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Getting It All Tied Down

As Hurricane Dorian made its approach toward the eastern US, researchers in the Bahamas and Florida took precautions to protect their work and institutions from the strong storm, ScienceInsider reports.

Hurricane Dorian made landfall on Sunday in the northern Bahamas as a Category 5 storm, as NBC News reports. It then stalled over the Bahamas for nearly a day before now beginning to crawl to the northwest as a Category 3 hurricane, according to the Miami Herald. Forecasts expect the storm to not directly hit Florida, but move toward the Georgia and Carolina coasts, NBC News adds.

As ScienceInsider reports, researchers in the storm's projected path have battened down the hatches by lifting equipment off the floor to avoid floodwaters, protecting research animals, and safeguarding instrumentation. "[W]e are ready! All windows boarded up and 200 sandbags," Mark Martindale from University of Florida's Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience in St. Augustine tells ScienceInsider. "We learned from Hurricane Matthew a couple of years ago."

At the 2018 Association for Biomolecular Resource Facilities annual meeting, experts noted that the best way for labs to prepare a for a hurricane or other disaster is to develop a plan for coping with such a situation well ahead of time, as GenomeWeb reported then. "There's a continuum of preparing, responding, and recovering," said Amy Wilkerson, the associate vice president for research support at Rockefeller University, said at that 2018 meeting.