A Stitch in Time Saves Nine by Dr. David Brammer

The use of ventilated cages for housing rats and mice is a well-recognized method to prevent infectious diseases from spreading throughout the animal facility. There are multiple designs for the placement of cages on ventilated racks, but the unique design of both the Optimice caging and Optirat caging allows the efficient movement of cages through the animal facility. In this presentation, the techniques will be demonstrated that allowed the University of Houston to eliminate transportation racks and eliminate time consuming washing practices in the cage wash area. This transportation method was improved over the years to allow clean and dirty caging systems to be moved between buildings using docks and lift gates on a large cargo truck. These improvements and routine transportation practices became the key in the evacuation of mice and rats from an animal facility prior to Hurricane Harvey. Keywords: crisis management, evacuation, hurricane, disaster planning, Lean Six Sigma, efficiency, time and motion, Optimice, Optirat GenII, Optirat Plus, mice, mouse, rat