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Be Prepared

The 4 key elements to an institution’s preparedness are:

  1. An animal program of impeccable integrity
  2. A security program based on risk assessment
  3. An integrated communication plan with descriptions of research projects in lay terminology, spokespersons, & a phone tree
  4. An internal and external community outreach program
Also see: How NIH Can Help

Be Prepared

2. A security program based on risk assessment

“The first step in developing a security program is to conduct a risk assessment of the institution’s facilities, and evaluation of the existing security system. Organization of a security and communication plan then follow. Some key points include:

  1. Determine facility vulnerability
  2. Evaluate the security system
  3. Check storage of research data
  4. Organize a security plan
  5. Organize a communication plan in the event of an incident during the day, after hours, weekends and holidays"

    >>More in the ARENA/OLAW Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee Guidebook Section B.6.a.        

Further resources:

Security programs should reflect the unique risk assessments of an institution, but may share many elements with institutions that have similar regional or programmatic characteristics. There are a variety of resources that can help institutions and investigators proactively develop strong and efficient security programs, including:

  • OLAW’s Disaster Planning and Response Resources site includes articles, lessons learned, and other resources in crisis management planning.
  • OLAW IACUC Staff Outreach is a free online seminar series to help Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) staff explore their responsibilities in the oversight of PHS-funded research that involves the use of live vertebrate animals; the series includes topics like “Role of the IACUC in PHS-funded Research”, “Preparing for Animal Rights Extremist Activities at Your Institution”, “Freedom of Information Act Policies”, “When Terms and Conditions Are Not Met”, and “Reporting Noncompliant Events to OLAW”
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI): Regional FBI offices are key resources in developing preparedness plans with institutional security and local law enforcement.
  • Several professional associations provide information on best practices for preparedness, crisis management, and support for investigators having to do with anti-animal research activism.

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This page last updated on March 11, 2015
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