The term, "batten down the hatches" is nautical in origin. Batten, on the sea, means to secure or tie down. And hatches are the doorways leading from one deck to another (sort of like your attic door in your ceiling, if you've got one.) When storms were on the horizon, captains would order their crews to batten down the hatches, meaning to secure all loose articles, including those trap doors, for safety.
How do I know all this? Katherine Brandon does lots of research for her books because many of her characters spend their lives at sea. Some of that research came in handy in Kismet's Angel (available now from The Wild Rose Press) but even more of it is evident in Book III, Kismet's Salvation, due out next month from The Wild Rose Press.)
As I write this blog post, the air is still, and a weak sun peeks out from a hazy morning sky. My coffee cup, filled with Perfect Peach today, is dangerously close to Need-Refill-ASAP status. After a stint at Le Day Job, I will come home and batten down my hatches. I wish all of you a safe journey through today.