Charleston Coast Guard crews finalize preparations before Florence

Coast Guard crew members from Air Station Clearwater prepare an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter for deployment to Savannah, GA, Sept. 12, 2018. Crews are surging assets to the Charleston area for a Hurricane Florence post-storm response. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Michael De Nyse.

Coast Guard crew members from Air Station Clearwater prepare an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter for deployment to Savannah, GA, Sept. 12, 2018. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Michael De Nyse.

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Coast Guard crews in Charleston are making final preparations Wednesday before Hurricane Florence makes landfall.

Crews are finalizing response plans and positioning assets for the quickest response after Florence passes.

“We are asking the public to heed the evacuation order issued by their state officials,” said Capt. John Reed, the Coast Guard Sector Charleston Commander. “As soon as it’s safe to operate, we will work with our local partners to asses the waterways and provide life-saving support.”

The Coast Guard asks mariners to heed evacuation orders and follow a few tips to help mariners protect themselves, their families and their vessels:

  • Do not go out to sea in a recreational boat if you know a tropical storm or hurricane is approaching.
  • People in distress should use 911 to request assistance whenever possible. Social media should not be used to report life-threatening distress due to limited resources to monitor the dozens of social media platforms during a hurricane or large-scale rescue event.
  • When removing your EPIRB from your vessel, ensure it does not inadvertently activate which could signal a false alert. Furthermore, once the severe weather has passed, mariners are reminded to ensure the EPIRB devices are placed back in their vessels before use.
  • Contact local marinas to ask for advice about securing your vessel. Marina operators are knowledgeable and can advise you on the best methods for securing your boat.
  • Take action now. The effects of a tropical storm/hurricane can be felt well in advance of the storm itself and can prevent the safe completion of preparations.
  • Check with local authorities before entering any storm-damaged area. Do not rush to your boat. Boaters should not place themselves in danger to get to a boat.
  • Do not try to reach your boat if it has been forced into the water and is surrounded by debris. Wait until authorities have made safe access available. Do not try to board a partially sunken boat; seek salvage assistance from a professional.
  • Storms move quickly and are unpredictable. You can always replace a boat; you cannot replace a life.The Coast Guard requests that the public not call Coast Guard facilities for weather information, but to listen to weather broadcasts. Important storm information can also be viewed at the National Hurricane Center website.

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