CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30.
The Texas State Aquarium plans as early as April to gather the necessary resources to make sure everyone is safe before a storm hits.
Before moving the animals and stocking up on resources the Texas State Aquarium plans months in advance before hurricane season.
And once April comes around, the aquarium uses previous forecasts to begin planning for the upcoming hurricane season,
“Once the hurricane season starts, we make sure we always have enough animal food on sight to take care of the animals," said TSA senior vice president and Chief Operating Officer Jesse Gilbert. "We make sure that the ride out team is identified.”
One they have stocked up on food, the staff makes sure that the aquarium is ready to go.
“We’ve got generators, we’ve got food, we can make our own fresh water so if the fresh water system went out we can do that,” Gilbert said.
Then they start monitoring for storms once hurricane season starts.
“We subscribe to an enhanced forecasting system that gives us a little more heads up that something is coming,” Gilbert said
It takes from one to two days to move the outside animals in.
“So we just start lining up, what is the least intensive animal to move and those animals and those animals get moved," Gilbert said. "The last animals to move are the alligators and the dolphins. So if we are going to move them, they are the last ones to be moved just because it takes so much resource and it can be relatively dangerous depending on the situation."
Making sure the TSA's animals are protected is the major priority of the aquarium.
“Safety is the top priority," Gilbert said. "So the staff is safe and we make sure that we keep everybody well fed and we get people as much rest as possible."
And once the storm has passed and it's safe to go out. TSA officials begin assessing any damages and then the cleanup process begins.