Hurricane and Tropical Storm Information
The next big named storm to make landfall is a question of when, not if. Coastal boaters should prepare because hurricane season is here. The more you know and plan ahead, the better your chances of protecting your boat and property.
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 in 2018, the hurricane threat won't soon be forgotten.
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, protect your boat.
1. What To Expect From A Hurricane
Preparing a boat for a hurricane means defending against wind, rain, waves, and high water — all in proportions rarely experienced by boaters.
2. Where To Keep Your Boat During A Hurricane
The best predictor of whether your boat will survive a hurricane is where it’s kept. Just as in real estate, the three most important considerations should be location, location, location.
3. How To Find And Fix Potential Breaking Points On Your Boat
The fate of your boat's security in a storm comes down to these essential and critical points in your defense strategy. Addressing them early could mean the difference between your boat surviving a serious storm, or breaking free, hitting hard objects, filling with water, and sustaining catastrophic damage.
4. 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.
5. What To Do After A Hurricane
After a storm has passed and authorities are allowing travel, get to your boat quickly. It's your responsibility to protect your boat from further damage, and its equipment from theft, regardless of its condition.
How Not To Read A Hurricane Map
Maps shown in the media are often misunderstood. Be careful: Incorrect interpretation could leave you and your boat unprepared.
The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season Is Heating Up
Make sure you have your plan set because the latest prediction calls for an above-average season with 25 named storms and 9 hurricanes.
How To Convert UTC To Local Time
UTC is based on 24-hour military time and doesn't recognize local adjustments like Daylight Saving Time, so it's a very accurate no matter where you are in the world.
Here's a quick recap of the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale and what it means for you when it comes to protecting your boat during a storm.
Sample Marina Plans
Here are a few well-thought out hurricane plans from marinas and yacht clubs that can be adapted to your own facility's plan.
Moorings That Can Stay Put in a Hurricane
The past decade has seen many technological advances in boating, not the least of which is a greatly improved anchor for moorings—the helix.
Other Helpful Resources
Download the BoatUS App
The BoatUS mobile app offers hurricane alerts that are refreshed with every NOAA update to the forecast. Download the app now or update to the current version and opt-in to push notifications to take advantage of this feature.