Hurricane Preparedness

Marine Biological Laboratory
Policy No. J.1.1


Initiated by:Superintendent, Aquatic Resources Division
Approved by:MRC Director, MBL Director/CEO
Original date:October 5, 1991
Revision: #3, July 17, 1995

The purpose of this document is to establish general guidelines, regarding the securing of the Marine Resources Center/Aquatic Resources Department, equipment, and specimens, when the area is threatened by a hurricane or severe coastal storm.

All Category I Personnel (all Aquatic Resources Division Personnel are considered Category I Personnel), will anticipate working regular schedules and being available for overtime as needed to prepare for storm.


Fuel up all boats, vehicles, and portable fuel tanks, prior to the immediate arrival of the storm. Portable tanks to be stored at the Small Boat Facility with exception of a portable tank for gas operated pump.

Vehicles will be used to secure equipment as needed by the Aquatic Resources Division and other departments at the MBL. After all necessary work has been completed, the vehicles will be stored inside at the Small Boat Facility, or outside at the Devil’s Lane parking lot.

3.1.2.Boats and Docks
The Aquatic Resources Division will have first priority for dock space at Marine Resources dock facilities. Second priority will be given to the collection boat owned by Henry Klimm, or whoever is collecting squid under the NSF grant for use by the MBL.

At first indication of storm, begin hauling small boats. This is very important due to increased activity at the public launching ramp at Great Harbor as the storm approaches. Remove small boats from boat shed on Eel Pond, haul from water, and store in Small Boat Facility, or in outside enclosure. Using extra lines and fenders, tie up remaining Outrage to floating dock. Remove self bailing drain plugs from bilge. Remove all loose equipment from boat.

Remove 12 volt battery in plastic box, from boat after hauling. Charge battery, put in Aquatic Resources Office for emergency power to VHF marine radio.

Place additional dock lines to other piles at dock. Using lengths of chain fastened with shackles placed around piles, attach extra mooring lines from boat to base of pilings of dock at rear of Collection Support Facility (CSF). Attach heavy dock lines with chafing gear to deadman located in driveway on east side of CSF. These lines will relieve strain from dock piles and help stabilize dock in event of hightides and strong winds. Hang additional fenders from rails of Gemma to prevent damage to Gemma from other boats. Place all loose gear below deck. Secure all hatches, windows and doors.

Place additional dock lines to other piles at dock. Using lengths of chain fastened with shackles placed around piles, attach extra mooring lines from boat to base of pilings of dock. Attach heavy dock lines with chafing gear to deadman, located on east side of Marine Resources Center (MRC). These lines will relieve strain from dock piles and help stabilize dock in event of high tides and high winds. Hang additional fenders from rails of Ciona to prevent damage to Ciona from other boats. Place all loose gear below deck. Secure hatches, windows and doors. Secure permission from neighboring marina on East side of dock, to attach winch cable with chain and shackles to base of piling on their dock, to provide lateral stability to the Eel Pond dock from east. This cable is to be well marked for other passing vessels, fastened early, and tightened only at the last moment.

3.1.5.Docks and Outside Area
Remove all equipment stored on Eel Pond, Cayadetta & CSF docks . Remove all equipment stored in Eel Pond boathouse

3.1.6.Marine Dead Animal Buckets
Make trip to empty all marine dead animal buckets. Clean containers and disinfect with chlorine solution. Make available one container for any dead specimens that may need to be disposed of, prior to storm arrival. Secure all containers in Custodian’s Closet in CSF by lashing to secure object.

Secure all loose paperwork on desks and counters. Disconnect and cover all electrical equipment with plastic and move away from window to protect from wind and water damage in event of a broken window.

3.1.8.Shipping Office
Disconnect all electrical equipment, typewriters, computers and move to Aquatic Resources Division Office, MRC313, for protection from flooding by high tides. Relocate all packing materials, equipment and shipping records located under the counters and in desk, that may be damaged to safe location on upper level of CSF.

Charge all batteries to portable VHF marine handheld radios and move to ARD office.

3.1.9.Water Quality Laboratory
Secure and cover all equipment and paper work, to prevent damage by wind and water in event of window breakage. Inspect and secure tank rooms that are normal areas of responsibilities. Secure all loose equipment. Inspect drain pipes to tanks and plug holes to prevent the tanks from draining if there is a loss of power and running sea water.

3.1.10.Ground Floor of Marine Resources Center
Disconnect and move to higher elevations, any electrical appliances that may become flooded by sea water. This includes refrigerators and freezers located in the shipping office and the procedure room, plug them into emergency power circuits.

Secure any record keeping equipment and records in the Desk Coordinator’s area, by moving such to the Aquatic Resources Office MRC 313.

Secure all loose objects (tubs, pails, nets, and carts) on the ground floor area, and relocate to upper level of CSF.

3.1.11.Collection Support Facility
Secure all loose equipment on ground floor. Relocate all tools, supplies, and electrical equipment above the flood plain level. Flood plain area (floors, bench tops, storage cabinets, etc.) to be emptied of anything that may result in spills. Relocate freezer to other location above flood plain (MRC) and plug into emergency power circuit.

3.2.Scuba Facility
Fill all SCUBA tanks with air prior to the storm. Store tanks and other diving equipment in safe area; on second floor in CSF. Fill SCUBA tanks and secure. Once secured, no SCUBA tanks are to be filled for anyone unless permission given by Supt. ARD. Secure all loose equipment in dive locker that may become damaged or lost, above flood plain level.

4.0Policy Clarification and Updates:
Policy clarification and updates are available from the Aquatic Resources Department.