JUNE 14 — The Coast Guard is re-establishing a Storm Flag program at selected Coast Guard boat stations to warn the public of approaching storm conditions.
Coast Guard stations participated in the National Weather Service’s official Coastal Warning Display program for more 100 years along with yacht clubs and marinas. The program was discontinued in 1989.
“For everyone living along the coast these storm flags serve as a visible reminder of the destruction that can be wrought by nature — especially as we head into this year’s hurricane season,” says Rear Adm. David Pekoske, assistant commandant for operations. “Storm flags are a nautical tradition for mariners and the Coast Guard is pleased to bring back this part of our maritime heritage.”
Starting June 1, the first day of hurricane season, selected boat stations hoisted display flags to warn of small craft advisories, gale warnings, storm warnings and hurricane warnings. Residents of coastal communities are should tune to National Weather Service radio broadcasts when they observe a flag hoisted.
The Coast Guard plans to have a minimum of 37 stations participate. The first stations to activate the program are Shinnecock, N.Y.; Atlantic City, N.J.; Merrimack River and Chatham, Mass.; Georgetown and Charleston, S.C.; Tybee Island and Brunswick, Ga.; and in Florida, Mayport, Ponce de Leon, Port Canaveral, Fort Pierce, Lake Worth Inlet, Fort Lauderdale, Miami Beach, Key West, Marathon and Islamorada. Stations in Sandy Hook, N.J.; New Haven, Conn.; and Jones Beach, N.Y., could soon come on line.
Visit the Coast Guard Storm Center for suggestions on how to prepare your vessel ahead of a storm.