PYH Hurricane Emergency Plan
A printed pamphlet of this Hurricane Emergency Plan is available at the Plantation Yacht Harbor Marina Office.
This Hurricane plan and emergency procedures describe the actions expected in the event of a tropical storm/or hurricane to protect Marina staff, patrons, and property. The Marina’s primary concern is the safety of persons. All decisions reflect this ethic.
The Hurricane Emergency Plan is divided into six sections.
Section 1. Definitions
- Hurricane Watch
An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible within the specified coastal area. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.
- Hurricane Warning
An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within the specified coastal area. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.
- Tropical Storm Watch
An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible within the specified coastal area within 48 hours.
- Tropical Storm Warning
An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected somewhere within the specified coastal area within 36 hours.
- The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale
- Category One Hurricane.
Sustained winds 74 to 95 mph or 64 to 82 knots.
Very dangerous winds will produce some damage
- Category Two Hurricane.
Sustained winds 96 to 110 mph or 83 to 95 knots.
Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage.
- Category Three Hurricane.
Sustained winds 111 to 129 mph or 96 to 113 knots.
Devastating damage will occur
- Category Four Hurricane.
Sustained winds 130 to 156 mph or 114 to 135 knots.
Catastrophic damage will occur
- Category Five Hurricane.
Sustained winds greater than 156 mph or greater than 135 knots
Catastrophic damage will occur
- Category One Hurricane.
- Storm surge is an abnormal rise in sea level accompanying a hurricane or other intense storm, and height is the difference between the observed level of the sea surface and the level that would have occurred in the absence of the cyclone. Storm surge is usually estimated by subtracting the normal or astronomic high tide from the observed storm tide.
Section 2. Pre-Season Preparation
- Examine dock cleats, pilings, and whalers.
- Check all piling guides for tightness and ensure rollers are in good working condition.
- Examine electrical and water connections under all docks, steps, and ramps.
- Check all breakwater lumber supports and fasteners.
- Examine and test-run all emergency pumps and generators, hoses, and connections. Inventory all spill-control equipment.
Section 3. Pre-Storm Preparation
When a weather pattern is elevated to tropical storm status and poses a possible danger to the Florida Keys, staff prepares for the storm. Although the following information contains specific amounts of days, these are just estimates. Times and days can change with storm speed and intensity.
- Information is obtained from the National Weather Service, American Red Cross, and Monroe County Emergency Response Unit.
- Marina Director provides regular updates to Marina staff.
- Within 4-6 days of predicted sustained tropical storm winds, Marina Director directs staff to enact General Hurricane Protocol.
- Within 3-5 days of predicted sustained tropical storm winds, Marina Director conveys evacuation orders to the Marina staff. Evacuation orders are given by local emergency management.
General Hurricane Protocol
Staff follows specific procedures and action steps to ensure an orderly and safe Marina environment. For example
- Make sure all docks and finger piers are free from supplies and materials.
- Have all dock boxes and loose items not stored on the vessel removed from the property.
- Inspect vessels for loose gear, Bimini tops, and portable fuel tanks.
- Inspect dock line condition and fenders and notify owners if not adequately secured.
Suggestions for boat owners to prepare for possible insurance claims
- Take pictures of your property before a storm.
- Have insurance policies and ownership documents in your possession.
- Call your insurance adjuster immediately and follow the directions provided by the adjuster.
- Take pictures of the damage before clean-up or repair work begins.
- Save receipts for possible reimbursement, including temporary lodging and food.
Section 4. Information for Boat Owner
Your Plantation Yacht Harbors License Agreement contains the following provision:
The owner Is advised that Marina may not be a safe location for the Vessel during tropical storms, Hurricanes, or hurricane watches as significant damage could occur to the vessel and be caused by the vessel if it remains in the marina during the events. It is owner's responsibility to be aware of an impending weather event and it is suggested to remove vessel from marina in these instances. The owner may choose to leave vessel in the marina but does so at the owner's own risk. Mariba is authorized to remove vessel, if reasonable, from its space or take any and all other reasonable actions deemed appropriate by marina in order to better secure vessel and to protect marina property, private property, the vessel, other vessels, and the environment. Owner may be charged a reasonable fee for any such action. Alternative location arrangements are Owner’s responsibility. Owner shall provide Marina with a feasible written storm plan to be used in severe weather and emergency circumstances and in the event of a Mandatory Evacuation of the Marina Site. Undertaking to move or evacuate the vessel shall not be deemed an assumption of responsibility for the safety, security, and care of the vessel by marina. Marina is not responsible and shall not be held liable for any damage to Vessel from storms, hurricanes, or other weather events or acts of GOD. Owner hereby holds Marina harmless as a result of such actions and agrees not to demand from or sue Marina for any damages as a result of the Vessel being allowed to remain at the Marina during these events.
