Hurricane shutters covering windows and doors are a first line of defense for between the outside elements and indoor contents. Hurricane shutters protect windows from high winds and flying projectiles. Once broken, windows will allow wind, rain, and debris to enter the house or building. Broken windows may also cause intense pressure on the roof and interior walls. A collapsed roof exposes all contents and possessions inside the house to the tropical storm or hurricane. Exterior hurricane shutters can help prevent this damage.
Mother Nature has an incredibly powerful and potentially devastating way of presenting herself. Hurricanes and tropical storms are perhaps some of the most fierce. The importance of properly preparing for a hurricane with exterior hurricane shutters can not be stressed enough. While family members, pets, and small valuables can be evacuated, houses, businesses, and other properties must be strong enough to endure the storm. Protect your home with hurricane shutters.
Even though no longer used by the U.S. National Weather Service, hurricane flags still may be displayed by the U.S. Coast Guard to signifiy an approaching storm. A single hurricane flag indicates a storm warning with a wind speed between 55 and 73 mph. Two flags indicate a hurricane warning with wind speeds in excess of 74 mph. It's time to close the storm shutters!
Hurricane shutters protect from all types of storms. The terms “hurricane”, “typhoon”, and “cyclone” are names given to storms based on the geographical location. Cyclones in the North Atlantic Ocean, North Pacific Ocean, or South Pacific Ocean are called hurricanes. Tropical storms along the Northwest Pacific Ocean are referred to as typhoons.
Storms are categorized by wind speed.
Tropical Depression: Thunderstorms with wind speeds of less than 38 mph.
Tropical Storm: Strong thunderstorms with wind speeds between 39 & 73 mph.
Category 1 – Wind speeds 74 – 95 miles per hour.
Category 2 – Wind speeds 96 – 110 miles per hour.
Category 3 – Wind speeds 111 – 130 miles per hour.
Category 4 – Wind speeds 131 – 154 miles per hour.
Category 5 – Wind speeds 155 miles per hour.
Property owners along the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean should strongly consider installing hurricane shutters. States affected include Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. Category 5 hurricanes can result in structural damages in excess of 15 miles from the shore. Hurricane shutters are recomended for all regions close to the shore.
“Hurricane season” refers to the months of each year that have been historically accompanied by hurricanes or tropical storms. The recognized hurricane season is from June through November each year. The peak season occurs between August to October, with mid-September as the pinnacle. Each period is unpredictable, delivering mild tropical storms with moderate rains and winds or Category 5 hurricanes resulting in extensive damages. That is why it is important to install hurricane shutters during the off season.
An inspection may help determine the integrity of existing storm hurricane shutters. To find out how a house or building will hold up well in a hurricane an inspector or engineer can be hired to assess the premises and pinpoint any potentially unsafe or weak areas.
Factors that influence the best hurricane shutter for the application include cost, quality, building codes, and availability. Standard exterior shutters may not be able to endure the extreme punishment necessary to protect the building. The most common styles of hurricane shutters include plywood shutter panels, roll-down hurricane shutters, accordion hurricane shutters, storm panels, colonial hurricane shutters, and bahama shutters. Each of these styles of exterior hurricane shutter are constructed from various materials including aluminum and wood. Some remain affixed to the building at all times, and others are removed and stored until needed.
Explore our articles for the type of outdoor hurricane shutters that best fits your needs.