This isn't pertinent just to U.S. Gulf Coast/Florida readers (not to mention the people living on the islands, of course, which get pasted far more often than the U.S.). It is good information for people in Nova Scotia, which took Hurricane Juan a while back and lost boats even in Halifax's relatively sheltered harbour, or for people in Toronto, who took the storm that was once Isabelle and had more than a few lines chafe through then.
It was a while back, but Hurricane Hazel in 1954 killed over 80 people in my city with 90 knot winds. It strengthened, if only briefly, over Lake Ontario itself. I bring this up to dispell any Northern smugness about hurricane prep: the right storm at the right time can blast a much larger chunk of North America than just the southeast U.S.