The Coast Guard urges boaters throughout North Carolina, Virginia, and the rest of the Mid-Atlantic area to make preparations for Hurricane Isaias.
The impacts of Hurricane Isaias are expected along the Mid-Atlantic area later this weekend. Hurricanes can be unpredictable and can cause gale-force winds sooner than anticipated.
The Coast Guard is advising the public of these important safety messages as Hurricane Isaias nears the Mid-Atlantic:
Stay off the water. The Coast Guard’s search and rescue capabilities degrade as storm conditions strengthen. This means help could be delayed. Boaters should heed weather watches, warnings, and small craft advisories.
Secure belongings in advance of the storm. 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. Boats able to 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, lifejackets, and small boats. These items, if not properly secured, can break free and require valuable search and rescue resources be diverted to ensure people are not in distress. This also includes moving kayaks, canoes and paddle boards indoors.
Stay clear of beaches. Wave heights and currents typically increase before a storm makes landfall and can create deadly rip currents even before a hurricane arrives. Even the best swimmers can fall victim to the strong waves and rip currents caused by tropical storms or hurricanes. Swimmers should stay clear of beaches until local lifeguards and law enforcement officials say the water is safe.
Be prepared. Area residents should be prepared by developing a family plan, creating a disaster supply kit, having a place to go, securing their home and having a plan for pets. Information can be found at the National Hurricane Center’s webpage.
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.
Don’t rely on social media to call for help. People in distress should use VHF Channel 16 or 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.