Lets start with the boats in the boat slips. There is no official Hibiscus By The Bay rule on this, that we know of. Our recommendation would be that a boat owner should put their boat on a trailer and store it somewhere inland or take your boat to a marina that can fork lift it out. It should be noted that there is no legal requirement in Florida for a boat owner to remove his boat from a mooring during a storm. However, a boat owner can be held liable for damages his boat causes to other property.
It would not be very neighborly to leave it in a wet slip or on a lift during a hurricane. With hurricane force winds and storm surge the boat owner risks damaging not only his boat but also the docks, slips, and the neighbors lift etc. Who has to pay for the damage? Most likely your neighbor will have to pay to fix his lift and slip and the association may have to pay for the docks and pylons if your boat damages them. The association is made up of your neighbors and it doesn’t seem fair that they should pay for someone elses lack of planning or consideration for others.
If you must leave your boat in a wet slip or on lift then you MUST secure it properly. There is a pretty good boat owner hurricane preparedness guide published by the University Of Florida UFAS Extension that has recommendations for properly securing your boat.
You can view, print and download the PDF file here.
The Florida Department Of Environmental Protection (DEP) writes:
Boat owners and marina operators, especially those along the coast, should consider hurricane preparation part of normal boat and marina maintenance. Just a few unprepared boats can inflict incredible damage on a marina, as can unsecured facilities and equipment. Marina managers must begin early in developing a formal, orderly written plan.
Many marinas request that boats be taken out of the water at least 72 hours prior to potential hurricane landfall. Yes history reflects that taking your boat out of the water and going through the preparedness routine may all be for naught because the hurricane changes course or falls apart all together. However, that is the risk we live with in a hurricane area. Securing your boat 72 hrs prior gives you the best opportunity to have light winds and favorable tides to get your boat safely out of the water.
Following are some sample marina preparedness hurricane plans you can download. You may get some ideas to use for your hurricane preparedness plan.
- Condo complex and marina hurricane plan here.
- Florida Department of Environmental Protection example hurricane plan here.
- BoatUS marina hurricane plan tips for Florida here.
If you visit your condo intermittently during the hurricane season it would be best if you would put your balcony furniture in your unit each time you leave. If you do not do that it would be wise to make arrangements with another owner who lives here full time to do that for you or make arrangements with the condo association manager to have it done. Putting the furniture in the unit may protect the sliding glass door (which you own) from being damaged, the balcony railing and the master bedroom window. If your patio items got airborne they could damage neighboring units.
American Red Cross Safe and Well website. In the event of a disaster you can let your family members know you are ok. 😀
The American Red Cross Safe and Well system is an online system so it is relatively disaster proof and should be up and running if you are in a bit of a pickle. Prior to a storm event let your family members know about Safe and Well website. Then if you are in a pickle and do not have a way to communicate to your family members directly that you are Safe and Well you may be able to go to this website and list yourself as Safe and Well and post messages to them! 😯
Won’t they appreciate that? Sure they will! Heck they love ya! 😆
They can then check the site to see if you have posted yourself as Safe and Well and read your messages. 😎
From the Red Cross:
Disasters often make it difficult to stay in touch with loved ones. The American Red Cross Safe and Well website is a central location for people in disaster areas in the United States to register their current status, and for their loved ones to access that information. It helps provide displaced families with relief and comfort during a stressful time.
The Safe and Well website is easy to use:
- If you are currently being affected by a disaster somewhere in the U.S., click List Myself as Safe and Well, enter your pre-disaster address and phone number, and select any of the standard message options.
- If you are concerned about a loved one in the U.S., click Search Registrants and enter the person’s name and pre-disaster phone number OR address. If they have registered, you will be able to view the messages they have posted.
Safe and Well is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is accessible in both English and Spanish.
The following downloadable hurricane preparedness checklists are from the American Red Cross.
Download and print your Hurricane Safety Checklist in PDF format here.
Download and print your Hurricane Safety Preparedness Checklist for Pets in PDF format here.
We hope you find the information helpful!
Tight lines, Capt. Mike and Vivian Foate