Hurricane season officially starts on June 1, and past experience tells us that the mix of hurricanes and recreational boats is an expensive and dangerous combination.

Stunning video taken in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy illustrates just how destructive these storms can be. That’s why a new Hurricane Prep for Boaters online course is being offered to help sportsmen prepare their boats for storms this season.

The course is available from BoatsUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water and the United States Power Squadron. Interested parties can take the course online from a desktop, tablet or smartphone by going to 

Taking the course should help boaters create a “hurricane plan” for their boat, since it offers specific solutions for boats stored at docks, moorings, hurricane holes, canals, or on higher ground at a boating club or boatyard, or even on a trailer in their own back yard.

It offers practical advice on “if, when, and how” a boat should be moved before a storm, and the necessary steps to take to protect such a big investment before a hurricane makes landfall. For those concerned about securing their boat, the course spells out options step-by-step.

Taking advantage of this “damage avoidance” information means boat owners can have a plan in place rather than reacting to a storm warning when time often becomes the enemy as much as the approaching storm. Other hurricane planning tools are available at

And while we don’t know how severe the Atlantic hurricane season will be this year, we already know that unusually wild weather is hitting other areas of the country hard.

Parts of Texas are still reeling from torrential rains and flooding that’s killed at least 16 people, turned streets into rivers in major cities, and set a record for the wettest month in the state’s history. The same storm system has caused havoc in parts of Oklahoma and Kansas.

In central Texas, a record flood surge 44 feet high sped down the Blanco River over the Memorial Day weekend demolishing homes and businesses. More than 47 counties in the state have been declared disaster areas, and it’s not over yet. A low pressure system still hovers over the state and the possibility of more torrential downpours could lead to additional flooding. Any new storms would hinder rescue workers and delay clean-up in hard-hit areas. 

There’s no damage cost estimate yet for Texas, a state that has a $1.4 trillion-a-year economy and is the country’s main domestic energy producer.

Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons