs light and 12 hrs dark. Failure in any one component of the environmental support can have adverse impact ranging from minor annoyance to death of animals. Extreme fluctuations/alterations in temperature and humidity will alter the physiologic parameters of the animal that can result in death. Alterations in light cycles may result in loss of or invalidation of important research data. HVAC system disruption may cause health problems (respiratory disease) in animals and employees as well as an accumulation of annoying odors and/or harmful fumes. Established sanitation procedures and the supply of 100% fresh air exchange maintain control of contamination. Equally important is proper storage of food supplies, refrigeration of carcasses, and adequate clean water supply and sewer support. Failure of contamination control could result in significant health problems in the animals and employees. Control is dependent upon personnel to follow established sanitation procedures. Power and water is needed to operate sanitizing equipment. The VMU is located on federal property with 24-hr, 7 days-a-week security provided by the onsite VA Police and Service. Access to the Medical Center site is controlled through five gates in the perimeter fence. VA Police conduct foot and car patrols throughout the entire facility. The animal facility is directly accessible through use of individual access control key cards. These card keys are controlled and distributed by Police and. Research investigators are contacted when a problem arises with the condition of their animals such as health problems, power outages, and temperature changes. In the event of emergency situations, researchers are contacted as soon as possible. If contact with the investigator is not possible, it may result in not having input from them as to necessary changes that may be needed to maintain proper animal care. This could result in loss of important data for research projects. Emergency Plans Page 2

5 Bomb Threat/Bombing If a bomb threat is received, the call should be immediately reported to the VA Police (x5000). The VA Police will determine what action should be taken in the event of a bomb threat (evacuation of building, etc.). Animal Observation and Health Maintenance All animals will be checked as soon as the fire and VA police personnel permit access to the facility. Animals suffering from injuries or smoke inhalation will be examined as quickly as possible and treated or euthanized as necessary. Dead animals will be removed from cages and placed in the cold room. If the bomb damages the cold room, the carcasses will be taken to a cold room in another building and stored until arrangements for disposal can be made. If a bomb (or subsequent fire) has destroyed proper housing ability in any of the buildings, any remaining animals will be transported to another facility. Undamaged equipment and supplies will be moved to appropriate storage areas. Food Should a bomb or subsequent fire or water damage destroy any or all of the feed supply, the local feed vendor will be contacted for immediate replacements. Any feed that cannot be obtained from the local vendor, will be ordered for overnight delivery from the distributor. Spoiled or contaminated feed will be immediately discarded. Water In a case where a bomb destroys the water supply or equipment in the VMU, water will be brought in from another building. Personnel to Care for Animals If a bombing or a bomb threat occurs during normal working hours, all employees must vacate the facilities immediately and wait for further instructions. If a bombing occurs after regular operating hours, an attempt will be made to notify all employees to report to work. The veterinarian and the senior animal caretaker will be notified of any bombing and report to assess any resulting damage. Mechanical Services is responsible for the operation of the ventilation systems and electrical power. Should power be lost the emergency generators will be activated automatically. Contamination control will be handled by cleaning up of any bomb, smoke and/or water damage. All dead carcasses will be placed in the designated animal refrigerator. If the air handling system is functioning, all air filters in the affected areas will be changed. The VA Police will handle the security in the affected areas. Research investigators will be notified of the status of their animals as soon as possible and any alterations in routine plans of proper care for them (room or building relocation, etc.). Emergency Plans Page 3

6 Breakdown of Air Handling System Animal Observation and Health Maintenance If power is unavailable for temperature and ventilation more than a few hours or if room temperatures get too hot or too cold then the doors to the animals rooms will be propped open to allow for some air exchange, ice can be piled on the floors to help cool the room, and animals may be moved out to the hallways for better ventilation (rodent cages should be covered with filter bonnets when they are taken out of their rooms). Animals will be monitored frequently. Food A breakdown of the air handling system for extended periods of time may result in higher levels of humidity and temperature. These excessive levels could affect the quality of feed. All feed will be closely monitored for spoilage. Spoiled or contaminated feed will be discarded and replaced immediately. Water Not anticipated to be a problem. Personnel to Care for Animals On call staff will be notified by Engineering Services and will assess any possible problems. Request will be made to Engineering Services for large fans and cooling units if needed. If it is necessary to keep the doors open, someone from either the VMU or the VA Police will keep watch. Attempts will be made to contact all research investigators to inform them of the status of their animals as soon as possible. Emergency Plans Page 4

7 Break In Animal Observation and Health Maintenance Any animals that may be loose in the facility will be captured, identified, and returned to cages or euthanized depending on their condition. Any animals euthanized as a result of vandalism will be disposed of. Food If the feed is destroyed by an act of vandalism, an order will be placed immediately with the local vendor for replacement. Feed will be shipped in by overnight delivery if needed. Water If vandalism disrupts the water supply, fresh water will be brought in from other areas until repairs are made. Engineering Services is responsible for the operation of the ventilation and heating/cooling systems. If vandalism disrupts any of these services, Engineering services will be contacted and provide emergency power if needed. The Environmental Health and Safety Office will be notified of any contamination that may be the result of vandalism (e.g. chemicals being spilled). Spills will be cleaned up per Safety Office instructions. Other possible sources of contamination such as standing water or spoiled feed will be cleaned up and disposed of. The VA Police will be notified immediately to handle the investigation. Attempts will be made to contact all research investigators to inform them of the status of their animals as soon as possible. Emergency Plans Page 5

