Hurricane Watch - Marine Safety
What is a hurricane watch?
A hurricane watch is issued when hurricane conditions are possible in the
designated watch area within 36 hours. It is essential that you keep
informed about the progress of the hurricane and take the necessary
preparedness actions to minimize property losses and personal risk.
Here is a list of suggested precautions to take when a hurricane watch is
Boat Owners and Marina Operators
The boating community almost always suffers large losses when a hurricane
comes ashore. The boat owner in particular must stay abreast of the latest
forecasts and positions of tropical storms and hurricanes, and be ready to
act long before the storm makes its final approach.
- Remove your boat from the water. You will not have time if you wait
for the warning to be issued. Remember that you will not be the only
person at your location trying to get a boat out of the water.
- For those that cannot remove the boat from the water, secure your
vessel at this time. Be sure to have plenty of extra lines, chaffing
gear and fenders. Fully charge the battery if you have one.
- Ensure your vessel is as watertight as possible.
- Remove all equipment which is not built-in to the vessel.
- When you are through, help your neighbors. All it takes is one
incorrectly secured boat to damage many in a marina or harbor.
Offshore Boating Interests
- Offshore interests should cancel all plans immediately. If you are
out on the water, now is the time to head back to a safe port.
- High seas and large ocean swells will move into the offshore waters
well in advance of the wind field associated with the hurricane. Do
not be fooled. Swells of 10 to 20 feet will test even the most
- Should you need assistance at sea: call the coast guard as soon as
If you follow these steps when a hurricane watch is issued, you will be
better prepared and ready to act quickly and calmly should the watch be
upgraded to a warning.
Learn more about Hurricane Preparedness from the National Hurricane Center.
April to May of each year is the best time to take action to protect
your family and property.