One of the most important things our marina insurance specialists would like to see in place at every single marina in America — aside from marine business insurance of course — is a well-defined emergency protocol.
Too often as we process marine business insurance claims, we see situations where better planning and emergency preparedness might have led to very different outcomes. Here’s what our marina insurance team would like marina owners and operators to know:
Emergency situations are going to arise, but how well you and your staff are prepared to deal with a variety of situations can save not only property but lives. Proper emergency planning is crucial.
Make the time to create a comprehensive plan for dealing with a variety of emergency situations – and if you have one in place, take the time to review it with your staff at least annually. Just as we would consider your geographic location and amenities when determining comprehensive marina insurance, you should take note of these things when refining your emergency plan. In particular, ensure that your emergency plan captures relevant details about your marina and facilities, including the location of floating docks, first aid stations, and other important equipment or resources.
Think carefully about your emergency preparedness planning!
Potential emergencies marinas should be prepared for include:
- Medical emergencies
- People in the water – near drownings and drownings
- Capsized, damaged boats or boats that have sunk
- Storms, with special care for the types of storms typical to your region (i.e., hurricanes or tornadoes, floods, heavy snow and ice, earthquakes)
- Sadly, in today’s world, acts of domestic or international terrorism
When you’re planning, consider:
- Who at the marina could be impacted by any of the emergencies you want to be ready to face?
- What impact could each kind of emergency have on your marina and its operations? Consider not just staff, but risks to your equipment, buildings, docks, and to the boats and belongings of your clients.
- Which resources are essential to your emergency response plan for each emergency situation? This should include your staff (managerial and other employees), local and government resources, existing plans, and perhaps even outside help from other agencies.
- Gather the contact information you would require, including after-hours and emergency contact details (like your marina insurance policy number and your marine business insurance company), so that you have everything you would need at your fingertips when faced with an emergency.
Have a written emergency preparedness plan that is clear and easy to follow – and accessible to staff in the event of an emergency situation:
- Prepare a plan for each type of emergency you identify and don’t worry if some elements are repetitive. As with any policy and procedure, you want to be certain that your employees know as quickly as possible which actions to take and who to involve.
- A useful emergency plan will outline safety precautions, the initial response, the follow-up response that includes security and environmental, and any reporting procedures. It is also wise to make certain that there are contingency plans in place for long weekends, holidays, or times when others may have to step into the roles defined for others because emergencies don’t always have good timing.
- Take steps to ensure that any identified training needs for staff that are met and kept up-to-date. Have a process in place to make certain that new staff are trained, that training is kept current, and that the emergency roles of any departing staff are filled.
When was the last time you reviewed your marina insurance coverage? Make sure you are adequately insured for all emergencies: Contact the marine business insurance specialists at Global Marine Insurance to discuss your coverage now.