Laboratory Preparedness

Faculty, teaching assistants (TA’s), PI’s, and lab managers should have a plan for emergencies and be ready to implement it at any time. Your students or employees will look to you for leadership and advice. Share your plan with them at least once, preferably at the beginning of the semester.

  • Have a list of all who work in the lab (students, faculty, staff).
  • Identify emergency exits, evacuation routes, meeting locations, shelter-in-place locations, and scatter locations and make them known to all who work in the lab.
  • Have procedures in place to ensure that researchers and lab employees can leave at a moment’s notice.
  • Never remain in your lab during a fire alarm or any emergency that requires immediate evacuation.
  • People working in labs should keep their phone ringers “on” so that they can receive Yale alert notifications. If that is not possible, lab managers and pi’s need to determine how others in the lab will receive emergency notifications.
  • Develop a shelter-in-place procedure. Look to see how you can lock and secure your lab. If it is not a good place to shelter in place, identify other more suitable spaces nearby.
  • If the lab covers multiple spaces, develop a plan for each location and determine the best way to communicate during an emergency. Having a group text or group e-mail prepared in advance is helpful for sending messages to your lab.
  • If possible given the situation and life safety, turn off any open flames or hot plates after securing the lab. Immediately proceed to the designated evacuation or shelter-in-place location within the lab or other identified location in your plan.


  • Save the Yale ALERT number (203-432-5830) into your phone and assign a special ringtone so it can be easily recognized.
  • If you ask your students to turn off their phones during class, make sure that at least yours is accessible to receive Yale ALERT messages; remember that updates will be provided regularly via Yale ALERT and

During an Emergency

  • Call 911 or the Yale Police at 203-432-4400. Do not assume someone else has called.
  • Follow instructions provided to you via Yale Alert and Public Safety officials.
  • Try to remain calm and give clear instructions to help students quickly and quietly assist in responding to the emergency.
  • Use your judgment when determining the course of action.

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