It’s Hurricane Season; Here’s What You Need to KnowJune 1st, 2015 by Trey Barrineau
The Atlantic hurricane season begins today and runs through November 30, and the door and window industry wants to make sure its customers are ready.
CGI Windows & Doors, a Florida-based manufacturer of fenestration products designed to resist the winds and water associated with these deadly storms, is among the many companies who want to help homeowners take steps to stay safe.
Last week, CGI launched a website – HurricanePreparednessTips.com – that’s loaded with vital information.
“It’s never too early to start thinking about safety before a storm,” says Steven E. Dawson, vice president and general manager of CGI Windows & Doors, in a statement. “As longtime experts in the field of storm safety, we created this micro site to share what we know with our friends and neighbors. We are hurricane experts, in a way; we know what the storms can do to a home, and we know what needs to be done to protect family and property. Planning, strategizing, and thinking ahead is the best defense against the 2015 hurricane season.”
Additionally, the National Hurricane Center offers an informative website about these dangerous weather events – how they form, the damage they inflict, and how to protect life and property both before and after.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts a below-average hurricane season for 2015 in the Atlantic, according to a report from USA Today. Three to six hurricanes are expected to form in the region, which also includes the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. Up to two of those could be “major” hurricanes, defined by NOAA as having winds in excess of 111 mph.
NOAA says six to 11 named tropical storms are likely for 2015. Tropical storms have winds that exceed 39 mph, while hurricanes have winds that exceed 74 mph.
USA Today reports that the U.S. hasn’t had a major hurricane make landfall since Wilma in October 2005, which came ashore in Florida. The storm killed 61 people. 2005 was also the year that Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast, killing more than 1,800 people and causing an estimated $108 billion in property damage.
A May 6 story from USA Today notes that although “we’ve seen some whopper hurricanes since then — such as Ike (2008), Irene (2011) and Sandy (2012) — none of them hit as a Category 3 or greater.”
Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports that nearly a half-million new homes have been built in Florida’s coastal communities since 2004-2005, a period that saw eight hurricanes cause $33 billion in insurance claims in the state.
However, experts say the risk of catastrophic destruction hasn’t grown, in part because of Florida’s statewide building code. It was implemented in 2002 as a response to 1992’s Hurricane Andrew, which destroyed big swaths of South Florida with 165-mph winds. The code requires all new structures to be built with impact-resistant doors and windows, among other features.
“The building code changes have made a huge difference,” Shahid Hamid, a professor at the International Hurricane Research Center at Florida International University, told the AP. “You have more houses being built, and that certainly means more exposure and losses will go up, but on the other hand, the houses that are more recently built are better built and can perform better in hurricanes.”
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