No, you’re not going crazy. The current six-month Atlantic Hurricane Season, set in 1965, begins June 1 and runs through November 30. But if you have a recreational boat on the Eastern Seaboard or Gulf, you’ve likely noticed that the last seven annual hurricane seasons have experienced some type of tropical storm system in May – or earlier.
Those early forming storms are now leading the National Weather Service to consider officially moving the hurricane season up two weeks to May 15. What’s a boater to do?
“You can’t change hurricane season, but you can set up a customized hurricane plan for your boat now,” says Scott Croft, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) vice president, Public Affairs.
Researchers from Colorado State University are predicting another active Atlantic hurricane season for 2022 with 19 named storms and nine expected to reach hurricane strength (winds of 74 mph or greater). BoatUS notes it is the wind-driven storm surge of water that causes the most damage to recreational vessels as docks and infrastructure are torn apart and lowland boat storage areas flood.
BoatUS, the national advocacy, services and safety group for boat owners with more than 800,000 members, has free recreational boat-, yacht club-, and marina-preparation information at BoatUS.com/Hurricanes. Also offered is an extensive library of hurricane-preparation videos and BoatUS Magazine articles containing proven tips and techniques amassed from the nearly four decades of post-storm recreational vessel recovery, salvage, and wreck removal experience.
“How to Find and Fix Potential Breaking Points on Your Boat” and “How Not to Read a Hurricane Map” are just a couple of the helpful short reads available.
More extensive downloadable guides include “BoatUS Magazine Hurricane Preparations” and “Preparing Boats and Marinas for Hurricanes” and an easy-to-download “BoatUS Hurricane Preparation Worksheet” to take with you to the boat.
To help know when to prepare, an Active Storm Tracker helps keep boaters up to date on the direction and intensity of incoming storms, and the BoatUS App offers text alerts.