Coast Guard ready to respond ahead of Tropical Storms Marco, Laura

Coast Guard Marine Safety Security Team Houston response boats sit ready to be staged inside the NASA Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Houston, Texas, Aug. 23, 2020. The Coast Guard is pre-staging response assets in the Gulf Coast region due to a forecast of two tropical storms and potential hurricanes. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Paige Hause)

Coast Guard Marine Safety Security Team Houston response boats sit ready to be staged inside the NASA Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Houston, Texas, Aug. 23, 2020.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Paige Hause)

NEW ORLEANS — The Coast Guard has staged response assets and is urging safety precautions ahead of two tropical systems impacting the Gulf Coast this week.

Tropical Storm Marco is expected to make landfall this afternoon, and Tropical Storm Laura is expected to reach hurricane strength before it makes landfall Thursday. Both systems are expected to bring heavy rainfall and strong winds to coastal areas.

Hurricanes and tropical storms can be deadly, and the Coast Guard is urging people to be prepared, stay informed and heed storm warnings.

“These systems produce incredible amounts of rainfall in short periods of time, so we are urging people in the area to remain vigilant,” said Cmdr. Mickey Dougherty, area commander for the Marco/Laura response. “Our ability to conduct rescues can be diminished or non-existent at the height of a storm, but we have our crews staged and ready to respond to emergencies immediately after each storm passes.”

The Coast Guard is reminding the public of these important safety messages:

  • Stay off the water. Hurricanes and tropical storms can be deadly and our ability to conduct rescues can be diminished or non-existent at the height of a storm. Be prepared, stay informed and heed storm warnings.
  • Be prepared. Owners of large boats are urged to move their vessels to inland marinas where they will be less vulnerable to breaking free of their moorings or to sustaining damage. Mooring lines should be doubled in case of high winds. Boats that can be trailered should be pulled from the water and stored in a place that is not prone to flooding. Those who are leaving their boats in the water are reminded to remove EPIRBs and to secure life rings, life jackets, and small boats. These items, if not properly secured, can break free and require valuable search and rescue resources to be diverted and may put first responders in harm’s way to ensure people are not in distress.
  • Evacuate as necessary. If mandatory evacuations are set for an area, the public should evacuate without delay. Coast Guard personnel and other emergency responders may not be able to evacuate or rescue those in danger during the storm.
  • Stay informed. The public should monitor the progress and strength of the storm through local television, radio, and the Internet. Boaters can monitor its progress on VHF radio channel 16. Information can also be obtained on small craft advisories and warnings on VHF radio channel 16.

For more information on hurricane preparedness visit Ready.Gov and NOAA websites, as well as following them on Twitter.

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