The IBEX Seminar Series Presents: What to do After a Hurricane
Following the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey in the United States and surrounding areas in 2017, the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference (IBEX) held a last-minute special session in Tampa on September 20.
With assistance from the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the American Boat Builders & Repairers Association, the International Marina Institute, and Professional BoatBuilder magazine, IBEX was able to organize a 90-minute free session, segments of which are available via video, to discuss what to do if your property is hit or damaged by a destructive weather system.
IBEX presenters already onsite for the IBEX Seminar Series volunteered their best advice on topics ranging from electrical systems, OSHA and employee concerns, repairing boats, insurance and legal considerations, and post-storm security.
Presenters included James Cote (Cote Marine), Nigel Calder (Calder Enterprises), Brian Kane (Global Ocean Security Technology), Robert Smith (MYMIC), Ed Maurer (Suncoast), Lori Sousa (SeaLand Insurance), Jay Frechette (Starkweather & Shepley), Carl Wolf (Robson Forensics), Steve D’Antonio (Steve D’Antonio Marine Consulting Inc.), JB Currell (Gibco/Flexmold), Ron Reisner (R. Reisner & Associates), John Sprague (JHSprague Consulting, LLC), and Jules Massee (Hamilton, Miller & Birthisel LLP). Moderator: Margaret Podlich (MBP Consulting).
Some of the tips include:
You can’t document too much. Take photos and video of what you find. Put a current newspaper in the photo to show/prove what day you took it. Photo your recovery efforts too.
You pay them – now call them. Call your insurance agent and let them know what’s up. It’s ok to not know the extent of the damage – some will take months to emerge. If you can’t get through to your insurance, document each attempt to reach them, and try the broker, the company, and any other possible touchpoint.
Expect the unexpected. Cleanup efforts may expose employees to hazardous materials such as harmful chemicals, raw sewage, damaged electrical, and even snakes. Assume the worst and take extra precautions.
Recognize the increased risk of hazards. This is a marathon, not a sprint, so take pains to be extra careful while doing different tasks than normal. (Your bookkeeper may not be used to using a chainsaw.)
Electrical systems. Both boats and marinas got a liberal dose of salt. Get a qualified electrician in to inspect equipment and systems for ground faults, water damage, corrosion/wind/collision damage.
IBEX is the largest technical marine event in North America, and the three most valuable days of the year for all marine professionals. No other event gives you so much access to the people and technology shaping the industry.