>Is Your Port Hurricane Ready?

>As we enter the height of the hurricane season (mid Aug. to mid Oct.) and with Hurricane Bill strengthening in the Atlantic Ocean, now is a great time to consider whether your port is hurricane ready. A hurricane ready port, among other things, is one where reasonable precautions and measures have been taken to protect the port’s environment and the viability of the marine transportation system, including the port infrastructure, harbors, and channels.

During the hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, Coast Guard Captains of the Port (COTPs) and the port community (i.e., pilots, port authorities, and vessel and facility agents, owners and operators) must stay abreast of port operations by exchanging information on actions taken, planned, or being considered. COTPs should encourage discussions between vessel and facility operators to ensure the physical capabilities and limitations of the both the vessels and the facilities are known and understood.

As all heavy weather mooring and anchoring arrangements are subject to the acceptance of the Coast Guard, COTPs should encourage the pre-approval of such plans, particularly those involving vessels in lay-up, or those that would require significant effort and time to make ready for sea or to move to a safe haven.

For more guidance, industry stakeholders and COTPs should review LANTAREAINST 16601.1B “Atlantic Area Port Operations Hurricane Guidance”. In the end, a hurricane ready port is one where the industry responsibilities and the COTP’s plan of action during a hurricane is clearly understood by all stakeholders.