The 2019 hurricane season is underway. The good news is that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting an average hurricane season for the Atlantic Ocean this year. The bad news is that even an average season can be devastating for those who find themselves in the path of a massive storm. Storm activity generally peaks around August and September.
Watch the Forecast.
If a storm is coming your way, you want as much warning as possible. Pay attention to local weather and hurricane alerts. Keep in mind that projected storm paths are not always 100 percent accurate, and that areas outside the main path may still suffer from severe weather conditions.
Move and Secure the Watercraft.
Before a hurricane or tropical storm hits, move your watercraft to a safer location if possible. Remove valuables and unsecured equipment from the watercraft.
According to NOAA and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, watercraft are more secure on high, dry land than left in the water. This is especially true for high performance powerboats and small open boats. Decide ahead of time where and how you will move your watercraft. If your boat is in a marina, find out how the marina handles approaching hurricanes. If you can’t move your watercraft to land, make sure it is secured. Avoid being docked by hazards such as trees and powerlines.
According to the University of Florida, when securing a watercraft in a marina, you should double all lines, rig crossing spring lines fore and aft, attach lines high on pilings and cover lines at rough points. Batteries should be changed to make sure they can run automatic bilge pumps, but all other electronic devices should be turned off. See Hurricane Preparedness for Boat Owners for more details on securing your watercraft.
Securing your watercraft is important but keeping yourself and your family safe must always be the priority. Before you worry about your watercraft, make sure than you and your loved ones are taken care of. Do not try to ride out the hurricane or tropical storm on the watercraft. Get to land. Be safe.
Check Your Coverage.
Keep all documents readily available, including your insurance policy and watercraft registration.
If a hurricane or tropical storm damages your watercraft, you’ll want to have adequate insurance coverage. Don’t wait until a storm is approaching. Check your watercraft insurance policy now. Make sure it is valid and that the limits are sufficient. Talk to your BNC Insurance agent about any questions you have, and make sure you understand any exclusions that may exist.