Hurricane Preparedness Article

Greetings all.

Yes, it's that time of year again. No. Not party time, but Hurricane Preparedness Time.

Most everyone knows the #1 basic "Hurricane Approaching" preparedness rule ... that's right. Run away.

What about if you choose not to run away? There are a lot of reasons and rationales to stay. "It won't be that bad." "It's not going to hit us here." "We'll be OK." We've all used these or our own personal excuses before, at least I have. The final decision whether to stay and keep your boat in the water or go and take your boat out of the water rests with you.

A little preparation and forethought will help you make the right decision. In my quest for information to provide you with regarding hurricane preparedness, I was amazed to find that there are thousands of pages of great information out there. Most of it is really good, some is not applicable for us and much is great general information.

Our own website has a hurricane preparedness tip sheet posted on the training and seamanship page. If you haven't seen it or haven't seen it recently, now would be a good time to take a look at it. The day of the storm is not the time to take a look at the hurricane preparedness tips. It's way too late by then. The DYC Standard Operating Procedures also address Hazardous Conditions. This information should also be reviewed prior to the development of any hazardous conditions. Some of the information is general in nature while other information is specific. The key is that it is your responsibility to be aware of hazardous conditions that may affect you, your boat, and the club in general for that matter. The S.O.P. goes a little further in that it states not only that you will be aware of hazardous conditions but you will act in accordance with these instructions. I would say, not only act in accordance with the SOP and base requirements but act in accordance with prudent seamanship and heavy weather protocols.

If something can be blown away it probably will be unless someone, you, does something about it. If something looks like it will break free or cause damage it will, unless someone does something about it. Remember don't take any unnecessary risks. Call for assistance, get some help or just leave a bad situation alone. You don't want to make it worse by adding you, in distress, into the equation. Our boats are nice, (most of 'em), they are valuable (most of 'em), they are our pride and joy (most of 'em). None are worth our lives and few are worth even minor injury.

Hurricane preparation begins with you and should begin now. Review our SOP. Review our hurricane preparation tips for boaters and make a plan that includes provisions to pack up and leave or to hunker down and stay.

Most plans contain information regarding moving your boat to a safe location, ashore or to a "hurricane hole." You should have some extra provisions, food, water, flashlights, etc. available. One of the better plans I saw contained step-by-step procedures that included evaluating your marina (or Y.C.), and developing a plan. Things to do now, and what to do just before and right after a hurricane hits. These checklists were long and very detailed. What caught my eye were the especially detailed instructions of what to do during a hurricane. It had two words: "Good Luck". I couldn't have said it any better myself.

Special thanks to A.L. "Hurricane" Pickup.