Loss of communication systems may interfere with animal ordering, recordkeeping, and notification of emergencies. In the event of a communications system loss, priority is given to communications which directly effect animal health or well-being. Alternatives which may be considered include use of other systems which are functioning (if the paging system is down but phones are working, phone calls or emails may temporarily substitute). For extreme animal health crises (e.g., reporting a seriously ill animal) hand-delivered messages can be used.
- Animal health checks: Health checks should proceed normally. However, communication about sick animals may have to be routed via alternate methods. Animal Health/Death Forms are hand delivered to the appropriate veterinarian. Veterinarians may use alternate methods to communicate with investigators (e.g., hand-delivered memo, sending someone to the investigator's office). If the communications loss is prolonged, the AR business office area in B003, NCNPR functions as a communications center for dropping off and receiving messages.
- Food and water supplies: These supplies should not be affected short-term. If loss of phone service is prolonged, ordering of animals, feed, and supplies may be affected. In that event, the local phone company will set up portable phone banks in the medical center. Also, cellular phones owned by the AR or AR personnel may be employed.
- Sanitation: Sanitation should proceed as usual.
- Environmental support: It is anticipated that the environment will not be affected. Communications about environmental system problems may be affected in a prolonged communications outage, but alternate methods (see 1. and 2. above) may be employed.
- Personnel: Communications with AR personnel, such as calling in additional staff or reporting animal emergencies on weekends may be affected. In that event, alternate methods (e.g., cellular phones) may be used.