3 or higher hurricane every three to five years
over the past 112 years.
So, if you keep your boat in the Gulf
Coast or Florida, you need to make sure the
place where you secure your boat during a
storm can withstand 100-knot and higher
winds. If your boat is in a marina, find out
if they’ve ever had winds that strong in the
past, and how much wind the marina is
designed to survive.
The National Weather Service is work-
ing on a tropical-storm surge-inundation
tool that will predict surge heights above
ground level for individual properties, but
that won’t be operational until 2014. If you
live in the storm-damaged areas of New York
or New Jersey, the FEMA Advisory Base
Flood Elevation (ABFE) tool (FigUre 2)
provides the recommended elevation of the
lowest floor of a building in a given area,
which reflects FEMA’s assessment of surge/
flood risk for that area. If you live in other
areas, you can use NOAA’s Sea, Lake, and
Overland Surges from Hurricanes (SLOSH)
Model (FigUre 3) to look at storm surges
from past storms. While it’s cumbersome
to download the model and run it yourself,
simulations of several previous storms are
available on the website. The highest water
level recorded in your area in past storms will
give you some sense of your surge risk.
You can use that surge height to evaluate
the place where you’d keep your boat if a
hurricane threatened. If you’re on a floating
dock, are the pilings high enough? Or would 99 Main Street, Anytown, USA 99 Main Street, Anytown, USA
Fig. 2: if you live in the storm-damaged areas of New York or New Jersey,
enter an address and a map will come
up with a flag on the property. information provided includes flood risk, elevation, and wave risk.
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