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BoatUS Hurricane Preparation Guide 2019

Stay safe on the water with storm tracking and tides at your fingertips with the BoatUS App.

The next big named storm to make landfall is a question of when, not if. Coastal boaters should prepare because hurricane season is here. In this special section, our editors have created a comprehensive guide to help you — step-by-step — to protect your boat. 

3d Satellite Image of Hurricane

The eye of Hurricane Floyd. | Photo Credit: NOAA

In an average year, two hurricanes will come ashore somewhere along the Gulf or Atlantic coast, destroying homes, sinking boats, and turning people's lives topsy-turvy for weeks or months. Since 2016, the U.S. has been hit by four powerful Category 4 hurricanes of 130-mph-plus — Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Michael, which strengthened to a Cat 5 storm, the most powerful ever to hit the Florida Panhandle, and demolished 150 years of records. Florida is struck most often, but every coastal state is a potential target.

Experts predict that tropical storms will be stronger and contain even more rainfall in the future, coupled with higher water levels. Experts also warn that after a number of storm-free years, people in some of the vulnerable areas may become less wary of a storm's potential fury. But to residents of the Carolinas crippled by Florence, and people in Florida ravaged by Michael last year, the hurricane threat won't soon be forgotten.

Boats wrecked on a beach following a hurricane

Hurricanes combine high winds, heavy rains, and several feet of surge. Your hurricane plan needs to take all of this into consideration. | Photo Credit: Getty Images/FelixMizioxnikov

Our BoatUS editors, working with our hurricane experts at BoatUS Marine Insurance, have created this comprehensive guide, plus clear, how-to videos, to help you prepare if a major storm is headed your way. The more you know and plan ahead, the better your chances of protecting your boat and property.

Charles Fort

Charles handles our exclusive Reports in-depth tech feature in every issue, our videos, and our investigative features. He helps with dispute-mediation and writes our Consumer Protection column. A member of the National Association of Marine Surveyors, he’s on ABYC tech committees, and has a 100-ton U.S. Coast Guard license. A sailor who went cruising with his family, he now lives in California.