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Friday, December 6,2013

To My Readers:

Question: Florida dodged the Hurricane season again, but that is not an excuse for not preparing your home properly. Answer:

I remember my first encounter with hurricane preparedness (mid 60’s). Tape (masking) was crisscrossed on the pane with the the- ory that shards of glass would not fly across a room. Such a treatment ended up with the cleanest windows possible because removal of the tape was difficult at best.

The building code gets revised or amended every time we have an actual hurricane. The east coast, and particularly from Vero Beach south, has had its share of bad hurricanes. The worse one was Andrew. It gave the building code reason to modify the code and increase the wind resistance requirement. As a result, the high impact window makers experienced a surge in orders and the manufacturers of shutters and panels had to use thicker and stronger metals.

Of course, windows are not the only items that must be protected. Gable ends of roofs, garage overhead doors, screen enclosures, roofing, etc. are all points of potential damage during a hurricane.



What I am advocating is this:

now, until the onset of hurricane season again (next June) is an ideal time to review your home and prepare for the worse. You undoubtedly were shocked at the cost of wind storm insurance and it will continue to increase if your house doesn’t meet code requirements. It may be a minor cost to hire an inspector to advise you where your home may be in danger in the event of a hurricane.

Some things you can do yourself:

trim all your trees and shrubs during the winter months; measure all your window openings and have plywood panels cut to cover every window; purchase a gas generator to provide temporary power; prepare a small interior room to protect your family during the hurricane; now is the time to buy basic supplies such as batteries, flash lights, etc.

I hope I’m not frightening anyone.

Having been through five hurricanes, I have learned that you can’t wait until the last moment to prepare for the worst.


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