Disaster preparedness is important
The recent predictions for fewer potential hurricanes for the Eastern Pacific and Hawaii this season can be a big cause for alarm. And if you don't believe me ask anyone involved in disaster preparedness.
It's because after such an announcement many people then tend to procrastinate even more than usual in taking the steps needed to prepare themselves for those disastrous tropical storms, forgetting that it only takes one to change their lives forever.
Hurricane preparedness issues can be extremely important for recreational boaters with vessels moored around our islands, as they often have nowhere to hide.
In a recent notice from BoatU.S. -- the nation's largest organization of recreational boaters -- it was pointed out that based on 40 years of hurricane-related insurance claims, as well as input from marina operators and boat owners, there are dozens of ways to lessen hurricane damage to your boat. And yet, there are six surefire reasons why your boat may not survive a major storm.
First and foremost, you did nothing. Year after year it has been documented that some boat owners fail to make any serious effort to prepare for an approaching hurricane.
The second reason is that a nearby boat owner did little or nothing in preparation. BoatU.S. recommends that boaters should work together to help ensure their slip or mooring mates embrace hurricane planning.
"There is nothing worse than seeing a poorly prepared boat break loose and take down a dozen others that were properly prepared," it notes.
A third reason for losing your boat in a hurricane is that you didn't talk with the management of your marina. Having a coordinated hurricane plan in partnership with your marina is essential for boat survival, BoatU.S. advises.
Reason number four is that you didn't take advantage of all of the free planning guides available on-line at http://www.BoatUS.com /hurricanes, or, I should add, the guide in the Hawaii Boater's Hurricane Safety Manual that's available at all state harbormaster offices.
The fifth reason your boat may not survive is that your marina, boat club, or yacht club management didn't review the latest planning document created by the Houston Yacht Club. It too is available on the BoatU.S. Web site and was "developed from years of storm hardened experience."
The final reason you may lose your boat to a hurricane is that you waited until the last minute to get what you needed. Once the storm is breaking news on TV, the extra anchors, dock lines, or chafing gear you need are likely to be long gone from your local hardware stores.
So the bottom line is this: If you want your boat to survive the next hurricane, start to prepare for it now. Otherwise, the best you might do is to make sure your insurance policy is paid up to cover your loss.
One caveat though: insurance companies often withhold payment if it is found that the policyholder took insufficient steps to safeguard his or her property.