Removing your boat from the water
If you remove your boat from the water, you must move your boat from the Marina property. When securing your boat:
- Avoid exposure to the wind and park away from trees.
- Lash the boat to the trailer and secure the boat with heavy lines to a fixed object, preferably from four directions.
- Remove half the air from the tires. Block the tires to prevent rolling.
- Remove sails, rigging, and all loose objects.
Leaving your boat at the dock
- Double all lines and protect them from chafing.
- Make sure that cleats are well secured to the boat.
- Where possible secure lines to pilings.
- Install fenders to protect the boat from rubbing against the pier, pilings, and other boats.
- Remove all loose items.
- Lash down everything you cannot remove.
- Make sure batteries are charged and bilge pumps are in working order.
Do not stay aboard during an Evacuation Order!
Section 5. On-Property Plan and Evacuation Plan
On Property Plan
If the weather pattern is elevated to hurricane status all dock electricity and water are turned off within 12 hours of the predicted arrival of sustained tropical storm-force winds.
- All electrical cables to boats are to be disconnected from dock boxes or power pedestals.
- All emergency pumps and generators are to be on standby.
- Marina staff will be on-call 24 hours but will not be able to provide assistance after the arrival of storm-force winds.
Those who live aboard their vessels at the Marina are bound by directives mandated by the Monroe County EOC and Village Emergency Management protective directives. Marina staff will conduct itself in accordance with the EOC’s and Village Emergency Management decisions.
Section 6. After a Tropical Storm or Hurricane
Once the storm has passed, the Village Emergency Management has given an “all clear” and if the Marina is accessible, staff members will inspect for damages to all buildings, grounds, docks, and utilities and report to the Marina Director on any unsafe Marina conditions. Emergency repairs are made if practical.
If the Marina is deemed unsafe
- Marina Director issues additional special instructions from Village Emergency Management.
- All dock access ramps are locked and secured.
If the Marina is deemed safe
- Marina's Director communicates safety reports to the Village EOC.
- Marina Director announces the official end of the emergency.
Safety After a Tropical Storm or Hurricane
Major health and safety hazards remain even after a hurricane's wind and rain have passed. Injuries can happen to anyone dealing with the aftermath of a major storm, so it is wise to be overly cautious.
- Debris-filled docks are dangerous – WALK WITH CAUTION.
- Do not use open flame as a light source on the docks or near a boat - use a flashlight.
- Wear protective clothing on the legs, arms, feet, and hands while cleaning up debris.
- Wear rubber gloves while clearing and cleaning flood-damaged interiors and furniture.
Electrical Safety After a Tropical Storm or Hurricane
It is wise to be overly cautious and aware of electrical hazards.
- Watch for loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to Marina staff.
- Be sure the electricity is turned off before entering the boat for the first time.
- Disconnect the main switch and all circuits.
- Watch for electrical shorts or live wires.
- When in doubt, have an electrician check the system for short circuits.
- When inspecting a boat for hurricane damage, make sure there is no live power in or around the boat.
- Make doubly sure that the main dock electrical breakers are off.
- Flooded boats should be pumped and inspected as soon as possible.
- Do not pump oily bilge water overboard.
- Use approved absorbing mats in the bilge before pumping to absorb the oil and/or fuel.
Make Sure Your Water is Safe
After a major storm, you must assume that all water sources are contaminated until proven safe.
- Purify all water used for drinking, cooking, and washing, and for eating and cooking utensils.
- Purify the water used for washing hands, body, and kitchen and bathroom surfaces.
- Do not use water that has a dark color, an odor, or contains floating material.
To disinfect water, one of four methods may be used
- boil at a rolling boil for 10 minutes.
- add 8 drops of liquid chlorine bleach (such as Clorox) per gallon of water.
- add 20 drops of two-percent iodine per gallon of clear water or 40 drops per gallon of cloudy water.
- add water purification tablets according to the directions on the package. These tablets can be bought at most drug and sporting goods stores.
Solutions should be thoroughly mixed, and the water allowed to stand for at least 30 minutes before use. To lessen the flat taste of boiled water, pour the water back and forth several times between two clean containers.
Please Don't Forget
Marina residents are advised to keep a list of personal notes and emergency contact information on hand at all times.
Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Islamorada District
Monroe County Emergency Management
Emergency Phone: 1-800-955-5504
Emergency Management Website
Sea Spill Response
U.S. Coast Guard: 305-664-8078
Tow Boat US: 305-852-6451
Poison Control: 800-222-1221