Back to Emergency Response Planning for Animal Research Facilities (Webinar Recording)
Emergency Response Planning for Animal Research Facilities (Webinar Recording)

Emergency Response Planning for Animal Research Facilities (Webinar Recording)

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WEB-072A: There has never been a better time to place new emphasis on improving emergency response plans for research animals. The COVID-19 pandemic and associated shut-downs challenged every enterprise that maintained research animals during 2020-2021. The US is evolving from a mindset that has focused primarily on responding to and recovering after a disaster occurs to a paradigm based upon the concept of resilience. Resilience is defined as "the ability to prepare and plan for, absorb, recover from, and more successfully adapt to adverse events." To achieve resilience, planning must occur across 5 separate frameworks: Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery.

Current planning efforts for research animal facilities generally do not align well with the 5 frameworks that are outlined in the National Preparedness System. While the guidelines and regulations that are applicable to the care and use of research animals do address the need for pre-disaster planning, they tend to focus mainly on response and some recovery activities. A major problem that exists industry-wide is that most research buildings are constructed in compliance with Life Safety building codes. These buildings are not adequately reinforced to protect animals from harm and ensure adequate living conditions in the vivarium following a disaster. This problem is compounded by the common practice of placing the vivarium in one of the most damage-prone areas of the building, particularly in the basement.

Institutions that adopt the concepts of resilience in their planning efforts have real potential to save both their animals and their research. Instead of relying on emergency response plans to evacuate or shelter animals in place, wouldn't it be wiser to develop a comprehensive plan? Such a plan will require holistic, comprehensive multi-disciplinary input, and it will require ling-term commitment to achieve success. Planning efforts undertaken by research institutions should align with the mission areas and frameworks of the National Preparedness System. Resilience planning is the best way forward.

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Presenter: Dr. Catherine M Vogelweid

Catherine Vogelweid received her DVM degree from the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine in 1980. She completed a residency in Laboratory Animal Medicine and a PhD degree in Pathology at the University of Missouri and became an ACLAM Diplomate...

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