profile, destructive acts of terrorism can also have an effect on laboratory operations, even if they occur in another locale. In such cases, lockdowns of buildings, instructions to shelter in place or to evacuate, and simple distraction of laboratory personnel from their work can affect the laboratory environment. Any activity that causes significant damage to a building, such as an explosion, can have an effect similar to that of seismic activity.

Consider the history of such events at the institution, at similar institutions, and in the geographical area. Is there a known cause for concern? Are laboratory personnel prepared and trained in case of a shelter-in-place emergency? Are all emergency contact numbers posted in a high-visibility area? Has a rally or gather point been designated in case of evacuation of the laboratory?

3.B.1.10 Loss of Laboratory Materials or Equipment

Equipment, chemicals, samples, or other materials in the laboratory could be lost due to theft, sabotage, fire, flood, or other events. Think about the materials and equipment in the laboratory and consider the impact of their loss.

Planning for loss of such equipment is prudent. Keep purchasing and other records that would be helpful for an insurance claim. If equipment can be replaced, make note of where to find that equipment and the specifications needed. For custom-made equipment, keep the plans that show how to rebuild it.

Even with good planning, several days or longer may elapse before equipment is in place or usable. Make note of other laboratories or institutions with similar equipment or functions. Make arrangements, if possible, to use such facilities as a backup, if needed.

3.B.1.11 Loss of Data or Computer Systems

Because many laboratories store data in a digital format and rely on computerized systems, loss of critical data or systems poses serious problems.

Every laboratory and all laboratory personnel should have a backup plan for their digital data. A plan may include the following items:

   Data that should be stored off-site or in special storage and how to back this up using USB drives, external hard drives, or other external storage device;

   Whether networked computers are backed up automatically on a schedule;

   Resources that are available in the event there are problems with a computer system; and

   Backup or other procedures that can be used to continue operations in the event that a system is not available.

3.B.1.12 Loss of Mission-Critical Equipment

Some equipment may be so mission-critical that its loss will shut down operations until it is replaced. Ensure that this equipment has all the necessary protection (e.g., security, fire protection) and plan what to do if it is not available.

3.B.1.13 Loss of High-Value or Difficult-to-Replace Equipment

Some equipment is impossible or very difficult to replace. When it is lost, the laboratory may not be able to complete this function for an extended period of time. Very expensive equipment may take longer to process through insurance or may not be able to be replaced immediately.

3.B.2 What Every Laboratory Should Know and Have

3.B.2.1 Survival Kit

Every laboratory and all laboratory personnel should consider the possibility of having to stay at work for an extended time or under unusual conditions, such as a power loss. Consider keeping the following on hand:

For the laboratory:

   emergency contact information,


   radio and batteries,

   first-aid kit, and

   safety glasses and gloves.

For individuals:

   change of clothing and shoes,


   contact lens solution,

   nonperishable snacks,

   water, and

   blanket, jacket, or fleece.

This list is not complete. Organizations such as the Red Cross and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security have comprehensive Web pages that describe

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