The heavy rain and winds forecast for this week can cause any number of hazards at the Lab, including slick roads and walkways, downed trees, landslides, and water intrusion in buildings at the Lab’s main site. The Facilities Division and Security & Emergency Services plan carefully and work hard to manage the impact of winter weather on the Lab. There are steps that you can take as well to be prepared for winter weather hazards.

Please check local weather updates and transit conditions before traveling, and drive with extra caution during adverse weather conditions.

If you are onsite during a storm:

  • Drive carefully and obey all traffic rules and signs. Heavy rains can obscure sight lines and cause slick conditions.
  • Avoid slips and falls by using handrails, following designated walk paths, and closely observing the area where you are walking. Be careful around leaves and downed vegetation, which can be slick.
  • Do not enter a flooded workspace or any area with standing water.
  • Report all hazards (leaks, downed trees, landslides, flooding, etc.) to the Site Operations Center (SOC) at (510) 486-6999. Provide as much information as possible, such as the problem, location, when it happened, and who to contact follow up.

Know potential landslide signs
Due to the main site’s unique geology and topography, landslides are always a concern during winter storms. The Lab’s mitigation measures include retaining walls, slope stabilization measures, storm drains, and horizontal hillside drains (hydraugers). However, significant rains can cause the soil to become saturated and increase the potential of rock fall, landslides, and falling trees.

Report any of the following signs to the SOC at (510) 486-6999:

  • Springs, seeps, or saturated ground in areas that have not typically been wet before
  • New cracks or unusual bulges in the ground, street pavements, or sidewalks
  • Soil moving away from foundations
  • Ancillary structures such as decks and patios tilting and/or moving relative to the main structure
  • Tilting or cracking of concrete floors and foundations
  • Exposed or broken underground utilities
  • Leaning light poles, trees, retaining walls, or fences

Prior to entering any lab space, during or after the storm
After any storm, please have your key operational staff (e.g., building managers, safety coordinators) conduct facility assessments to identify immediate building and safety concerns.

  • Look for signs of wet surfaces, water intrusion, or water leaks in your workspace.
  • Report any signs of flooding, water damage, downed trees, or road debris to the SOC at (510) 486-6999.
  • Contact the assigned Facilities Area Manager (FAM) for updates or status on issues regarding your facility.

Above all:

  • Do not enter a flooded workspace or any area with standing water.
  • Do not turn on electricity if you smell gas or if parts of your work area’s electrical system have been flooded. Evacuate immediately and report any adverse conditions to the SOC or 911 if it is an emergency.

It is also a good practice to sign up for LabAlert on your personal devices to receive important Lab-wide emergency messages.