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How To Develop A Hurricane Prep Plan

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

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.

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.

Tip

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

This video will show you how to choose the best marina during a hurricane.

For more hurricane prep videos, check out our entire YouTube Playlist. Topics include how to make a fender board, how to set your boat's lines, and more!

Our BoatUS Marine Insurance claim files show that the probability of damage can be reduced considerably by choosing the most stormworthy 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.

Author

Charles Fort

Contributing Editor, BoatUS Magazine

Charles Fort handles BoatUS Magazine’s exclusive Reports section, a group of in-depth tech features in every issue written to help readers avoid accidental damage to their boats. He’s also on the BoatUS video team, and writes investigative features for the magazine. He writes BoatUS Magazine’s Consumer Affairs column, is member of the National Association of Marine Surveyors, he’s on ABYC’s tech committees, and has a 100-ton U.S. Coast Guard license. Charles once took his young family cruising for a year, before returning to head up BoatUS’s Consumer Affairs department, helping Members with dispute-mediation when they have consumer issues with marine products. He lives in California, where he’s BoatUS Magazine’s West Coast editor.