To protect yourself and your vessel, all boaters should prepare and understand the steps that need to be taken when a storm makes landfall in your area. The following is a list of things to consider before, during, and after a storm.
General preparedness prior to a storm
- Know what your marine insurance policy covers. Read it and ask your insurance agent questions. Some insurance companies may require owners to pull their vessels out of the water during a storm or store it in a specific location while the storm is a threat.
- Ensure your policy will cover the recovery of your vessel, transportation or storage if needed, repair of your vessel or, in the worst-case scenario, the demolition and disposal of your vessel.
- If your boat is kept at a marina, check your marina policies to gain an understanding of requirements and procedures.
before a Storm
- When a storm is approaching, determine where your boat will ride out the inclement weather.
- If your boat needs to be relocated on land, position it on a trailer close to a strong building to break the wind and away from debris and strap it down securely. To anchor the trailer, place blocks beneath it and deflate the tires so it doesn’t shift around due to high winds.
- If your boat must stay in the water, secure it to the dock with longer, thicker lines to ensure it doesn’t sway during the storm.
- Make sure there aren’t any loose items on the boat that could potentially fly around during the storm causing more damage.
- Take video inventory of all property onboard and place legal documents such as policies, licenses, and registrations in a secure, dry place away from the vessel.
during a storm
- Monitor radio, TV, NOAA Weather Radio, and/or hurricane hotline telephone numbers for official bulletins and storm updates.
- Do not return to your vessel until there is an official announcement that the storm has passed, or the marina is open.
after a storm
- Once it is safe to return to your vessel, inspect it for any structural damage.
- If the boat was damaged during the storm, take photos, and report it to your insurance company as soon as possible.
- It’s imperative to only work with licensed and insured companies to recover and repair your vessel. In many cases your insurance company has a pre-arranged relationship with a recovery company, and in many cases it’s Sea Tow! Sea Tow’s experienced captains can assist with the recovery process and prevent any further damage from happening.
In addition to on-water assistance, Sea Tow’s franchise network handles salvage and recovery, responds to natural disasters, environmental hazards, and oil spill cleanups. Learn more about Sea Tow’s marine support capabilities here.