4.5 - Electrical Power Outage


Loss of electrical power may create problems such as: loss of lighting; loss of electrical equipment such ventilated cage racks, cagewashers, sterilizers, surgery/intensive care equipment, sump pumps, and communication systems. Top priority is given to addressing critical animal needs. Additional emergencies should be handled as addressed in other sections: 4.1 - Air Handling Problems; 4.7 - Flood; 4.8 - Phone/Paging System Outage; or 4.11 - Temperature Problems.

  1. Animal health checks: In the NCNPR Vivarium, if the main power to any facility is off, the emergency exit signs in corridors remain on since they are connected to emergency generators. Animals in ventilated cages or racks, aerated tanks, or who are otherwise dependent upon power for life support should be supported by alternate means as necessary, including extension cords or relocation to other sites. The Supervisor's Office in each AR facility is equipped with flashlights for emergency use. Other flashlights will be obtained from Physical Plant or local stores as needed. Each Animal Technician is responsible for reviewing the condition of animals in their assigned areas.
  2. Food and water supplies: For the short term, these should be unaffected. Portable lights or flashlights may be deployed to accomplish feeding and watering in dark rooms. If power remains out long enough to create shortages of sanitized food receptacles, water bottles, or the processing of food or water, supplies may be brought in from other facilities after supplies on-hand are exhausted.
  3. Sanitation: Loss of power to automatic equipment may alter sanitization schedules. This could affect the level of sanitation by allowing bacteria and viruses to accumulate on the equipment. Other strategies such as hand washing equipment may be used. Also, cage changing intervals may need to be extended, cage pan changes substituted for whole-cage changes, spot-cleaning employed instead of cage/pan changes, etc. The Director/designee will determine how to provide the optimum sanitization under the prevailing conditions. All operating equipment (autoclaves, washers, etc.) should be turned off when power is lost. When the power returns - RESET all equipment. Check for partially processed loads. Lack of lights in facilities may also require alterations of normal activities.
  4. Environmental support: See other sections of this document if additional environmental systems are affected. Emergency generators in the TCRC provide power to animal facilities. All operating equipment (autoclaves, washers, etc.) should be turned off. When power returns, check all equipment to assure that previous settings are still being implemented. If not - RESET. Check all operating equipment (including ventilation fans) to ensure that they have restarted. If not - contact Physical Plant at 7051. Check all processing equipment for partially processed loads.
  5. Personnel: Animal Husbandry personnel are deployed in affected facilities as directed by the Director/designee. Facility entry orders should be observed. In the event of a prolonged city-wide outage, AR personnel may be required to perform duties outside their normal work responsibilities in order to prevent animal death or distress.