Coast Guard urges public to prepare for hurricane threat along Gulf Coast

NEW ORLEANS — The Coast Guard is urging the public to prepare Thursday for the arrival of a hurricane threat throughout the Gulf Coast.

The Coast Guard is advising the boating public to prepare now as hurricane winds, degraded sea conditions and rainfall can impact areas well ahead of the storm.

“As we collectively prepare for this potential hurricane threat, we would ask that the boating public remain vigilant,” said Capt. Will Watson, Coast Guard Sector New Orleans commanding officer. “Secure your boats and gear, monitor the weather closely, and stay informed.”

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

  • Monitor the progress and strength of the hurricane threat through local television, radio and internet. Information can also be obtained on small craft advisories and warnings on VHF radio channel 16.
  • Owners of large boats are urged to move their vessels to inland marinas where they will be less susceptible to break free or to suffer damage. Trailerable boats should be pulled from the water and stored in a place that is not prone to flooding.
  • 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.
  • Small personal watercraft, like paddle boards, kayaks and canoes, should be secured and marked with the owner’s contact information. Personal watercraft often cause unnecessary searches for emergency personnel.
  • When removing the 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.
  • Stay clear of beaches as even the best swimmers can fall victim to the strong waves and rip currents caused by the hurricane threat and do not enter the water until local officials say the water is safe.

For information on the hurricane threat’s progress and hurricane preparedness, please visit the National Hurricane Center’s web page.

Visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s site for tips to prepare, plan and stay informed.

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