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Prepare for 2015 BVI Hurricane Season NOW

Sopers Hole Wharf & Marina – photo Don Hebert 2

Need-to-know Advice on 2015 BVI Hurricane Season

Photography by Don Herbert and provided by DDM

Hurricane season in the BVI runs from June 1 to November 30, hitting its peak between August and early October. Whether you choose to be on island during hurricane season or not, there is a lot you need to know in order to adequately prepare in case a storm hits.

Knowing the proper storage procedures for your yacht is crucial in order to prevent or minimise damage to the vessel during the harsh weather conditions, which generally include high winds, sea swells, and heavy rainfall.

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 Thankfully, the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) has shared their extensive knowledge and experience with VIPY in disaster preparedness, specifically to the yachting industry:

1. What does the 2015 hurricane season predict for the BVI?

The revised predictions for the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season which were issued in April indicate that this year will be “one of the least active seasons since the middle of the 21st century.”

 The forecasters are predicting three hurricanes and seven named storms. One of the three forecasted hurricanes is expected to be major. The number of hurricane alerts issued by the DDM will be determined by the number of systems that pose a threat to the Territory and the duration of that threat.

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2. Which are the best marine shelters and where are they located in the BVI?

Over the years, a detailed assessment of the vulnerability of marine shelters was undertaken and based on this assessment, a recommended listing has been documented and made available for public use.   

Many of these lie in sheltered harbours and in areas protected by reefs and mangroves. The list of land-based and marine shelters are available on the DDM website – www.bviddm.com

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3. What options do boat owners have in order to prepare their boat for hurricane season?

Boat owners have to have a plan in place from the beginning of each new year. Insurance policies require that owners have a hurricane plan in place and submit official documentation stating where their boat will be during the hurricane season.

There are three main options for those who choose to not remain with their boat in the BVI:

  • Vacate the area with the vessel prior to the start of the season
  • Have the yacht hauled out of the waters and stored
  • Obtain a ‘hurricane slip’ from a marina, so when there is a hurricane, the staff will go into the slip and prepare the boat

Information provided by Sam Welch, Chairman, Marine Association of the BVI

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4. What are the correct procedures for securing a vessel within a marina?

  • Secure the engines
  • Take down the sails and tie them up, or remove them altogether
  • Take all deck gear including life boards, life rings, and patch boards down below
  • Make sure there is nothing left on board which could blow away
  • Secure the boat by at least 4 lines
  • Shut off the batteries – make sure these are checked every two weeks if the boat is not in use

Information provided by Sam Welch, Chairman, Marine Association of the BVI

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5. How can we stay informed with updates regarding the hurricane season?

Throughout the season, the DDM will partner with all local media and utilise its own website and social media platforms, to issue public service announcements and other types of information that provide guidance for residents as they make their preparations for the hurricane season.

For more information on Hurricane Preparedness, please visit the DDM’s website at www.bviddm.com or visit their offices at #3 Wailing Road, MacNamara, Tortola, BVI. The DDM also actively updates their information on their social media pages: 

Facebook: facebook.com/bvi.ddm

Twitter: twitter.com/bviddm

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Lauren Charley

Lauren Charley

Writer at aLookingGlass
Lauren graduated with an Honours B.A. in Media Studies from the University of Western Ontario in Canada. She has worked as a feature magazine writer, where many of her stories pertained to events, people, activities, and places in popular tourist destinations.

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