Hurricane Erika 2015 – Last Minute Tips for Boat Owners
Hurricane Erika is still a tropical storm at this time, wreaking havoc in the British Virgin islands this morning. It’s uncertain if the storm will stay organized as it passes over Hispanola or stengthen once it nears the Bahamas. The southeastern part of the US (especially Miami and all of South Florida) has no choice now but to wait, watch and get prepared.
As we wait in anticipation of Erika’s unpredictable weather to play out, now is the time for boat owners to secure their boats. Following are some tips for boat owners to get ready for a potential hit from Hurricane Erika (or tropical storm) early next week:
- Do you need to move your boat? Consider your exit path (which will usually take place 48-72 hours prior to the storm’s scheduled land fall) including accessibility, depth of water, bridges, etc. A general check of things like: fuel tanks, fuel filters, batteries and safety equipment will be a good idea prior to making the move. Will you move your boat out of the area or try to organize a dry dock option? Do you need to coordinate with your captain? S/he may be gearing up himself, so now is a good time to reach out.
- Are there important items that you need to remove from your boat? Things like the canvas, sails, radios, cushions, biminis, etc can all take time and resources to remove. And of course, you’ll want to lash down everything you cannot remove and make the boat as watertight as possible.
- Double check that you have accounted for all the important documents? Your document list includes: insurance policies, a recent photograph of your vessel, boat registration, equipment inventory, lease agreement with the marina or storage area as well as important contact phone numbers.
- Is your boat secured? Touch base with the marina today if you haven’t already or if you doing it yourself, don’t wait until the bad weather has moved in, take precaution now.
As we keep an attentive eye on Erika’s cone of uncertainty , it’s important for South Florida boat owners to be ready for anything. A few simple planning measures can make all the difference in the event of a huricane or tropical storm’s hit even if it is not direct. The hope is that Hurricane Erika will disapate over the mountains of Hispanola but until it does, boat owners in Miami and the rest of South Florida will be prepping their boats for a storm.