WHAT IS A HURRICANE?
A hurricane is identified and graded based upon its sustained wind speed according to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Such storms can cause high winds, rainfall, flooding, rip currents, and tornadoes. Even if a storm does not rise to the standard of an official hurricane, its force may still qualify as a tropical storm or tropical depression, which can pose significant risks to watercraft.
Reminder: hurricane season is from June 1st to November 30th, often peaking from August through October. Now is the time to prep all watercraft in your possession.
HOMEOWNER HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS TIPS
Before securing your boat from a hurricane you must make sure your home and family are safe. We have rounded up some basic, but vital steps to prepare yourself, your family, and your home for a hurricane. Please find them below:
- Register for your community’s alert system. This is a simple and effective way to ensure quick notice of a hurricane watch or warning via text or email.
- Prepare a disaster supply kit with the supplies you’ll need if you lose power and did not need to evacuate.
- If you are advised to evacuate, know where to go and how to get there. Local evacuation routes will be available from your local emergency management agency.
- Create an emergency communication plan for your household.
- Trim the trees around your home before the start of hurricane season.
- Secure all water pipes throughout your property to prevent water damage.
- Purchase a portable generator.
RECREATIONAL MARINE INSURANCE
If you are in a hurricane-prone area, it is important to protect your watercraft with boat insurance that provides for storm and flood coverage in case of a natural disaster, just as you would protect your home with homeowner's insurance.
HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS WEEK (May 5th – May 11th)
The National Weather Service has designated May 5th- 11th as Hurricane Preparedness Week. Each day provides an action item that will help you prepare for a potential hurricane. We’ve compiled some tips and ideas for preparing your watercraft for a hurricane during this important week.
Sunday, May 5th - Determine Your Risk
Today is all about understanding what kind of hazards your boat may be subject to. Your preparation and approach may vary based on how your watercraft is stored. In addition, the location of your boat may make it susceptible to a potential storm surge and flooding or wind.
Monday, May 6th – Develop an Evacuation Plan
If you plan to store or haul your boat in the event of a storm, use this day to verify those plans and identify any other actions needed If kept afloat, secure with extra lines and fenders to help protect your boat in the event of a storm.
Consider storing your watercraft at a marina or storage facility for more security. Your insurance will usually contribute to the cost of hauling your boat out and relaunching it after the windstorm has passed.
Tuesday, May 7th – Assemble Disaster Supplies
Every prudent mariner should organize all supplies before hurricane season. Now is the time to make sure you have extra lines to secure your boat, fenders, and any other materials that will be necessary aboard the boat in advance of a storm. If your boat is trailered, confirm that all equipment is operational and accessible.
Wednesday, May 8th – Check Your Insurance
Thursday, May 9th – Examine Boat Contents
Take stock of all unattached property aboard the boat. Identify anything that should be removed, tied down or otherwise accounted for in advance of a storm and obtain the necessary supplies. Flooding and wind can also damage the inside of your boat!
Friday, May 10th – Help Your Neighbor
Help other boaters prepare for hurricane season as well. Share your protection plans with each other. It is always smart to trade tips with a fellow boater.
Saturday, May 11th – Complete a Written Plan
For more on hurricane preparedness visit The National Weather Service.
Sunday, May 12th through Summer and Fall
Enjoy your time on the water with your family and friends!