When a potential hurricane threat is determined (a hurricane has entered or has developed in the Gulf),
the Houston Pilot Executive Committee will start assessing the traffic currently in the Port (docked),
scheduled sailings and forecasted arrivals.
All ships desiring to sail should make immediate plans by providing the Houston Pilots dispatch with estimated sailing schedules.
All vessels wishing to enter the Port of Houston will be evaluated by the Houston Pilots Executive Committee and a decision will be made,
according to channel congestion and projected traffic density, if it is SAFE to assign a pilot.
The Houston Pilots emergency helicopter will be placed on Stand By status with 24 hour availability, if needed.
72 hours prior (to predicted gale force winds) the Pilots Executive committee will continue to assess all vessels in port.
At this time the Houston Pilots will implement ONEWAY TRAFFIC.
Any vessel requiring entry to port must contact the Pilots Executive Committee and submit their request for entry.
The Executive committee will evaluate the request as to provide safety to the vessel and all vessels in the Houston Ship Channel.
The Houston Pilots strongly discourage any inbound traffic due to the evacuation and securing of the Port for the anticipated hurricane.
The Houston Pilots helicopter will fly as needed.
48 hours prior (to predicted gale force winds) the Houston Pilots will be handling sailings only.
EMERGENCY ARRIVALS will be evaluated on a case by case basis by the Executive Committee in conjunction with the USCG.
The Houston Pilot helicopter will be shuttling pilots as needed. Vehicular Land Traffic will be monitored at all times by the committee and a decision will be made as when to start evacuating the working pilots out of the area.
24 hours prior (to predicted gale force winds) NO PILOTAGE SERVICE will be available. PORT CLOSED.
The Houston Pilots plan to have all ships leaving the port with ‘pilot away’ at the sea buoy no later than 24 hours prior to predicted landfall. Pilot boats will be sent to save harbor.
Pilots will continue to use helicopter to evacuate Pilots as needed.
The USCG Port Conditions can be accessed online HERE