For Storm Questions, Contact UTMB Media Relations at (409) 772-6397.
Tropical storms and hurricanes are a part of life on the Gulf Coast. That reality was a guiding force in every aspect of the GNL’s design and construction. The Galveston National Laboratory was built to withstand a direct hit from a hurricane, and the building's stability was proven in 2008 when Hurricane Ike came ashore at Galveston.
Emergency plans are updated annually, and all staff and students receive training to ensure their awareness of storm policies and staged shut-down procedures.
Peak hurricane season for Galveston Island tends to be the months of August and September, but staff are on alert throughout the season and weather conditions are constantly monitored and communicated throughout the organization. Whenever a storm threatens to form within the Gulf of Mexico, staff initiates storm preparations, which are designed to secure research, ensure the safety of laboratory animals and to prepare for operations with a smaller "stay team," in the event of a major storm event.
Unlike tornadoes, which can arrive with little to no warning, hurricane forecasting is relatively accurate and there is time to prepare.
During a major tropical storm or hurricane, it may be impossible for general phone lines to be answered at the GNL. However, the UTMB media relations team is always available to answer inquiries about the status of campus and the GNL. Their 24 hour hotline is (409) 772-6397.