4.7 - Flood


The following indicates actions to be taken if animal facilities are flooded. If flooding affects the surrounding area, but not the facilities themselves, actions should follow those outlined under Section 4.10 - Snow Storm/Blizzard/Ice Storm.

  1. Animal health checks: If flooding occurs in an animal facility or part of an animal facility, animals in the affected area should be checked more frequently under the direction of the Director/designee. Animals in danger, especially in lower cages, may be relocated to higher shelves/cages within the room or to other rooms or other facilities. Following a flood in an animal facility, all animals in the affected area are examined to determine their health status and suitability for research. Animals suffering ill effects may be treated or euthanatized at the discretion of the veterinarian for the area.
  2. Food and water supplies: If flooding occurs in an animal facility or part of an animal facility, food and water supplies should be kept safe from contamination. Contaminated (wet) food should be discarded and replaced from other facilities or from vendors. The City Water Department will be consulted to determine that suitable (potable) water is available to the facility affected. If the water supply is compromised, bottled water will be sought.
  3. Sanitation: During a flood in a facility, sanitation procedures will be continued in unaffected areas if possible. However, care must be taken to avoid touching or operating electrical equipment in standing water (see Environmental Support below). If cagewashing equipment has been affected or transport is not possible, the Director/designee will decide on how to maintain minimal sanitation. This may involve deferring cage changes, spot cleaning cages, manual washing, or routing to other facilities. After a flood subsides, all rooms and areas which were flooded will be thoroughly decontaminated using cleaning/disinfection materials. If available, emergency pumps from Engineering or Physical Plant may be deployed to move water out of animal areas.
  4. Environmental support: During a flood, efforts will be made to relocate animals if possible, or to leave them in place if they are not in imminent danger and their welfare would be compromised by moving them. Personnel must take care not to touch or operate electrical equipment (e.g., cagewasher, biosafety cabinets, etc.) in standing water. Areas where such equipment is in use should be avoided or breaker switches pulled or equipment unplugged if this can be done safely. After a flood, all equipment which may have been affected will be checked and serviced, calibrated, or replaced as necessary. Other effects of a flood will be handled as indicated under the appropriate sections of this document (see 4.1 - Air Handling Problems; 4.4 - Chemical/Radiation/HazMat Spill; 4.5 - Electrical Power Outage; 4.6 - Fire; 4.11 - Temperature Problems; 4.12 - Tornado or Severe Storm; 4.13 - Water Supply Interruption).
  5. Personnel: Personnel must exercise caution when working in an area with standing water. The Director/designee will determine where personnel will enter in conjunction with the Section Chiefs and the Safety Office. Extra personnel may be needed to clean up after a flood subsides. If transportation is limited due to area flooding, on-site personnel may be required to perform duties outside their normal responsibilities to maintain the animals.