Kennedy Space Center Prepares for Hurricane Irma →

Loren Grush at The Verge, writing on how NASA KSC is preparing for the massive hurricane:

Fortunately, KSC is built to handle hurricanes. The large Vertical Assembly Building, once used to assemble the Space Shuttles prior to launch, is able to withstand winds of 125 miles per hour. And after KSC was hit by Hurricane Andrew in 1992, all new buildings constructed were built to withstand winds between 130 and 135 miles per hour. Irma is now a Category 4 storm, with 150 mph winds, but it’s expected to downgrade by the time it reaches Cape Canaveral.

To get ready for the storm, KSC uses an alert scale designed for the US armed forces called HURCON. Yesterday — 48 hours before Irma’s arrival — the center was at HURCON III, the preparation phase. NASA and the various aerospace companies that lease buildings at KSC, such as SpaceX and Boeing, were at work protecting all of their hardware — such as covering their computers with plastic to protect them from flooding. “Each organization has specific checklists they need to go through,” Al Feinberg, a NASA communications officer at KSC, tells The Verge.

Godspeed, Florida.