ALMA 40th Anniversary Conference
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Wednesday, October 23 • 2:15pm - 3:00pm
Research Laboratory Disaster Planning

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Tropical Storm Allison hit the Houston metropolitan area on June 5th, 2001, proving that storms do not need to be hurricanes to cause massive damage to research facilities. Tropical Storm Allison dropped 32 trillion gallons of water, causing deadly flooding. Thirty-three thousand people needed emergency shelter after Allison and there was $5 billion in damage. Approximately $1.5 billion in damage caused by Allison was to the Houston Medical Center (1). The University of Texas Medical School experienced severe flooding. The basement of the Medical School building was completely filled with water, as well as half way up the first floor. This resulted in the massive loss of research animals, who were housed in the basement. In addition, elevators were no longer functional, resulting in an inability to get liquid nitrogen supply tanks to laboratories located on upper floors. The flooding also destroyed back-up generators, also housed in the basement, leaving liquid nitrogen auto-fill units, -20 and -80 freezers without any power. This led to massive loss of valuable, irreplaceable, research samples, reagents and cell lines. I was a laboratory manager for a large research lab located in the Medical School building when Allison hit Houston. Many lessons were learned during this event, as well as subsequent years of experience working in medical research laboratories in both Houston and Miami. This presentation will address lessons learned as well as how to prepare your lab for disasters.

avatar for Tracy Wieder

Tracy Wieder

Senior Manager of Facilities and Lab Support, University of Miami
Tracy has led an impressive career as a researcher and administrator in her thirty years working in the field of biomedical research. Tracy has served as the Senior Manager of Laboratory Support at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center since 2008. In 2017, she received the Sylvester... Read More →

Wednesday October 23, 2019 2:15pm - 3:00pm MDT
South Grand