8 Fire Animal Observation and Health Maintenance All animals will be checked as soon as the fire safety personnel permit access to the facility. Dead animals will be removed from cages and put in the designated animal refrigerator. Animals that need to be relocated due to fire damage to the facility will be removed as soon as possible to another building. Animals suffering from smoke inhalation will be examined as quickly as possible and treated or euthanized as necessary. Food Should a fire or subsequent water damage destroy any or all of the feed supply we will have the local vendor deliver feed immediately. Feed may need to be overnight shipped to our facility to replace some of the damaged supply. Water In a case where a fire disrupts the regular tap water supply, water will be brought in from other areas until the main supply is determined to be safe again. Personnel to Care for Animals If a fire occurs during working hours, all employees must vacate the facilities immediately and report to a predetermined place and wait for further instructions. If a fire occurs after regular operating hours, an attempt will made to notify all employees to report to work. Engineering Services is responsible for the operation of the ventilation and heating/cooling systems. If fire disrupts any of these services, mechanical services will be contacted and provide emergency power if needed. Contamination control will be handled by cleaning up any smoke and/or water damage and putting any dead animals in the cold room. All air filters in the affected area will be changed. The VA Police will be called to secure the area. Research investigators will be notified of the status of their animals as soon as possible and any alterations in routine plans of proper care for them (room or building relocation, etc.). Emergency Plans Page 6

9 Flood Animal Observation and Health Maintenance If potential flooding is expected, animals will be relocated if possible. If relocation is not possible, animals will be moved to the highest row within their racks and monitored frequently. All animals will be checked as soon as access has been granted to a flooded building. Dead animals will be removed from cages and placed in designated animal refrigerator. Animals suffering from exposure will be examined and treated as soon as possible. Food If a flood within any of the facilities should damage the feed supply, the local vendor will be contacted for delivery of new food immediately. Should we experience a prolong power outage due to the flood, all feed will be closely monitored for spoilage and discarded and replaced as necessary. Water Water will undergo quality testing if widespread flooding occurs. The emergency bottled water will be used until water is safe to drink. Sand bags will be provided by Engineering Services to aid in keeping water from coming in under the doors. Engineering Services will provide emergency power if needed. Any standing water will be cleaned up immediately. The VA Police will be called to secure the area. Attempts will be made to contact all research investigators to inform them of the status of their animals as soon as possible. Emergency Plans Page 7

10 Earthquake Animal Observation and Health Maintenance All animals will be checked as soon as the fire and police safety personnel permit access to the facility. Animals suffering from injuries will be examined as quickly as possible and treated or euthanized as necessary. Dead animals will be removed from cages and placed in the designated animal refrigerator. If an earthquake has destroyed proper housing ability in any of the facilities, any remaining animals will be transported to another building. Undamaged equipment and supplies will be moved to appropriate storage areas. Food Feed is monitored to keep approximately two weeks supply on hand at all times. Should prolonged power outages occur (24 hrs), all feed will be closely monitored for spoilage. Spoiled or contaminated feed will be discarded and replaced as soon as possible. Should an earthquake or subsequent fire or water damage destroy any or all of the feed supply, the local feed vendor will be contacted for immediate replacements. Any feed that cannot be obtained from the local vendor, will be ordered for overnight delivery from the distributor. Spoiled or contaminated feed will be immediately discarded. Water In a case where an earthquake destroys the water supply in the VMU, water will be brought in from another building. Extra water is stored in a large plastic container and changed monthly. Personnel to Care for Animals If an earthquake occurs during working hours, all employees must vacate the facilities immediately and report to a predetermined place and wait for further instructions. If an earthquake occurs after regular operating hours, an attempt will made to notify all employees to report to work. The veterinarian and senior animal caretaker be notified and will report to assess any resulting damage. If power is lost, the emergency generators will turn on automatically. If the emergency generators do not work, portable generators will be supplied by mechanical services. All attempts will be made to restore a normal environment for the animals. Dead animals will be removed from cages and placed in the designated animal refrigerator. If the earthquake damages the refrigerator, the carcasses will be placed in plastic bags until arrangements for disposal can be made. The VA Police will be notified to secure the area. Research Personnel Attempts will be made to contact all research investigators to inform them of the status of their animals as soon as possible. Emergency Plans Page 8

