Have boaters forgotten about hurricanes?

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Last year's Atlantic hurricane season saw the formation of just nine tropical storms - the fewest since 1997.

And with news headlines focused on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, marina operators in the Gulf and Atlantic seaboard are questioning whether boaters are distracted or have simply forgotten about making annual storm preparations for the upcoming hurricane season, which begins June 1. Adding to the operators' worries are forecasts warning that 2010 could be a much more active hurricane season with as many as 18 named storms.

On Florida's east coast, Sebastian River Marina & Boatyard owner Doug Hillman is concerned. "Unfortunately, some of us have short memories," said Hillman, who recalls the last significant storm that struck his region five years ago. "There doesn't seem to be a sense of urgency this season."

BoatU.S. is advising recreational boaters in hurricane states to start making plans now to protect their boat from damage. To make storm preparation easier, BoatU.S. has free resources online for boaters, boat clubs, marinas and private dock owners that can help them survive hurricane season:

Click here for more.