The Coast Guard has staged response assets and is urging safety precautions ahead of two tropical systems impacting the Gulf Coast this week.
Tropical Storm Marco should make landfall Monday afternoon, and Tropical Storm Laura could reach hurricane strength before it makes landfall Thursday. Expect both systems to bring heavy rainfall and strong winds to coastal areas.
Hurricanes and tropical storms can be deadly, and the Coast Guard is urging people to prepare, stay informed, and heed storm warnings.
“These systems produce incredible amounts of rainfall in short periods, so we are urging people to remain vigilant,” said Cmdr. Mickey Dougherty, area commander for the Marco/Laura response. “Our ability to conduct rescues can be diminished or non-existent at the height of a storm, but we have our crews staged and ready to respond to emergencies immediately after each storm passes.”
The Coast Guard is reminding the public of these important safety messages:
- Stay off the water. Hurricanes and tropical storms can be deadly, and our ability to conduct rescues can be diminished or non-existent at the height of a storm. Be prepared, stay informed, and heed storm warnings.
- Be prepared. Owners of large boats need to move their vessels to inland marinas where they will be less vulnerable to breaking free of their moorings or sustaining damage. You should double mooring lines in case of high winds. Boats that you can trailer should be pulled from the water and stored in a place not prone to flooding. Those who are leaving their boats in the water need to remove EPIRBs and secure life rings, life jackets, and small boats. If not properly secured, these items can break free and require valuable search and rescue resources to be diverted and may put first responders in harm’s way to ensure people are not in distress.
- Evacuate as necessary. If officials set mandatory evacuations for an area, the public should evacuate without delay. Coast Guard personnel and other emergency responders may not be able to evacuate or rescue those in danger during the storm.
- Stay informed. The public should monitor the storm’s progress and strength through local television, radio, and the Internet. Boaters can monitor its progress on VHF radio channel 16, and you can obtain information also on small craft advisories and warnings on VHF radio channel 16.
- For more information on hurricane preparedness, visit Ready.Gov and NOAA websites, and follow them on Twitter.