Get your latest marine weather forecast for your boating area. If there are warnings in effect in your area make sure your boat can handle the conditions that you might encounter.
Check your boat to make sure it is equipped properly with the right amount of life vests, tools to make a quick fix, zip ties, and that all of your visual distress signals are in working order. You also need to have a VHF radio or cell phone on board in case of emergency.
Once you are on the water, you need to check the conditions frequently as things can change very fast, especially if you are going offshore.
Use this list of phone numbers to get the most up to date weather forecast for your area.
Ports Weather 1-866-827-6787
Macdill Weather 813-828-2421
NOAA Weather Recorded Forecast
South Florida 305-229-4550
VHF channel 22A
U S Coast Guard
Rescue Station VHF Channel 16
Marine Safety Office 727-824-7534
National Response Center 1-800-424-8802 (oil spills and maritime emergencies)