Hurricane/Storm Preparedness For Area Boaters

This guide was prepared by the Ocean City Power Squadron and the local Marine Activities Advisory Committee and is meant as an aid to assist you with simple and logical steps which can be taken to prevent or minimize damage to you boat during a hurricane. (Copies of the Hurricane/Storm Preparedness instructions are available at the Ocean Pines Yacht Club)


  1. Have a written storm preparation plan.

  2. Know your marina’s storm policy and responsibility.

  3. Make a storm kit consisting of tape, extra lines, chafing gear, lashing line, storm anchors and chains.  (Storm lines should be of a larger diameter than dock lines.)

  4. If you will be out of the area, designate another person to prepare your boat.

  5. Should you require a marina to pull and haul your boat do not wait, they may be to busy to assist you.

  6. Monitor National Weather Service marine broadcasts.


  1. Complete all preparations at least 48 hours before the predicted arrival of the hurricane/storm.

  2. Secure all hatches and doors; remove antennas and outriggers; tape windows from the inside.

  3. Shut off fuel line, at tank if possible, and close through hull fittings.

  4. Remove all electronics and valuables.

  5. Remove all articles on deck including bimini tops, plastic side enclosures, sails and dinghies.


  1. Check battery for charge and make sure the bilge pump(s) are working.

  2. If possible, un-step mast and store on land.

  3. Double up lines including spring lines.  Use several cleats to distribute load on boat. Allow as much line as possible for tide and storm surges.

  4. Attach several feet of chafing gear on either side of lines where they will rub.

  5. Disconnect shore power, water, TV and phone cables.

  6. Get neighboring boat owners into the plan.  Their boats could break loose and damage you vessel.


  1. Fasten boat securely to lift.

  2. If an outboard, remove drain plug.

  3. If an inboard, plug engine exhaust outlet.

TRAILER BOATS  (Local area boat ramps: White Horse Park, Mumford’s Landing, Gum Point County Ramp, West Ocean City)

  1. Remove boat from water and secure both boat and trailer on high land sheltered from wind.

  2. Trailer should be firmly anchored and the boat securely fastened to the trailer.

  3. If an outboard, remove battery and fill bilge with water to make boat heavier.


  1. Locate a sheltered lagoon or small creek and moor with large anchors and lines. (Do not block canals or water ways)


  Category            Winds             Storm Surge          Potential Flooding            Storm Warnings                      

         I            74-95 mph                   4-5 ft.              ¼ of Ocean Pines       Hurricane Alert = up to 72 hrs.

        II            96-110 mph                 6-8 ft.              ½ of Ocean Pines    

       III            111-130 mph               9-12 ft.                     All of                 Hurricane Watch = up to 36 hrs.

       IV            131-155 mph              13-18 ft.              Ocean Pines                          

       V             156 + mph                  19 + ft                     Area                  Hurricane Warning = up to 24 hrs.