Impact-resistant windows, doors help protect you in a storm

With Mother Nature taking more frequent disastrous turns, it’s time for home and business owners to re-evaluate how their region’s extreme weather may affect their lives and property.

Hurricane season spans from early June through the end of November in the United States. That’s a long time to sit tight and hope a storm doesn’t destroy your belongings. If you live in a hurricane-prone zone, take these steps to protect your loved ones and your home or business against violent winds and water.

First things first
Research current building code requirements for high-wind regions. Make sure your home or business buildings meet your local code specifications, especially if you are considering renovations or new construction. Also check to see if flood damage is covered by your homeowner’s or commercial property insurance, and plan accordingly.

According to the National Hurricane Center website, to help weather the storm, it is important to strengthen the exterior of your home or business, making it harder for wind and debris to tear through small openings. Doors and windows are the number one entrances and exits to your home, making them potentially vulnerable points for a storm to enter.

Impact-resistant windows, doors provide secure options
Taping your windows shut will not stop the storm from entering your home or business. Shutters and plywood are only temporary options and waste precious time to put in place as a hurricane approaches. Your best bet for withstanding hurricanes and providing year-round, round-the-clock protection is installing impact-resistant windows and doors. These products look similar to traditional windows and patio doors, yet they offer substantially more protection from the elements, thanks to their innovative design and rugged materials. Think about retrofitting your structure with Pella® Architect Series® HurricaneShield® Impact-Resistant windows and patio doors to enhance your home and business.

Other important steps
Consider these extra safety measures to help weather the storm.

  • If you're unsure whether your home or business is in a hurricane-prone zone, contact your local emergency management office. 
  • Familiarize yourself with your community’s disaster preparedness plans.
  • Create a family plan detailing escape routes from your home in case of emergency. Establish a safe meeting place in case your family becomes separated. Also, set up a phone tree to communicate with friends and relatives.

  • Assemble a disaster supply kit and put it in an easily accessible location. Include things like drinking water, non-perishable food, a portable National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio, basic tools, a flashlight, batteries, clothing, prescription medications, household keys, important documents, credit cards and cash.
  • Test emergency equipment, like flashlights, lanterns, portable radios, generators, etc., to ensure it’s working properly and repair or replace as necessary.
  • Keep fresh batteries for emergency equipment on hand, as, these can be in scarce supply as the storm approaches or strikes.
  • Before a hurricane strikes, remove anything from the exterior of your home or business that isn’t rooted to the ground. This includes garbage cans, bicycles and lawn ornaments which can cause personal injury or property damage as they are catapulted through the air in a storm.

For more information on how to protect yourself during a hurricane, visit these websites:
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/intro.shtml
http://www.weather.com/activities/homeandgarden/home/hometips/severeweather/hurricane_windprotect.html