Useful Tips

Hurricane preparation


A hurricane is a violent storm that can cause massive destruction. A person is not able to stop the hurricane, but thanks to careful preparation and planning, he is able to safely survive the impending natural disaster. It doesn’t matter how often hurricanes occur in your area, thanks to certain measures you can protect yourself and your loved ones during and after the storm.

Get ready for the hurricane season.

  1. Explore your area. If you live in an evacuation area, you should be aware of this. Usually, during hurricanes, those areas located near water bodies are evacuated. Try to find out the classification of your area. In this case, after warnings of a severe storm, you will be ready for evacuation.

Find out about your nearest evacuation shelters. Mark such places on the map so that you know where to go in the event of an approaching natural disaster.

Pay attention to the terrain. If you live at the base of the hill, then the water will drain towards the house. In this case, your property is at risk of flooding, and you need to take additional precautions in case of approaching a hurricane. You can place sandbags around the house to reduce the chance of flooding.

Find a high place near the house to go there in case of flooding.

  1. Stock up on food and water. In the event of a severe storm, your family will be cut off from the whole world for several days. In the absence of electricity, all stores will be closed, so you should stock up on food and water for 3-5 days per family member.

Choose foods that don't go bad (like canned food). In this case, they will not disappear even in case of power outages. In addition, you can buy canned goods before the start of the hurricane season and not worry about products until next year.

  1. Stock up with water for 3-5 days at the rate of 20 liters per person.

Gather the necessary supplies. In addition to water and food, it is recommended to stock up also with other necessary things. These include:

- Medical supplies - first aid kit and prescription drugs that you take

- Battery-operated radio in case of power failure

- Spare batteries for various devices

- Hygiene products - soap, toothpaste and wet wipes in case of a water outage

  1. Assemble the emergency car kit. There is a possibility that you will receive orders to evacuate your family or be forced to leave your home in the event of a sudden flood. For this case, it is recommended to store a spare set of the following items and accessories in the car:

- Long-term storage products and water

- Flashlights and spare batteries

- A map on which you can put shelters in case of evacuation and other safe places

  1. Make an emergency plan. It is very important to have an action plan for you and your loved ones in case of a hurricane. Review this plan regularly so that the whole family knows its contents. If you have children, then several times a year you can conduct exercises so that they learn how to quickly pack things and get in the car. Be sure to include the following items in the plan:

At what point will you have to leave the house. If an evacuation order has not been announced, this does not mean that you are safe at home. With a strong storm, waves can occur that can flood homes at a great distance from the coast.

A list of safe places to go.

A way to contact other family members in case you leave home.

If you have pets, then they also need an action plan.

  1. Install the generator. Hurricane winds can easily damage power lines. In such a situation, a generator is useful for you, which will allow you to save products, provide lighting and operation of phones.

If you have a gasoline generator, you should take care of the fuel supply.

If the generator does not provide for automatic switching on when the house is de-energized, then place it in a convenient place.

Never install the generator indoors. Typically, generators run on gasoline and emit carbon monoxide, which is life threatening.

  1. Take photos at home and keep them in a safe place, protected from water. In case of damage during the hurricane and the availability of insurance, you can claim compensation. It will be easier for you to file a lawsuit if there is evidence of the appearance of the home before the storm.
  2. Trim trees and bushes around the house in a timely manner. The overgrown trees and bushes have a large surface area and trap a hurricane wind, as a result of which the wind can uproot the plants or fall down on its side and damage the house. Timely pruning will make them more windproof and reduce the likelihood that trees will be uprooted.
  3. Insure your home. Many forms of home insurance do not protect against damage in the event of hurricanes. Examine your insurance plan and contact your insurance company with this question. As a result of hurricanes, severe damage occurs, and without proper insurance, you risk significant financial loss.

Art. domestic service lieutenant T.V. Nikolaev

1. Sail to another place - it’s logical, isn't it?

You will say: "I have already moved away from the zone of action of the hurricane, why should I still move somewhere"? To begin with, if the marina you are in is not considered safe during a hurricane, then you will be forced to sail anyway, whether you want it or not. If I were you, I would study the area you are in (long before you need it) to find safe places during a hurricane. Choose a location for Plan B and make sure you have enough time to get there. When the storm begins and it becomes clear that it is heading in your direction, reserve a place for yourself in the chosen marina and sail there.

You will need to prepare the boat for a hurricane, but at least you will be in a safer place. Sometimes it’s not possible to go to another place. If there is no choice and you have only one place, then the following points should seem logical to you. I say “must”, because I can’t even calculate how many times after the storm I saw the boats aground with tackles and tarps torn into strips. Often the problem is not in your boat, the problem is in the boats around you!

