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5 Tips on Houseboats Disaster Preparedness
There is nothing as fun as going on a cruise trip in a houseboat. There are lots of things you can enjoy from the cruise itself all the way to the surroundings and the atmosphere. During such times, however, very few people think about the unthinkable. Disasters do happen and usually, they catch people unawares. Very few sailors and cruise trip participants take enough time to prepare for such occurrences beforehand. Whether it is because of ignorance or lack of technical know-how, many people set on such trips completely oblivious of the fact that their houseboat could be hit by a storm and sink.
It is no longer acceptable to not think about such things and if anything, you should be familiar with some disaster preparedness tips to enable you to sail safely. Most vessels have well-planned features to help you escape or even manage a disaster. These include safe exit routes, lifeboats, and other life-saving equipment which is normally present in houseboats. In addition, there are some houseboat management firms that organize training and drills to prepare passengers in case of any mishap.
Below are some tips on disaster preparedness that can help you sail in safety. Many of these are considered common and obvious but sadly part they are not always followed.
The Safety Drills
This is one component of houseboat safety that is absolutely crucial. In fact, before you board any vessel, you are supposed to be taken through this drill to prepare you for immediate response to an emergency. As part of the training, the passengers on board are supposed to be instructed to check their own personal floatation devices (PDF) and report any anomalies. This drill helps to ensure that there is sufficient life vest storage onboard for everyone. Having this equipment on the houseboat is not enough, they should also know how to use all life-saving equipment and should be part of the drill.
Equipment Safety and Familiarity
When a disaster happens, the only thing that can save you is the equipment available on the houseboat and your ability to use it properly. You need to be aware of all the equipment that is at your disposal and the functionalities of each. Aside from that, you also need to look at the safety of the equipment. Assess your familiarity with the equipment with reference to the location and how quickly you can get to it. This is very crucial because during a disaster you will need to act quickly in order so that you can take the least time possible to get out of the houseboat. In the event the lifeboat signs and other equipment signage is not in a language familiar to you, you will have to spend a little bit of time learning about what they are indicating so that you know exactly where to go and what to do when a disaster happens.
Quick Decision Making
When it becomes obvious that things are worsening, your drill training should be able to allow you to take calculated steps to ensure you get off of the houseboat safely. Understanding the basic safety features will help you in maintaining a calm manner during an emergency. Pay attention to the uniformed staff in the vessel. Just know that not everything they say during disaster time is 100% accurate because they are charged with the sole responsibility of ensuring that there is no panic during such moments. Practice how you blend their directives with your decisions. Have plans of action that you can pursue in case of such incidents.
Have Emergency Numbers
Be aware of the location of emergency contact numbers of officials in the command center or the area security officers. In addition, you need to know the local marine emergency line that you can call during an emergency.
Always Keep In Touch and Update Your Social Followers
Social networking is not only useful for catching up with friends but rather it is a secondary disaster preparedness tool. When you are off sailing, try as much as possible to let your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram followers know of your whereabouts. This helps in keeping them informed incise of an incident they can always trace you based on your last updates.