With tropical storms still threatening the areas, it serves as a reminder to all boaters in hurricane zones to be prepared as the hurricane season enters what typically is its most active period – from about mid-August through September.
Below, find our top 10 ten Hurricane Preparation Tips to keep yourself and equipment safe in case of a natural disaster:
1. Closely monitor local and national weather services including NOAA Weather Radio and NOAA online (http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/index.shtml).
2. Make an inventory, preferably by video, of all valuable fixed items such as marine electronics on board your boat.
3. Store all the boat’s important documents, including your marine insurance policy, in a secure place off the vessel.
4. When a storm is forecast for your area, remove all detachable items from your boat, such as canvas, sails, cushions, fishing rigging, radios and antennas. Lash down everything that you cannot remove, including booms, tillers, wheels, etc.
5. Deflate your dinghy and store it and its outboard off the boat. If it’s a fiberglass dinghy, have it stored in an indoor facility.
6. If your boat is on a trailer, lash it securely. Use tie-downs to anchor the trailer to the ground, let the air out of its tires and weigh down the frame.
7. If your boat is in a facility with shore power, be sure all power is turned off and all shore power cords are stowed securely. Disconnect your boat’s battery.
8. Boats docked in a marina or in a private berth should be centered in the slip. Double-up all dock lines and make sure they are of sufficient length to compensate for excessive high water.
9. Anchored boats should have enough scope. Inspect all anchor rodes and chain and use only good or new gear. Set extra anchors as necessary.
10. Do not stay with your boat or try to ride out a storm on board. No matter how valuable your vessel is to you—both financially and sentimentally—it’s not worth your life.