Here in South Florida, another hurricane season is upon us. For the next several months, we’ll all be watching the news and weather closely, and doing what we can to prepare for any potential storms that we may encounter. Many of us know the steps to take in order to secure our homes and ensure we have the necessary supplies to make it through both a hurricane, and the aftermath. However, if you are a boat owner, you also need to make sure you are taking the proper precautions to ensure the safety of your vessel, especially during this time.
Hurricane season lasts from June 1st all the way through November 30th. That is essentially half of the year. Most people don’t realize that hurricane season is as long as it is. Many feel that it is only a few short months they have to worry about, and that it is only necessary to prepare their boat in the event of an actual hurricane. This situation, however, is far from ideal. If a hurricane does arise, there may not be time to properly secure your vessel. You want to make sure that you’ve done everything you can ahead of time so that you won’t find yourself without enough time to prepare.
There are several important things that all boat owners should make sure to take care of now. As the saying goes, “better safe than sorry.” To prepare for the South Florida hurricane season, here are three things that you can do ahead of time to make sure your boat will be protected in the event of a hurricane.
- Secure Prper Boat Storage
The first thing you’ll need to do is to locate a hurricane safe facility that is able to store your boat, such as a marina or a boatyard. If you are unsure of who to contact a marine service professional, MPI can connect you with safe options. Securing a storage location for your vessel is definitely something that you want to arrange ahead of time. In the event of a hurricane, you do not want to find yourself calling one boatyard after the next, only to be told that they are full. Do yourself a favor, and put your mind at ease knowing you have a designated safe place to store your boat.
- Speak With Your Insurance Company
Check with your insurance company to make sure you are covered in the event of a hurricane. Each company may have different requirements or restrictions, so you want to speak with someone and ask about the specifics in regards to hurricane coverage. If there is additional coverage that needs to be purchased, that may be something to consider. Never assume that just because you have an insurance policy that you are automatically covered. Read through your policy carefully before speaking with a representative from the company and make a list of any questions you may have.
- Create A Hurricane Plan
The third thing that you’ll want to do is to create a hurricane plan for your vessel. You’ll want to make a detailed step-by-step plan of what to do in the event of a hurricane. Another thing to consider when creating your hurricane plan is purchasing extra protective equipment, such as extra lines or fenders. This way, not only will you have a plan to follow, you’ll have the proper equipment to follow it through. Make sure to include instructions on how to use the extra equipment, as well as how to remove and where to store all valuables on board.
Hurricanes are unpredictable, and the best thing that you can do is to be as prepared as possible. Taking the time to make sure you’ve followed the steps and done the work to properly secure your boat ahead of time can make all the difference. When time is critical, you can put your mind at ease knowing that everything is already in place, and that your vessel is protected. By following these three steps now, you can avoid a lot of time, stress, damage, and possibly property or money loss in the future. If you haven’t already, start today and make sure you are properly prepared this hurricane season.