So, the dreaded looks like it might happen. Mother Nature has created a gigantic storm. It came out of the blue (to us) but is now a Category 3 Hurricane. Its predicted to barrel through the Eastern Seaboard over the weekend. So much for sunning myself on the beach!
The track is not set in stone. Apparently there are a lot of meteorological factors playing ping pong with the storm. Computer forecast models are grappling with a complex interaction between Joaquin, an East Coast cold front, the remnants of Tropical Storm Ida, high pressure over the North Atlantic Ocean, and a strong area of low pressure. (I pulled this info from weather channel)
But regardless of where it goes, we know at the very least that we will be flooded in Oriental. Possibly another foot of rainfall in a matter of just days. We have already had almost 6 inches of rain in the last week…but another foot. That will really be over the top. Honestly, floods are the least of our worries at the moment. We re more concerned about this potential storms 100 mph+ gusting winds, 10-feet of storm surge and any potential damage to our hovel, Bosco.
We have to be prepared. Its important to take steps and have a plan before its too late.
So you might ask, what exactly does one need to do to prep before a hurricane? Or rather, prep a boat for a hurricane? I put together a quick list of things that we are going to do starting tomorrow in anticipation of Joaquin. It may or may not come, but its never too early to be prepared.
Bosco Boat Hurricane Preparation 101
- Devise a docking plan. If you can, point the bow towards open water or to wind. If you have the option, removing the boat from water may be the safest bet. Affix your boat to your dock (floating dock in our case) as best as possible for the conditions coming.
- Add longer dock lines and chafe protectors. Unprotected lines will sever.
- Close all seacocks except those used for drainage.
- Remove all loose items including all canvas and sails.
- Use duck tape to cover all exposed instruments that can’t be removed. Seal all areas (like fans) that are prone to water intake or leaking with duck tape. Basically seal everything with duck tape.
- Make sure to prepare the cabin for flooding or taking on water – this is worse case scenario. All paper items should be stored up high so as not to clog the bilge if become wet. Basically remove anything that is at risk of water damage if possible
- Make 2 lists. One list of things to prepare for hurricane and one list of all items to remove from the boat.
- Turn off all power except bilge pumps.
- Make sure batteries have a good charge and turn off all other power
- Remove any extraneous items, outboard engine, gasoline / propane etc.
- Start moving as soon as you feel hurricane watch is probable.
- Prepare early. Securing a boat in high wind (45mph or more) is impossible.
- Double check everything.
- Don’t stay on your boat!!! Leave – go someplace away from the storm – ideally inland.
The preparation begins tomorrow at dawn. I hope that it will be for nothing and the storm will miss the U.S. Coast altogether. That would be best case scenario!