June 8th, 2015
Is Florida Prepared for a Hurricane?
June 1 marked the official start of hurricane season. Fortunately, Florida has gone through a decade without a hurricane making landfall (the longest time between hurricanes that I can remember). Going back to 2005 when the last hurricanes impacted Florida, it was one of the worst years on record. Then, five hurricanes and two tropical storms hit the state.
Dr. William Gray of Colorado State University has forecasted that this Atlantic hurricane season will be one of the least active since the 1950s.
But even with a below-average forecast, hurricane protection and preparedness are still important. Florida is one of the fastest-growing states, and many residents are unfamiliar with all that’s required to be prepared. Also, since it’s been a while, longtime Florida residents may not be as concerned about required maintenance.
Hurricane protection has changed over the years. Simply putting up plywood is no longer an approved method. The experts say it takes too long to get it up and installed properly. Hurricane shutters and windows are two of the best and most secure methods of protection.
Energy codes have also evolved and are now part of the inspection approval process. So not only are homeowners required to meet the impact and wind zone requirements, they are also required to meet the energy codes.
And now design pressure ratings, along with impact windows, are required in a growing number of areas. Since Hurricane Sandy hit the Mid-Atlantic region, more coastal states are requiring and enforcing higher design pressures and impact ratings.
Obviously no one wants a hurricane to hit, but sooner or later it’s going to happen. Make sure if you live in these areas, you are prepared. If you are a window manufacturer in these areas, make sure your customers are educated — and that you’re installing the right types of hurricane protection.
A little training can go a long way.