Never too Soon: A What-To-Do List for Next Hurricane Season

The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) reminds boaters to plan ahead to protect their boats from hurricanes and tropical storms, given the recent activity in the Atlantic Ocean.

Planning is the key to minimize injury and loss of life. Boaters should not be on the water when a storm hits, and should make plans in advance to dock, moore or haul their boat. When deciding on storm preparation plans, boaters must consider the size, type and location of their vessel. Some places may not offer protection from high winds or tides.

Boaters should consider the following when making arrangements for their boats:

  • Remove valuable equipment to protect it from damage.
  • Consider removing the boat from the water, moving it inland and tying it down to prevent being damaged by storm surge or winds. Small, open boats can be filled with water to lessen the effect of the wind.
  • Boats that remain in the water should be moored in safe areas or berths, with lines doubled and high on pilings. Remember, storm surges can cause tides to rise over the pilings.
  • Install fenders to protect boats from pilings, piers or other vessels.
  • Ensure that bilge pumps work properly and that the batteries that run them are fully charged.
  • Seal all openings to make the vessel watertight.
  • Collect all documents, including insurance policies and take photographs of the boat and equipment.
  • Do not stay aboard boats during storms. Safeguard human life.

NRP reminds boaters that advanced planning can save property and lives. These actions should take place at least 48 to 72 hours prior to the storm to accommodate unforeseen problems. During the storm, people should stay away from waterways and stay in safe shelters. Citizens should remember that storm conditions may delay or prevent response from emergency personnel.