In Florida, the importance of hurricane windows and other storm preparation tools and best practices should never be understated. Although Hurricane Harvey – which has dominated the news in the past several days due to catastrophic and tragic flooding in Texas – did not affect the Sunshine State, USA Today reported that a brewing tropical storm is just off the coast and could reach Florida soon.
Not only that, but Floridians are no neophytes when it comes to extreme weather events. Residents know well – in some cases all too well – how much damage can be done. While some might think they know exactly what to do for the assurance of hurricane preparedness, it never hurts to go over the best practices and supplies once again, just in case.
Choose the right hurricane- and impact-resistant windows
The perfect fusion of glass and laminate is what makes the best storm and impact windows as strong as they are, so it's important that you know exactly what you're getting before you pull the trigger on a purchase. As pointed out by The Balance, polyvinyl butyral vinyl is excellent for double pane windows due to its capacity for bolstering impact resistance. Ensure that the windows you check are dual weather stripped as well.
It will also be wise to inquire about impact rating, especially in a state like Florida: Storm windows are categorized by the ASTM's standards as standing up to Wind Zones 1-3, with 3 being the highest, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Any coastal home should have Zone 2-rated windows at the very least.
Preparation and planning: From insurance to disaster kits
The real challenges of successfully experiencing a tropical storm or hurricane, however, involve much more than simply choosing the right windows. Ideally, some of these should be handled well in advance of hurricane season, but there's no harm in rectifying the issue now.
FEMA recommends documenting all property that is at risk of damage or destruction and examining what your homeowners insurance policy will cover. Bear in mind that many homeowners' policies don't specifically guarantee against flood damage, requiring the purchase of either a flood rider for your homeowners plan or separate flood coverage from the FEMA-sponsored National Flood Insurance Program. Renters should do the same, but be mindful of the fact that renters insurance often has less comprehensive benefits than even a standard homeowners plan.
Crafting a disaster kit that features enough supplies for you and anyone in your household will be important for when you know the storm's landfall is imminent. Beyond the most obvious items – food, water, a fully charged cellphone, flashlights and batteries – it's also prudent to include things you very well might not need but you'll greatly miss if you do need them. These include dust masks, personal hygiene products (baby wipes are particularly helpful), a can opener, whistle and emergency flares.
To learn more about hurricane preparedness for your home, be sure to contact New South Window Solutions today!