Weathering the storm

Staff report

December 12, 2013

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – More than 65,000 recreational boats were damaged or destroyed in Hurricane Sandy, which left hundreds of storm-tossed boats high and dry in the middle of busy street intersections, on public lands, or leaning perilously on overhead power lines.

With boats in the way, response efforts were slowed, requiring time consuming and expensive removal and salvage efforts often at public expense, delaying power restoration and a community’s overall recovery. Boat Owners Association of The United States has a range of free hurricane planning information developed for boat owners and marinas that is also useful for local governments and emergency managers to help communities minimize damage, preserve resources and speed recovery efforts.

All materials can be found at

“We’ve been a national leader in teaching folks how to prepare recreational boats for storms for over 30 years, and we want local governments to know they can make a difference and help speed their own recovery by actively planning ahead,” said BoatUS Director of Technical Services Beth Leonard. “Now is a perfect time to reach out to their waterfront boating community.” offers easily downloadable storm planning materials including up-to-the-minute storm tracking tools with live satellite images, a hurricane preparation worksheet and an in-depth Boater’s Guide to Preparing Boats and Marinas for Hurricanes, as well as checklists for what to do before and after a hurricane strikes.

Local emergency managers can download a sampling of marina hurricane preparation plans to see how their local marinas compare, learn about the value of strapping down boats stored ashore, and view features on why some marinas fare better than others, all at the website

In addition, a series of three online webinars developed specifically for marina owners detail the lessons learned from Superstorm Sandy as well as how to store boats ashore or in the water. Developed through a partnership with BoatUS and the Association of Marina Industries, they are available by going to and paying a small fee.