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Severe Weather   |   Hot Weather   |   Cold Weather   |   Seasonal Ice

Severe Weather

WATCH means MONITOR & TRACK
WARNING means TAKE COVER!

Be Prepared (Semper Paratus):

  • Review information located on "Hurricanes," "Disasters," & "Are You Prepared" pages
  • Review & take actions identified in the USCG Severe Weather Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) as deemed appropriate
  • Identify where family members will take shelter such as stairwell, interior corridor with no windows, ground floor bathroom or sturdy below ground basement
  • Establish an emergency escape & evacuation plan.  Review how & when to implement with family members:
  • Premises:
    • Primary & alternate escape routes
    • Safe & secure meeting place
  • Vehicle:
    • Safe & easily accessible location with good egress
    • Battery charged
    • Tires properly inflated
    • Wiper Blades in good condition
    • Fuel tank full
    • Current road maps
    • Charger for Cell Phone
  • Verify five (5) day supply of critical items on-hand:
    • Prescription drugs / Medicine
    • Fresh bottled water
    • Items to eat that do not require refrigeration or preparation
    • Clothing & protective gear appropriate for anticipated conditions
    • Extra batteries for flashlight & radio
  • Keep on night stand:
    • Flashlight & Portable Radio
    • Glasses / Contacts
    • Cell Phone
    • Wallet or purse
    • Car Keys
  • Keep next to bed:
    • Clothing & Shoes that can be easily put on in dark

Severe Weather Procedures

Severe Weather   |   Hot Weather   |   Cold Weather   |   Seasonal Ice

Hot Weather

Summer Heat Advisory & Procedures

Due to hot weather combined with high humidity in Greater Washington D.C. area during summer months, members involved in outdoor missions (patrols, VE, PA, etc.) need to guard against heat related illnesses by knowing, understanding & practicing:

  • Procedures for recognizing & treating hot weather related illnesses
  • Procedures on how to prevent heat exhaustion & other heat related illnesses
  • TCT principle concerning team roles & responsibilities in observing, evaluating & communicating team member behavior, performance & fitness to serve
  • Proper wearing of “Hot Weather Uniforms” as described in Auxiliary Manual, Chapter 10
  • Heightened vigilance on need to replace fluids & early signs of dehydration or heat exhaustion

Our members are our most important asset for without them there would be no USCG Auxiliary, so please take care of your members & ensure that your members take care of themselves!

Hot Weather Procedures

Severe Weather   |   Hot Weather   |   Cold Weather   |   Seasonal Ice

Cold Weather (see also Seasonal Ice)

Reference: Rescue & Survival Systems Manual

Requirements for Auxiliary Coxswains & Crew members who go on cold-weather patrols (patrols conducted during times when water & air temperatures are below 60 degrees or when Coast Guard is required to wear anti-exposure coveralls known as "mustangs" & dry suits).

  • All coxswains & crew who participate in cold weather patrols must undergo training in cold-weather operations Boatsafe "Brrr - How Cold is the Water" with 10 minute "Cold Water Boot Camp" video.
  • Anti-exposure coveralls or dry suit worn by personnel must be inspected & certified as properly maintained.
  • Patrol orders will only be issued to Coxswains & Crew who  (1) meet cold-weather training requirement & (2) have appropriate & properly maintained cold-weather PPE in their possession. There will be no exceptions.
  • Station serving as OPCON will have final say on what PPE (mustangs, dry suits, etc.) must be worn.
  • Coxswains are to call Station serving as OPCON prior to getting underway to confirm what PPE is required & then ensure all involved personnel fully comply with specified requirement.
  • If any member of a scheduled patrol does not have required cold-weather gear (PPE) & cold-weather training, individual will be removed from patrol or patrol cancelled.

TCT Principles are to be applied to all cold weather missions with additional emphasis on safety!  Existing procedures already in effect also apply.

  • Review and comply with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements specified in Rescue and Survival Systems Manual.
  • For water temperatures 50 deg F & below or combined water & air conditions under specified limits (see Rescue and Survival Systems Manual page 3-17 for chart), a Dry Suit with approved undergarments, hood, and accessories or a MSD900 with polypropylene underwear, waterproof insulated boots, sock booties, two layer waterproof gloves, balaclava & watch cap (MSD900 User Manual & Guide) must be used.
  • Although Dry Suites & MSD900 have some intrinsic buoyancy, an approved Lifejacket must be worn over these PPE devices.  Inflatable Lifejacket must be checked prior to each mission & serviced annually.
  • All personnel should wear approved & properly secured PPE or Lifejackets when transitioning from shore to a vessel, vessel to shore or vessel to vessel.
  • If a crew member becomes exhausted or ineffective, immediately stop mission, render aid to crew member, call station to advise them of situation & request permission to secure from mission.
  • All personnel should drink plenty of liquids irrespective of perceived inconvenience associated with going to bathroom.  Any exertion in a DRY SUITE or MSD900 can cause wearer to sweat profusely & lose large volumes of water which in turn can lead to rapid onset of exhaustion.
  • All personnel should maintain extra vigilance in freezing temperatures due to increased risk of slipping or falling from potential ice forming on deck combined with wearing unfamiliar & cumbersome gear.
  • All personnel should maintain heightened awareness & exercise care to protect against impact of Windchill which can be significant on board a moving vessel.
  • Additional information on this topic can be found in the Rescue and Survival Guide
  • If you are unsure about any points covered above, contact your FSO-OP, FSO-MT or FVC prior to undertaking a mission so they can explain, clarify or provide additional assistance or provide appropriate training.

Cold Weather Procedure

Severe Weather   |   Hot Weather   |   Cold Weather   |   Seasonal Ice

Seasonal Ice (see also Cold Weather)

Reference: MSSB01-10 Seasonal Ice Procedure

  • When ice is present vessels must have an adequate propulsion system meeting minimum horsepower requirements imposed by Captain of the Port (COTP) & be able to maneuver un-assisted through ice without needing to stop, back-off & ram ice.
  • When ice is present in C&D canal, navigational restrictions will be coordinated with Sector Delaware Bay based on shared jurisdiction over this waterway.
  • Vessel moorings should be checked frequently to ensure moorings are adequate.
  • Vessels at anchor should maintain their engines on standby at all times.
  • Vessels at anchor should ensure that proper bridge watches are stood at all times.
  • Vessel sea chests should be checked regularly for ice buildup & precautions should be taken to ensure that sea chests are kept clear.
  • COTP Baltimore may establish additional requirements for specific geographic areas of COTP Zone if conditions warrant such restrictions.
  • Refer to Fifth District Ice Reporting Website or call Sector Maryland - NCR lce Line (410) 576-2682 for information regarding ice operations within Baltimore COTP Zone.

Severe Weather   |   Hot Weather   |   Cold Weather   |   Seasonal Ice

Lifejackets Float, You Don't - Wear It, We Do!

Boating Safety - Doing Your Part

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