Hurricane Evacuation Plan

Standard Operating Procedures

Animal Care in Downtown Facilities in the Event of Mandatory Evacuation

This standard operating procedure specifies general procedures used by the College of Charleston IACUP to prepare and provide for animal care in the event of mandatory evacuation due to hurricane or other storm flooding and associated emergency situations. These procedures are to be used as guidelines to prepare for the care of animals and timely evacuation of staff. These procedures are intended to ensure the humane disposition of animals should it be required during or after an emergency.


72 hours prior to event

  1. Do change outs on all rodent cages.
  2. Complete cage washing.
  3. Replace small water bottles with large water bottles for group housed animals.
  4. Check batteries; emergency lighting, electric fans, emergency supplies
  5. Check supply of bleach.
  6. Double check that chemicals are secured, MSDS are posted.
  7. Ensure that all carcasses and biohazards are disposed of properly (includes sharps containers).
  8. Notify Physical Plant of need for backup power to animal facility ASAP after event.
  9. Provide Public Safety with access list of individuals (and their contact information) that may enter animal areas after the event.

48 hours prior to event

  1. Fill 55 gallon drum with water.
  2. Turn freezers to lowest setting.
  3. Turn off gas at cutoff.
  4. Close valves on all tanks.
  5. Turn off breaker for cage washer.
  6. Move all animals from ground floors to fourth floor facility.
  7. Provide all animal researchers and animal care staff copies of contact list.

24 hours prior to event

  1. Fill sink.
  2. All water bottles are full and all animals have a three day supply of food.
  3. Open doors to individual housing rooms.
  4. Notify Sonitrol that temperature alarms are suspended.

After Event

  1. Make contact with the College Command Center.  If this is not possible, contact others on the contact list, public safety, and or physical plant. Do not enter facility/building alone or without a flashlight. Use gloves and masks.
  2. If rooms are damaged relocate animals to a secure location.
  3. Try to restore power to animal facility ASAP. If emergency power is not on, open the outside doors to the roof and facility rooms to allow ventilation and contact Physical Plant.
  4. Refill animal water bottles and food supply.
  5. Evaluate quality of stored animal food and bedding.
  6. If there are dead animals place them inside the freezer.
  7. Make contact/leave messages for others on contact list to notify them of the status of the facility.
  8. Continue to check on animals on daily basis until conditions return to normal.

Emergency Euthanasia

In the event that food or water supplies are compromised, or animals are injured or are suffering, animals will need to be euthanized.  The IACUP Director will authorize persons to perform the emergency euthanasia.

Grice Marine Laboratory Animal Facilities

Approved: June 30, 2008

Reviewed and revised:  August 24, 2012