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Environmental Health and Safety

Environmental Health and Safety

Hurricane Information


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FGCU Environmental Health and Safety Hurricane Preparedness Plan

Laboratory and Research Areas Checklist


Prior to a weather event, ask yourself if there is anything here that could cause harm to a University worker or emergency responder during or after the event?” Consider the worst-case scenario, and assume people will enter your laboratory for water clean up or damage assessment. Please take steps to ensure all hazardous materials are properly secured, so that anyone can enter the space unattended, and without the use of special equipment.


Complete this checklist template as a part of your Departmental Tropical Weather Plan.  The checklist template below is to aid you in identifying tasks and assigning responsibilities for preparing laboratory areas.  Not all items are appropriate for all areas, and departments and researchers should add or remove items appropriate for their individual laboratories as needed. 



When tropical weather is imminent, consider preparations necessary to suspend ongoing experiments.  Do not wait until FGCU suspends normal business operations. Note:  No personnel are allowed in a laboratory during a storm, or while FGCU has suspended normal business operations due to a pending or recent storm unless arrangements are made with the University Police Department.



Take steps year-round to reduce impacts from tropical weather and other incidents. Regularly:

  • Keep chemical, radiological and bio-hazardous materials in your inventory to a minimum.
  • Dispose of hazardous wastes and old chemicals routinely to minimize accumulation of hazardous materials in your facility.
  • Dispose of unneeded biological specimens.
  • Ensure refrigerators and freezers with critical contents are plugged lines (designated with red outlets) connected to the backup generator.
  • Secure, close the valves, and replace valve covers on all gas cylinders.
  • Identify a secure area for storage of water reactive chemicals, radioactive materials and bio-hazardous agents, ideally in interior rooms.
  • Update and distribute emergency and contact information to laboratory personnel.  Regularly maintain emergency call list on the notice board at the laboratory door.
  • Maintain a stock of critical supplies to prevent disruptions.
  • Plan in advance how to ensure the protection of valuable research equipment, samples and data.
  • Maintain a supply of plastic, waterproof containers to store reactive chemicals, lab notes, research documentation, electronic data and other important materials.








Staff Responsible









Hurricane Watch


hurricane conditions


36 hours


Remove or secure equipment from outdoor and rooftop locations.



Arrange for the care and feeding of captive animals.



Relocate or elevate equipment, chemicals, wastes, and other important items from the floor, in areas subject to flooding.



Verify emergency contact information including notification list on lab door.  Add and expand temporary contact information if staying at a different location during the storm.



Fill dewars and cryogen reservoirs for samples.



Hurricane Warning


hurricane conditions


24 hours or less


Autoclave or inactivate any infectious or rDNA waste.



Secure radioactive isotopes, bio-hazardous agents, recombinant materials and hazardous chemicals to prevent breakage or release.



Store volatile, toxic materials in tightly sealed, break-resistant containers rather than fume hoods or open room, in case of power outages.



Protect valuable files, research samples and notebooks in place or move to a safer location.



Protect notebooks and secure samples and data for colleagues unable to reach the lab.



Cover vulnerable equipment with plastic, as needed.



Close and lock all doors and windows before leaving.


Post Hurricane Return