Roble, G., Pullium, J., Hester, T. et al. 2018. Disaster planning for animals in hazardous agent containment units. ILAR Journal 59(2), 195–202.
Disaster response planning for laboratory animal facilities is a time- and personnel-intensive undertaking. This article outlines numerous considerations in formulating a plan for disaster response in a high containment animal unit. The planning process is discussed around a set of elements: planning team formation, situational understanding, goal and objective determination, plan development, preparation, and rehearsal or implementation. The importance of an appropriate planning team and personnel development is explored in relationship to exemplary disaster scenarios such as natural disaster and terrorism. Specific risks such as hazardous agent and animal species type serve to delineate goal-setting methods. These goals provide the framework for an institutional disaster plan. The review further uses elements of the planning process to explore the difficulties of euthanasia of animals treated with hazardous agents. Ultimately, the pitfalls of handling media relations following disaster are examined. Proactive measures for preparing to speak to the media and mitigate negative perceptions of research are presented.