All Aboard! Tips to Prepare Your Boat for Hurricane Season
Ahoy! Hurricane Season officially begins June 1st and runs through the end of November. With no guarantee of what Mother Nature will bring, ABC Insurance Agencies wants to make sure you are prepared and covered with the right insurance for hurricane season.
According to the United States Coast Guard, there are several things you can do to protect you and your boat or watercraft.
Before the hurricane strikes:
- Ask your local marina about the best ways to secure your boat
- Devise an evacuation plan and remove anything that is detachable from your boat
- Make sure your boat is stocked with emergency supplies and the radio is charged
- Gather any information about your boat’s policies, registration, equipment, and photos to keep with you on land
- If you have to anchor your boat in the water, make sure you use two anchors, the lines are 10 times the water depth, the boat is facing the direction of the winds, cover the engine vents and plug the exhaust pipes
- For smaller boats, take them out of the water and secure them in an area that would be less likely to flood
- For larger boats, relocate them to a safe-haven in your area
During the storm:
- Contact your local marina for advice on what to do if you can’t move or relocate your boat
- Turn off the electrical system, take out the battery, remove any loose equipment and seal off doors, windows, hatches as well as the fuel lines.
- Other precautions you can take include:
- Use extra fenders
- Double up and secure mooring lines
- Secure all hatches and portals and cover windscreens
- Take down mast whenever possible
- Remove all loose items from decks, superstructure and from area around mooring. Secure everything
- Remember: Boats are replaceable, but your life is not! If you are in a dangerous situation, abandon your boat, seek higher ground and shelter.
If you get stuck:
- Find shelter as soon as possible, make sure everyone is wearing a life jacket and brace for rough water
- If there is a chance of your boat sinking, stay above deck
- Call the Coast Guard in an emergency on their channels frequencies Channel 16 VHF/FM or 2182 MHZ. Most importantly, keep in mind cell phones are not as reliable in these weather conditions
- If your boat is sinking, make sure you are tethered together to any other passengers and keep moving slowly to stay warm, but do not over-exert yourself
- If you’re on a larger boat, check to see if there are life rafts
After the disaster:
- Make sure it’s safe to approach the damaged area where your boat is located by talking to authorities
- Don’t attempt to board a sinking boat without professional assistance
- Be careful of any chemical spills
- For more information on what to do in an emergency visit Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
ABC can help protect you if your boat goes under when disaster strikes. Visit ABC Insurance Agencies to learn more about our boating and watercraft insurance options or call 800-708-0123. ABC Insurance offers better choices for your boating needs!