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Hurricane Instructions for Researchers

Last Updated September 7, 2023

                       Please check for continued updates on the storm and emergency operations.

      • Where practicable/sensible,  wind down ongoing experiments prior to the hurricane and wait until after the event and things are in reasonably normal operation before starting new experiments.  Essential services for university laboratory animal resources will continue.

      • All backup emergency generators on campus have been tested by facilities and are ready in case of loss of power.

      • However, due to the possibility of power surges, turn off and unplug sensitive equipment as practicable and, if possible, relocate equipment away from windows.  In addition to debris potentially impacting windows, hard driving sideways rain can result in water coming in through windows that can be opened (even if closed and latched) and cause variable amounts of flooding.  The same is true of exterior doors.  This can result in water entering a building causing damage to carpets, flooring, and anything on the floor.  

      • Power outages are to be expected.  Most vulnerable items are freezers and refrigerators.  If you have a refrigerator or freezer that has no availability of emergency power, before you leave prior to the storm make arrangements to put dry ice in the unit.  Although not perfect, this will extend the time the contents will remain cold or frozen during a power outage.  Generally, on campus, power outages longer than 24-36 hours are rare.  It is each investigator’s responsibility to ensure their experiments, their equipment, including freezers and refrigerators, are prepared to their satisfaction prior to the storm.  This includes powering off, relocating as needed, supplementing cooling capacity with dry ice, and any other special considerations each investigator deems necessary.  Once the storm has passed and it is safe to travel, it is highly important for investigators to check on their labs and survey the situation and take the steps required to address any problems to limit damage and their impact to their research programs.  Personal responsibility is key as no one knows your situation better than you.

      • If you find you have some storm damage in your lab of any type, make a comprehensive list of it including information on the type of equipment item and specific problems, any losses of reagents or other items in refrigerators or freezers (commercial reagents can be replaced but not experimental samples so it is absolutely critical for your research to take special attention to securing non-replaceable materials).  Prepare this list and report it to your department chair or to other individuals as designated ASAP.  Filing any claim early is important (we are still waiting for reimbursements for losses 6 or so years ago).  Keep in mind that it cannot be assured that reimbursement supplies lost to damage of experimental samples can or will be available so precautions to avoid that possibility are of the utmost importance to researchers, students, and research programs.
      • If you have equipment that needs to remain powered on constantly, make sure it is on emergency power or move it to emergency power, if possible.

      • Additional questions can be directed to either Stacey Patterson ( or Eric Holmes (; (850) 644-5929).