2. Clean everything! Sails, tarpaulins, solar panels and boats on deck

As soon as we found out about Eric's impending storm, the first thing we did was take off the spinning staysail. The Sunbrella fabric had to be repaired in some places, and then there was a good reason to lower the sail. We removed all the files that could be removed, and tied with cords those bungees that could not be removed.

We were going to lower the grotto, remove the bimini top and solar panel. Their frames also need to be removed or attached to the rafters at the stern, or what is possible. For such cases, I keep on board different lengths of the Dyneema tench - 1.4 mm in diameter. I secured the spin mechanism, anchor and chain. I was thinking about completely removing the anchor, since we have a Mantus, which can be easily removed, but did not have to go to such extremes.

Next in line was a boat with a hard bottom. If we had an inflatable boat, of course, we would have blown it away and hid it, but we have an old rigid boat, and we did not want it to be on the deck, no matter how well it was anchored. If a strong wind rises, it will be too late to try to remove the boat. Besides the fact that the boat increases the leeward surface of the boat, it can fly out like a shell if the wind breaks the slings holding it.

3. Go shopping and stock up on everything you need.

While you keep a close eye on the storm with,, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) or your favorite weather app, make a grocery list and go to the supermarket long before the locals, who always wait for the last moment and run to buy bread, milk and eggs. I never understood this, because these are the three most perishable products. Does everyone around make French toasts?

We love to go shopping in the evening and stock up as if we were going into the open sea. We usually buy canned chicken, tuna, salmon, beans, Turkish peas and chicken broth. Rice, quinoa and similar products are also good. Food for a week or two that cooks quickly will not hurt in the most extreme case, if there is no electricity and water. And this smoothly brings us to the next point (oh yes, do not forget the rum).

4. Fill the tanks. Empty the tanks

Fill your tanks with water. This will solve two problems. Firstly, you will have water! Secondly, you add a weight ship. Let this be a little, but every little thing will benefit. In case of an emergency, you will have full reservoirs of water that you can rationally use. It is understood that you already know how much water you spend, and you can not worry about its amount.

In addition, we buy several 2.5 gallon bottles of water, store them in the shower and use this water for drinking and making coffee. In addition, we keep on the cockpit a whole canister of drinking water of 5 gallons, as we can do it. Make sure you fill the rum tank. This adds extra weight ... just kidding.

If you cook on propane, then make sure that you have enough gas to cook in case you get stuck on the boat for more than a week. Whatever you cook for, make sure you have enough. Roads, dams and mooring piles can be washed out, and you may not even get to the parking lots or toilets in the marina. This brings us to the next question - sewage tanks. Empty your drain tanks before the storm begins. This is terrible when you need to go to the toilet, and the sewage tank is full, and you can not get off the ship. Do not try to dump everything in the sea!

5. Fill the fuel tanks.

When we are not swimming, we try to keep the fuel tank full. This reduces condensation inside the tank, and if we need to quickly set sail or turn on the engine to charge the batteries, we know that we have a full tank. This adds weight to the boat, but not so much in our case, because we have a 33 gallon tank. I refuel a full tank and hold a full 5 gallon diesel canister in case there is no power for a long time. In this situation, rum will come in handy.

Of course, I did not mention obvious things. Such as strong and suitable lines for your vessel. This is understandable, isn't it? Springs should be pulled in the bow and stern of the boat and be double. And I don’t need to talk about the bulk bars, right? You won’t believe how many boats I see, big boats, with tiny, covered with algae and sea ducks, with puffed bars that barely keep on a shabby 1/4 line. We all saw people on such boats, and if you didn’t see, then you yourself are like that.

In order to prepare for the approaching hurricane, many things can and must be done, but the fact is that this can still not save your boat. If you have time, and you can go away from the hurricane, then this is the only sure way out. If you go against mother nature, then you are likely to lose, but, as sailors, we take this risk and do everything possible to prepare the boats and ourselves for the hurricane. Once I heard something like: "Mother nature does not tolerate self-neglect and does not forgive mistakes." Every time we go out to sea or prepare for a storm, I recall this phrase.

Do not be the one who returns after a storm with a torn staysail slamming in the wind, or those who tie their boat when the wind rises to 40 knots. Prepare your plan. Perform it in advance and if the storm passes you, you can enjoy fresh supplies in the galley, loaded with movies and rum! Rejoice that you are so cool!

Now it's your turn - leave comments about your methods (serious or ridiculous) of preparing for the weather.