WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, N.C. – With Hurricane Florence looming over the East Coast, boaters from Georgia to Maryland are beginning to prepare for whatever it might throw their way.
While preparing a boat for an incoming storm isn’t always the first thing individuals think of when a hurricane is headed their way, a boat is an investment that needs to be protected and done so in a safe and effective manner.
With this in mind, Sea Tow Captain Scott Collins – with the help of Sea Insure’s Chris McKinnon – have offered a few tips to ensure boaters are prepared for the worst as Florence looms off-shore.
“Preparing for a storm ahead of time saves boaters a lot of stress and damage down the line,” Collins said. “I’ve seen firsthand the difference a being prepared can make in these situations. A little preparation can go a long way.”
McKinnon said he and his colleagues at Sea Insure learned a great deal during a tumultuous 2017 hurricane season that saw Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria tear through the U.S. South. With this in mind, he has shared the following tips:
• Remove all valuable items from your vessel including electronics, gear, canvas equipment etc. Also, be sure to grab any of your boat’s documentation, including the registration.
• Make an inventory, preferably by video, of all valuable fixed items such as marine electronics that you cannot remove from your boat. Store all the boat’s documents, including your marine insurance policy, in a secure place off the vessel.
• Make sure that when you secure your boat, you consider the large amount of rainfall and storm surge.
• Take photos of your boat as it is currently and of where you have it secured. This will be important for insurance post-hurricane if you need to submit any claims for damage. While not required, it is an extra piece of assurance to have.
• If your boat is secured in a marina or in a dry stack be sure to understand their policies and procedures during a storm situation.
• If you have to move your boat from its current slip in the event of a storm, decide where you are going to have it hauled before a hurricane is forecast. Check with your local Sea Tow operator to see what pre-storm haul-out services are offered in your area. Contact Sea Tow at 800-4-SEATOW.
• Lastly, keep an eye to the sky and closely monitor local and national weather services, including NOAA Weather Radio and the National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center.
“The bottom line,” Collins said, “is be prepared as early as possible. Don’t wait until the last minute. It can be the difference between coming out unscathed and losing everything.”