If you live in a hurricane prone zone, which a significant portion of the U.S. population does, you need to be planning for a very serious hurricane season this year. The latest predictions from the Colorado State University forecasting team is for 16 named storms, nine hurricanes and five major hurricanes with sustained winds of 111 mph or greater. See http://www.riskmanagementmonitor.com/2011-hurricane-predictions/ for the detailed predictions.
One of if not the most important actions you can take is to upgrade the protection of your home’s windows. Your alternatives are hurricane shutters or plywood to be applied to the exterior of your home’s windows, or full time protection from certified hurricane tested replacement windows. The problem with the exterior applied solutions is you have to be there when a warning is issued, and have the stamina and ability to fasten the protections devices in place. Many of these devices are quite large and quite heavy, requiring at least two people to install them properly. You also risk personal injury due to the weight and need for ladders etc. to install them on the home. Certified hurricane protection windows offer full time protection to your home, with no mess, no labor and no pre-planning required.
Many of the residences along the shoreline from Maine to Texas are part time, with no one there some of the year. If these homes are not protected with replacement windows, the owners would have to arrange for someone to install, and then remove the exterior protection devices, at each and every storm warning. On the residences that are occupied full time, you still would have to install and then remove the devices for every warning. In addition, most of these devices are totally opaque and do not allow any light into the home. In a hurricane, the power is often lost, and your home would be totally dark inside.
There really is no other decision; highly energy efficient certified hurricane windows are the best solution. With this current forecast, there is no time to waste as the 2011 hurricane season starts June first. With the severe weather we’ve experienced so far this year, it seems likely to me that these forecasters, along with many others, are probably on the conservative side if anything.
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