The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has gathered informational resources to help boaters prepare for storms and be better able to deal with the aftermath of the potential hurricane that’s brewing in the Gulf of Mexico.
When a tropical storm or hurricane affects our state, Florida’s boat owners and operators have more to be concerned about than just their homes and families. In Sebastian, it’s important to protect your vessel if it’s near the Indian River Lagoon. Here’s a few ways to protect your boat.
Move your vessel if you can
- If your boat can be trailered, haul it out of the water and move it to a safe location as far from tidal waters as possible.
- If your vessel must stay in a marina berth, double all lines and rig-cross spring lines fore and aft, and attach lines high on pilings to allow for tidal rise or surge.
- If your vessel is at anchor, move to the most protected area possible and set out multiple anchors with at least a 10:1 scope, remove canvas coverings if possible and remove or secure any sails.
- If your vessel will remain on a mooring, make sure the mooring is designed to withstand the load that will be placed on it by your vessel. Inspect chains and swivels that connect to the mooring buoy and double up on the mooring pendant.
- Use the Florida Boat Ramp Finder to find a ramp near you.
Cover all lines to prevent chafing
- Wrap all lines where lines feed through chocks with tape, rags and rubber hoses or leather. Install fenders, fender boards or tires to protect the boat from rubbing against the pier, pilings or other boats.
- Consider adding backup batteries and shut off all other devices that consume electricity.
Do not stay onboard
- During a hurricane, winds can exceed 100 mph and tornadoes are often associated with these storms. If you’re on board during a bad storm, you are risking your life.
- Learn what Florida law says about mandatory marina evacuations. Chapter 327.59, F.S., Marina Evacuations.
Monitor weather broadcasts
After the storm, report issues to the FWC
For more information visit MyFWC.com/boating and click on the “Hurricane Boating Preparedness Tips” slider.
How to Prepare for a Hurricane
You can still order supplies and have them shipped to you the next day.
Make sure you have a weather radio powered by a hand crank or a solar panel. We found one here that comes with a couple of lights, radio, and an outlet to keep your mobile phones and other devices charged. You might want to invest in a generator to keep your refrigerator, TV, and other necessities alive when you lose power. We found a good generator that is less expensive and should get you through a storm. You may need hurricane window board-up clips for plywood, which can save time.
But you can also shop around for the best generator, depending on how much power you need.
You will need to gas up your vehicle before a storm. The other supplies you’ll need are water, canned food, a flashlight, extra batteries, and a battery-powered fan since you’ll lose air conditioning.
These are just some of the things you can do to prepare for hurricane season in Florida. The season ends on November 30, 2022.
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