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How To Develop A Hurricane Prep Plan

It's said that every minute you spend planning saves 10 minutes in execution. When a hurricane threatens, you’ll be glad your plan is ready to go.

Satellite view of Hurricane Michael over the southeastern coast of the United States

Photo: NOAA

The first step in developing a preparation plan is to review your dock contract for language that may require you to take certain steps or to leave the marina when a hurricane threatens. Some marinas require boat owners to have and present a hurricane plan of their own. Ask the marina manager what hurricane plan the marina has in place. Planning where your boat will best survive a storm and what protective steps you need to take should begin before hurricane season.


Download a Hurricane Plan Template here, download the entire Hurricane Preparation Guide, and visit our Hurricane Center for more tips and hurricane preparation worksheets.

Our BoatUS Marine Insurance claim files show that the probability of damage can be reduced considerably by choosing the most storm-worthy location possible and having your plan ready long before a hurricane warning is posted. You may be able to join a "Hurricane Club," which would allow you to have your boat hauled whenever a hurricane warning is posted. These usually require signing up long before the first hurricanes and sometimes require a nonrefundable deposit, but you'll be among the first to be hauled.

Note that BoatUS Marine Insurance will pay half the cost, up to $1,000, to have your boat hauled prior to a hurricane, moved by a professional to a safer location, or for the professional execution of a hurricane plan. BoatUS will also lower the named-storm deductible for boat owners who can show they have properly prepared their boats (photos are a good idea). Also, call your insurance company to verify you have the right coverage and that you're in the right coverage area. Once a hurricane is threatening, it's too late to get or change coverage. Now is the time to check.

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Charles Fort

Contributing Editor, BoatUS Magazine

Charles Fort is BoatUS Magazine's West Coast Editor. He often writes local news items for BoatUS Magazine's Waypoints column and contributes to Reports, in-depth tech features in every issue written to help readers avoid accidental damage to their boats. He is 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. He lives in California.