Last Minute Severe Weather Tips For Outdoorsmen

Upstate Outdoors
September 14, 2018 - 9:37 am
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Phillip Gentry

This past week has been a long vigil of keeping one eye on the daily tasks at hand and the other eye on television, phone or other weather forecasts and predictions about impending Hurricane Florence. The appropriately named “spaghetti models” have the storm’s path crossing the Carolina coastline anywhere from Georgetown, SC to Morehead City, NC before wandering inland.

Residents of the Upstate, ordinarily immune from tropical storm paths, received a wakeup call on Wednesday when updated predictions called for the storm to change direction after making landfall and head in our direction. Thankfully, 200 miles of hard ground have a way of taming a storm that rages when crossing warm Atlantic waters and the Upstate is expected to see more rain than wind with this event.

With impacts forecasted for Saturday night through early Monday morning, thoughts turn to protecting property from the storm’s visit. If you’re an outdoorsman, you don’t need to let your precious outdoor gear get overlooked, but these items tend to slip to the back burner over concern for the safety of others and your home. With still a little more than 24 hours before the brunt of the storm in the Upstate, here’s some tips and suggestions to protect your outdoor investments.

Boats – Storing your boat inside an enclosed building is probably your best protection, but if your boat is outside on a trailer or on a lift that will raise the boat out of the water, it’s best to put the cover, if you have one, over the boat to keep excess rain and debris from accumulating in the boat. Pull the drain plug to allow water than accumulates in the craft to exit through the drain. Since it’s the end of boating season for many, you don’t want to forget and go through the winter with a bilge area full of water to freeze and cause havoc. 

If your boat is on the water, it might be a good idea to take it out for the week-end and store it on the trailer. If this is not an option, make sure the batteries are charged and the bilge pumps are operating so they’ll pump out any water that accumulates from heavy rain.

Loose Outdoor Gear – Given that Saturday is the opening day of archery season across much of the Upstate, many hunters have been spending afternoons out in the back yard shooting targets or working on deer stands. It’s a good idea to gather up any loose outdoor gear and store it inside for the week-end. This list would include ATV’s, UTV’s, stands, targets, umbrellas, bicycles, or anything else that might be damaged in high winds or strong downpours. You might even consider moving that grill inside or to a better protected area too.

Hunt Camp – Many deer hunters have spent the last few weeks preparing for deer season by putting up deer hunting stands. If you decide to leave these stands out in the weather, you can reduce the wind catching ability of the stand by removing tops, coverings or siding. After the storm, make sure you check all straps, attachments and bindings before using the stand and give the tree itself a good inspection. High winds can loosen bindings, unseat foundations and even cause cracking of the tree’s limbs or trunk.   

Finally, a word of warning, because there will be a few thrill seekers out there determined not to let a hurricane impede the opening day of deer season or a day of fishing on the water. Another day or two of preparation isn’t going to kill you, but sitting in a tree or on the water this week-end could. Be smart, stay safe.

Stay tuned to 1063WORD this week-end for all your updated weather reports and conditions via Operation: Hurricane Florence Watch

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Phillip Gentry is the host of “Upstate Outdoors,” broadcast from noon to 2 p.m. Saturdays on WORD 106.3 FM. This Saturday, Upstate Outdoors celebrates it’s 5 year anniversary with legendary angler Bill Dance guesting on the show.

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In preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Florence, don’t forget to protect your outdoor gear. (Optional Photo for use by Phillip Gentry)

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