If you own a boat, remember to secure it properly well before a storm approaches. Use double lines at a marina or consider dry-dock storage. Never try to ride out a hurricane in your boat.
All marinas will close when sustained winds reach 39 mph. Biscayne National Park tows all boats to the Everglades and closes at least 24 hours before the landfall of a tropical storm or hurricane.
- Check your marina contract for policies and procedures for hurricanes.
- Consolidate all records, including insurance policies, a recent photo of your vessel, boat lease agreement with the marina or storage area, and telephone numbers of appropriate authorities.
- Evidence shows that boats stored on land fare better on average in a hurricane compared to boats kept in the water.
- Trailer boats should be removed from the water and securely stored at least 48 hours before a hurricane is expected to make landfall.
- Moor the boat in a previously identified safe area.
- Purchase necessary hurricane materials such as additional mooring lines, crew anchors, fenders, fender boards, chafing gear and anchors.
- After you have made anchoring or mooring provisions, remove all moveable equipment such as canvas, sails, dinghies, radios, cushions, Biminis and roller furling sails.
Once evacuations have started off the barrier islands, Intracoastal Waterway bridges open very infrequently to allow marine traffic to pass until lockdown.
Local law enforcement agencies will issue advisories regarding when bridges will be locked down to marine traffic. Bridges generally go into lockdown at least eight hours before winds of 39 mph are expected.
Owners who tie-up their vessels unlawfully in the Miami River, blocking federal navigable waterway access, may be fined and have their vessels removed.