Survival After the Storm

  1. When you stock up on storm supplies, make sure your boat is also stocked, if it’s a boat that you can live on for awhile. This includes water and fuel.
  2. If it’s better to haul your boat for the storm, do it. Don’t just leave it in the water with the thought that you may need it after the storm. It may not be there when you need it.
  3. Inquire of your haulout facility whether they have generators or other equipment to get your boat back in the water right after the storm. They should be able to put you in soon if it’s consistent with safety, although sometimes yard crews have all they can do to take care of their homes and families after a storm.
  4. Don’t run a generator at night while you’re sleeping and have fume alarms fully working. A good marine generator is a very practical addition to a boat and a joy to have. But any generator is a machine that mixes explosive fuel (even diesel can cause a conflagration under the right circumstances) and internal combustion and electricity and exhaust. Use it carefully and follow all the instructions and warnings.
  5. Invest in an inverter and deep cycle storage batteries. That way you can use many comforts such as TV and maybe a microwave while the generator is at rest.
  6. If your boat’s tanks don’t hold much water, add some by filling jugs and storing them low in the cockpit or some other place that doesn’t upset the boat’s balance.
  7. If you’re going to haul your boat, carefully consider what the addition of weight of water, fuel etc. will do to the boat when it’s on slings or a lift. Unfortunately you may not be able to add much weight. It depends on your boat and the hauling equipment and method. But if you can’t add the weight, you can have it ready to add for the days after the storm.
  8. Consider getting a cell phone antenna and amplifier for your boat. If a local tower is down you may be able to reach another. Previous columns here have discussed this.
  9. Have a TV that can work without cable. Have a regular battery powered (unless you have an inverter which will power it) radio so that you can get local news.
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Copyright 2004-2010 Tom Neale

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