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NRP Urges Boaters to Plan for Increasing Storm Activity
The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) are asking mariners to plan for hurricanes and tropical storms and to safeguard their boats, given the recent activity in the Atlantic Ocean.
“Planning is the key to minimizing injury and loss of life,” said Col. George Johnson IV. “Boaters need to make plans well in advance of a storm so that definite boat docking, mooring or hauling arrangements can be performed quickly and without delay.”
When deciding on storm preparation plans, mariners need to consider size, type of boat and location. Current boat locations may not offer protection from high winds or tides. Boaters should consider the following when making arrangement for their vessels:
- Remove valuable equipment from a boat to protect it from damage.
- Consider removing a boat from the water to reduce damage from storm surge. Boats on land should be properly stored or tied down to prevent being damaged by winds. Small open boats can be filled with water to lessen the effect of the wind.
- Boats remaining in the water should be moored in safe areas or berths. Lines should be doubled and high on pilings. Remember storm surges can cause tides over the pilings.
- Install fenders to protect boats from pilings, piers or other vessels.
- Ensure bilge pumps work properly and batteries that run the pumps are fully charged.
- Seal all openings to make the vessel watertight.
- Collect all documents, including insurance policies. Take photographs of boats and equipment for insurance
- Do not stay aboard boats during storms. Safeguard human life.
Boaters should take these actions at least 48-72 hours prior to the event to accommodate unforeseen problems. During the storm, occupants should be off the water and in safe shelters. NRP reminds boaters that storm conditions can delay or prevent response from emergency personnel.
Additional information on hurricane preparedness may be found at http://www.fema.gov/hazard/hurricane/index.shtm and http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/outreach/prepared_week.shtml
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