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Industry professionals address hurricane recovery at IBEX

By Tim Hennagir

Boatbuilders and marine industry professionals attending the 27th International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference in Tampa learned more about recent Texas and Florida hurricane recovery best practices during a special session Wednesday morning.

A panel of IBEX presenters with backgrounds in insurance claims, electrical systems, hazard mitigation, security, and recovery conducted an hour-and-a-half session for attendees.

The session began with the announcement that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection signed Gov. Rick Scott's executive order to allow Florida commercial marinas and businesses to fix or replace existing piers, docks, seawalls without a DEP permit or fee.

The U.S Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to a 24 to 48-hour turnaround for permits. This order is currently written for 30 days, but it is expected to be extended.

IBEX presenters offered their top advice on topics ranging from electrical systems, OSHA and employee concerns, repairing boats, insurance and legal considerations, and post-storm security, to lessons learned from post-Irma facility reviews conducted last week.  

"We knew we had a pool of experts available at IBEX and we wanted to bring those professionals with their knowledge together to offer advice and tips to people who need it most," said Margaret Podlich, marine consultant and session moderator.

Speakers included: James Cote (Cote Marine), Nigel Calder (Calder Enterprises), Brian Kane (Global Ocean Security Technology), Robert Smith (MYMIC), Ed Maurer (Suncoast), Lori Sousa (SeaLand Insurance), Jay Frechette (Starkweather & Shepley), Carl Wolf (Robson Forensics), Steve D'Antonio (Steve D'Antonio Marine Consulting Inc.), JB Currell (Gibco/Flexmold), Ron Reisner (R. Reisner & Associates), John Sprague (JHSprague Consulting, LLC), and Jules Massee (Hamilton, Miller & Birthisel LLP).

Tips included thorough documentation including photographs with dates and recovery efforts and the importance of systems checks including electric, ventilation, and emergency equipment.  

Most of the tips have been captured on short videos, which will be available after IBEX, which ends Thursday at the Tampa Convention Center.

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