Boaters prepare for the rest of hurricane season - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Boaters prepare for the rest of hurricane season

The peak of hurricane season usually lasts until around the end of September. The rest of the season doesn't end until after November. (Photo source: WLOX) The peak of hurricane season usually lasts until around the end of September. The rest of the season doesn't end until after November. (Photo source: WLOX)
Jimmy Spencer trailers his boat at the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor. (Photo source: WLOX) Jimmy Spencer trailers his boat at the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor. (Photo source: WLOX)
Steve Burton gets ready to bring his family out on the water. (Photo source: WLOX) Steve Burton gets ready to bring his family out on the water. (Photo source: WLOX)
Steve Burton rents a slip from the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor. (Photo source: WLOX) Steve Burton rents a slip from the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor. (Photo source: WLOX)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

So far, this hurricane season has only produced a handful of storms. Fortunately, none of them has made landfall on the Gulf Coast. But, if one did, boaters would need to be prepared to handle the worst-case scenario.

When Chris Moran brings his boat home after a day on the water, he makes sure it's safe and secure. If a storm were to head his way, he wouldn't hesitate to take extra precautions.

"It's not worth the risk even leaving them just sitting at home on the trailer. You know, the wind gets underneath it and it could be gone," said Moran.

Jimmy Spencer has survived several hurricanes with his boat. He has a solution that he says will keep a vessel grounded even in the strongest wind.

"I put about … a quarter of the way of water in there and it didn't go anywhere," said Spencer.

The plans run a different course for those who lease a boat slip. Instead of being able to quickly load up on a trailer and drive to a safer location, there are other options.

Steve Burton leases a spot in the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor. For him, boating is a family affair, and he teaches every member of his family about the importance of being safe when it comes to storms.

"It starts rocking and so we can't go out there because our boat will flip over," said Burton's granddaughter, Mallory Rawls.

Burton said a hurricane plan is required for insurance and leasing purposes with the harbor. When storms look like a possible threat, the harbormaster will evacuate the marina.

"You stay until they say you can't stay. And then when they say everybody has to go, the whole harbor has to empty out," said Burton.

At that point, it's every man for himself. Burton likes to try to get as far north as possible on back bay waters and up rivers.

"You get up in a narrow part of the river and get to where you can get four ropes on four trees, hopefully," said Burton.

No matter what your strategy, Burton said it's important to simply be ready for anything.

"Just start preparing, you know?" said Burton.

The peak of hurricane season usually lasts until around the end of September. The rest of the season doesn't end until after November.

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