September 2017 Newsletter     Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter 
Hurricane Season Continues: FEMA Says Prepare Now

A VIIRS satellite image of Hurricane Irma on Sept. 3
Even as rescue teams continue the clean up from hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, FEMA warns residents and visitors in the United States and throughout the Caribbean that Mother Nature might have more hurricane activity in store for 2017. FEMA reminds those who are in hurricane zones to make basic preparations now for additional storms, which can continue through November 30, when the hurricane season typically ends. 

Specifically, FEMA suggests creating an emergency kit and having a family communications plan. The emergency kit should include disaster supplies such as water, food, a radio, flashlights and a wrench to turn off utilities. A communications plan should include an evacuation route, a shelter destination, and special considerations for children and pets, as well as the elderly and disabled. 

Read more here about FEMA's preparedness recommendations.
Five Common Boating Mistakes to Avoid

Some boating mishaps are unavoidable. Mechanical issues, for example, can sneak upon even the most prepared mariner. On the other hand, many mistakes can be easily avoided. Here are five common boating mistakes ----and tips for avoiding them:  

Mistake 1: Forgetting to Plug the Boat Drain 
This one seems pretty basic, right? Yet, every year boats fill with water from this embarrassing mishap. To ensure a day of smooth sailing, check your boat drain...and keep in mind that there may be more than one!  

Mistake 2: Failure to Launch 
Okay, this one isn't really a boating mistake, but inefficiency at the launch can create a lot of stress ----which can easily lead you to forget something important. For new boaters in particular (those who may not have mastered the art of backing a boat down the launch), a little practice can go along way. Set up some cones in your driveway and practice moving around while towing the boat. You'll feel much more confident when you show up to launch. 

Continue reading about avoidable boating mistakes here.

Safety at Sea

Soundings discusses the importance of understanding how to use flares----in advance of an unexpected situation. Did you know that:
  • Flares, if undamaged, can be used after their expiration date. Store them away from the required, unexpired flares to use as a back up.

  • The "day" end of day/night flares may be more effective at night due to the very hot orange smoke trail it emits.

  • Flares may drip on your inflatable life craft and burn a hole in it; hold the flare downwind and over the side.

  • Keep flares in a watertight box to protect them from water and other potential damage. Add a desiccant pack to reduce moisture and humidity.

  • Practice makes perfect! Practice using flares, and notify authorities in advance of doing so.

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