By: Sarah Latshaw, Southeast Regional Coordinator for the NOAA Marine Debris Program
While we may not have flying monkeys and green-faced witches to contend with here in the Southeast, we do face possible hazards like hurricanes, tornados, and severe thunderstorms. With these threats, there also comes the potential for a different kind of trouble--large amounts of storm-generated marine debris. In fact, almost a year after hurricane Matthew, many states are still dealing with the remnant debris stirred up by those storms, much of it in the form of abandoned and derelict vessels.
To aid in response and recovery efforts, the NOAA Marine Debris Program has completed Marine Debris Response Guides for Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. These guides provide a reference for local, state, and federal responders to facilitate a more timely and effective response to marine debris after incidents like hurricanes and tornadoes and severe storms (oh my!).
In addition, while we wish we had a good witch to help us recover, there are proactive steps you can take to protect your family, house, and boat from storm damage, and prevent your property from becoming marine debris. There is still time to make sure you are ready for the storm by taking steps to find out What to Do Before the Tropical Storm or Hurricane threatens your area.
It’s all about proactive planning and proper preparation to keep your family and property safe! Because remember, “there’s no place like home."