11 Interruption of Water Supply Animal Observation and Health Maintenance Depending upon the estimated time for repair, water bottles will be filled and given to the animals. Extra water is stored in a large plastic container and changed monthly. Personnel to Care for Animals On call staff will be notified by Engineering Services when an unplanned water interruption occurs. If the water source is shut down for an extended period of time, we will ask Engineering Services to hook up an alternative water source or use stored water. Will use the water in reserve to maintain sanitation. Attempts will be made to contact all research investigators to inform them of the status of their animals as soon as possible. Interruption of Steam Supply If the boilers break down, an emergency order will go to Parker Boiler to fix them. Power Outage Animal Observations and Health Maintenance All air handlers and fans for the animal rooms are connected to the emergency generator, therefore air supply and ventilation will continue to be provided. The emergency generator covers all animal room lighting. The emergency generator will supply power to the air handlers and fans that supply air to the animal rooms. The designated animal refrigerator for animal carcasses is connected to the emergency generator and should not be affected. The VA Police will be called if any areas need to be secured. Attempts will be made to contact all research investigators to inform them of the status of their animals as soon as possible. Emergency Plans Page 9

12 Protests Against Animal Research/Animal Activist Threat If an unscheduled protest, notice of an unscheduled protest, or animal activist threat occurs, the people listed on the List of Crisis People should be notified immediately. They will contact Safety Police. It will then be determined what action should be taken in the event of a protest/animal activist threat. List of Crisis People to Contact VA Police x5000 Jeffrey L. Lee, DVM Catalina Guerra, DVM Dr. Chris Reist, ACOS Lisa Pratt, AO Dr. Nils Lambrecht, IACUC Chair (back up veterinarian) x4941 x4939 x4085 Rachel Heffner, Senior Animal Caretaker x5822 or Emergency Plans Page 10

13 Tornado Animal Observation and Health Maintenance All animals will be checked as soon as the safety personnel permit access to the facilities. Dead animals will be removed from cages and put into the designated animal refrigerator. If the refrigerator is damaged by the tornado, the dead animals will be put in a plastic bag and stored until arrangements for pickup and disposal can be made. Animals that need to be relocated due to tornado damage to a facility will be moved as soon as possible to another suitable facility. Animals suffering from injury will be examined as quickly as possible and treated or euthanized as necessary. Food Should a tornado or subsequent water damage destroy any or all of the feed supply, the local vendor will be contacted for replacements. If needed, feed will be shipped by overnight delivery. Spoiled or contaminated feed will be discarded and replaced as soon as possible. Water In a case where a tornado disrupts the water supply to a building, water will be transported in from other building. Personnel to Care for Animals If a tornado occurs during working hours, all employees in the outlying areas must vacate to a safe area immediately. If a tornado occurs after regular working hours, an attempt will be made to notify all employees to report to work. The veterinarian and senior animal caretaker will be notified of any tornado and report to assess any resulting damage. If needed, emergency generators will be requested from Engineering Services. Any dead animals will be removed from cages and put into the designated animal refrigerator. If the refrigerator is damaged, the animal carcasses will be placed in a plastic bag and stored until arrangements can be made for pick-up and disposal. The VA Police will be notified to secure the area. Research investigators will be notified of the status of their animals as soon as possible and any alterations in routine plans of proper care for them (room or building relocation, etc.). Emergency Plans Page 11

14 Emergency Phone Numbers VA Police Fire Engineering Services x5000 x4444 x3714 On Call Veterinarian Back up Veterinarian Associate Chief of Staff Administrative Officer x4941 x4939 Senior Animal Caretaker x5822 or Chemical & Biohazard Safety x3713 or 3714 Medical Emergencies: Cardiac arrest Rapid response Team Emergency Room x3333 x2222 x3558 Emergency Plans Page 12

15 Campus Map Emergency Plans 13

16 Safe Drinking Water in an Emergency Why? You and your family can survive for several days without food, but only for a short time without water. Store a 2 week supply of water for each member of your family NOW! How Much Do I Need? In moderate weather, a normally active person requires a minimum of 1/2 gallon of water per day for drinking and food preparation. Some of the need for liquids can be met by using the juices from canned fruits and vegetables. (Additional water will be required for bathing, brushing teeth and dishwashing.) How Do I Store It? Buy ½ gallon or 1 gallon jugs available at your market or 5 gallon jugs available from water distributors. Clearly mark containers with current date and plan to use it or discard it within 1 year. Store in a cool, dark location. Other Emergency Sources Water from ice cubes, your hot water tank, and your toilet tank (not the bowl). Do not drink water from the toilet tank if a chemical disinfectant or purifier has been added to the water. To obtain a free flow of water from the hot water tank it is sometimes necessary to open the valve at the top of the tank as well as the faucet at the bottom of the tank. The flow of water will also be increased if any hot water faucet in the home is turned on before draining water from the hot water tank. Be sure to turn off gas or electricity to the tank before draining off water for emergency use. How to Purify Water Boiling: Boil vigorously for 1 to 3 minutes. To improve taste, pour from one container to another several times. Purification tablets: Available at any drug store. Follow directions on package. Bleach Purification: Liquid household bleach can also be used. It must contain sodium hypochlorite, preferable 5.25%. Other ingredients may be poisonous. Add according to table below, then stir and mix. Amount of Water Clear Water Cloudy Water 1 quart 1 gallon 5 gallons 2 drops 8 drops ½ tsp. 4 drops 16 drops 1 tsp. Emergency Plans Page 14

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