Captain’s Corner

The Plan is the Plan

Captain Diehl
Greater Houston Port Bureau

July is proving to be an exciting month for the Diehl family as we are preparing for our daughter’s wedding, which will take place as this Port Bureau News magazine goes to print. An aspect of our preparations that has sparked particular interest in the office is that my wife is baking the wedding cake. With a week to go, Annette decided to experiment with a new cake recipe, despite my encouragement for her to stick with the plan – her tried and true recipe. Much to the pleasure of the Port Bureau staff, she ignored my pleas and sent tasting samples to the office for review.

Whether it was in the classroom, sports field, or later in the Coast Guard, it has been drilled into me: preparation and practice lead to performance. Changing cake recipes a week out was like changing the hurricane plan as the storm rolls into the Gulf. Planning and practice are meant to be conducted during a time of calmness, so the steps can be deliberately thought through to ensure they are meticulous and offer the best course of action. This should give you confidence to overcome the second-guessing as the storm/wedding rolls upon you. Of course, this does not mean you can’t flex and adapt as a crisis occurs, but, for me, going in, the plan IS the plan.

Having shared these thoughts, I think it best we keep my cake grousing between ourselves. What I do hope you share is the hurricane planning discussed in this month’s magazine. We are publishing the highlights from the 2017 hurricane season study completed last December by the Marine Transportation System Resilience Integrated Action Team. The results of the study were presented at the National Harbor Safety Committee Conference recently and include many lessons learned from the 2017 storms. See page 14 for the summary.

In addition, COL Dave Weston of HDR, Inc., shared his expertise at the June Commerce Club luncheon, giving an update on the Harris County flood risk reduction programs underway in the area. The recap is page 22. One factor Dave emphasized – and one I would like to underscore – is the importance of industry involvement in all aspects of flood mitigation project planning. Weather events are an unpleasant, costly factor of our business, and the early, sustained involvement of all stakeholders is what will bring better outcomes as we push forward. Once plans and funding are in place, it may be difficult, if not impossible, to make adjustments – so we encourage you to get onboard now. The funded plan will definitely be the plan!

I make the same appeal for your involvement with the Port Bureau as we continue bringing the maritime community together to work on issues that affect everyone. Harbor maintenance, dredging, and advocating for our waterway are vital concerns to us all. To benefit all members, we invite the involved support of all members.

I know your real concern at this point is about the cake. As it turns out, the new cake recipe received rave reviews, and it is a go for the big day. It is now part of the plan. So is the tropical storm the weatherman is forecasting for the weekend, and rain or shine, the bride and groom plan to say “I Do”.

  • Date July 25, 2019
  • Tags 2019 July