November 17, 2023

Smooth Sailing: Town of Palm Beach Marina's Hurricane Protocols

Be prepared to weather the storm with the Town of Palm Beach Marina. As South Florida’s hurricane season has arrived, we leave no stone unturned in our mission to ensure the safety of our valued residents and visitors – and of course their valuable yachts. Continue reading for a glimpse into our meticulous storm preparation protocols, which will instill confidence and tranquility in you and your crew. Let your hurricane worries fade away like the wind beneath your sails!

BE ADVISED: Palm Beach is a barrier island and highly susceptible to strong winds and storm surges. Residents, business owners, and visitors are strongly encouraged to EVACUATE the island for any hurricane. The Chief of Police can declare a state of emergency and enforce a mandatory evacuation; therefore, it is imperative that all individuals with vessels be prepared to evacuate upon receiving notice.


5 Days Before Landfall:

With the storm drawing near, the Town of Palm Beach Marina prepares for the impending challenge. As a precautionary measure, the Marina closes its doors to new transient vessels, prioritizing the safety of its patrons and minimizing potential damage.


4 Days Before Landfall:

The Marina staff undertakes the critical task of generating a phone call list comprising all vessels docked at the facility. They reach out to each vessel, inquiring about storm plans and intentions. Additionally, they ensure boat owners are aware of the approaching storm and its potential dangers. As part of a lease with the Marina, it is required that all boats have on file a hurricane preparedness plan and a safe harbor location, should vessels need to evacuate. The Marina significantly reduces potential damage and enhances overall safety by persuading boat owners to evacuate.

Pre-Storm (72-48 Hours):

If a storm approaches within a 72 to 48-hour window, the Marina initiates a series of precautionary measures to secure the premises. The staff shuts off all pedestal breakers not in use and closes outlet covers and all loose items are promptly removed from the docks, reducing the risk of projectiles and ensuring a safer environment. 

Hurricane Watch (48-24 Hours):
Upon the issuance of a hurricane watch, the Marina swiftly notifies all Town Dock tenants, urging them to secure or relocate their vessels to safe harbors and activate their emergency plan. Computer equipment and phones are either moved to the upstairs office or stored in a designated facility within the Marina, protecting them from potential damage.

Hurricane Warning (24-0 Hours):
If a hurricane warning comes into effect, the Marina takes additional precautionary measures to fortify its premises. The remaining ship service cords are unplugged, breakers are shut off, and power pedestals are further secured. The main power to all docks is switched off using the main panel disconnects, preventing any electrical issues during the storm. Water mains are shut off, excluding fire mains, ensuring a controlled water system. If a vessel does not leave the Marina, it is photographed to document pre-storm conditions, aiding in post-storm evaluations. Dock carts, dumpsters, and recycling bins are secured, preventing them from becoming hazardous projectiles in high winds. A final walk-through of the property is conducted, ensuring all necessary precautions have been taken. Entrance gates are shut and secured.

Post Storm Response (24-0 Hours):
After a hurricane or storm, Marina staff conduct damage assessments. Power, water and dock status are evaluated, noting damages and leaks for repair. Evaluations are conducted for fire systems and phones. The staff documents damages, inventories dock equipment, and photographs vessels (if they were not able to leave the Marina) and damages for reference. Reports are sent to Risk Management for further action. Safety and restoration remain the Marina’s utmost concern.

As you set your course for the Town of Palm Beach Marina, rest assured that we are your unwavering companion in hurricane preparedness. With our dedicated efforts, we work as a team with our customers to brace for the storm, assess site conditions and ultimately re-open for business as soon as possible. 

For general inquiries about long-term dockage, storage and other services, visit TownofPalmBeachMarina.com. For slip lease information, contact Marina Manager Mike Horn at dockmaster@townofpalmbeach.com or by calling 561-838-5463.

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