The work done inside the laboratories is very valuable, everything that is contained can be the result of years of work and research, unfortunately the attention that must be given to the laboratories is not only for human errors that risk compromising every effort made by the staff, but also for unfortunate and dangerous coincidences such as natural disasters
In the event of a natural disaster, careful preparation can save years of work and research.
All the communities that suffer a disaster like earthquakes, storms or floods have to deal with many damages, direct and just indirect, the destruction of the knowledge of a laboratory and its data can be a major damage.
There can be various tips to follow right in the prevention phase, here are some:
– Have a back-up of electronic data, bettere on drive devices outside the laboratory
– Make sure that all alarm systems work and that the refrigerators are connected to emergency generators
– The list of contacts in the laboratory must be updated with copies shared among the staff members.
– Taking pictures of the whole equipment as proof of their good state, before of any disaster, can be useful to show for insurance claims and make a list of damages. Do the same with reagents and chemicals.
Among other things, a list of chemicals in case of fire should be delivered to the firefighters, to find out if there are any dangers in the event of their intervention.
– if possible it is better to send critical samples in safe warehouses outside the laboratory.
– If you can unplug all equipment an evacuation
– Ensure that all personnel are informed with appropriate policies.
Preventing certain situations can avoid great damage and loss in the future, obviously hoping that no one should ever experience the damage of a natural disaster.
We recommend this article of lab manager, based on the 2001 Tropical Allison Storm Disaster.