The National Aquarium’s Baltimore venue is located on two piers in the city’s exciting Inner Harbor. Our fabulous waterfront location means special preparations when there’s a hurricane in the forecast, so it’s a busy time for the Aquarium’s Safety and Risk Manager and for the Facilities team as Hurricane Irene bears down on the East Coast!
Hurricane Irene is slated to blow through the Baltimore area overnight on Saturday, August 27, on its way north. This storm is expected to drop 3 to 6 inches of rain and deliver a lot of wind, so teams have cleared the roofs of debris, loading docks have been cleared of equipment, and the party tent will be protected from wind damage. The large generators have been serviced and topped off with fuel and are ready to provide power for lighting and life support systems if the electricity goes out.
At this point forecasters do not predict a storm surge up the Chesapeake Bay, which reduces the chances of flooding from the Harbor. Still, as a precaution the team will relocate the Aquarium’s fleet of vehicles, and has checked all the flood gates to be sure they’re ready for use to protect the low-lying volunteer lounge, Education offices, the dive locker and various storage areas.
All these preparations are made with the hope that the storm will pass without incident. But as our Safety and Risk Manager is fond of reminding the Aquarium’s staff and volunteers,“You gotta have a plan!”