28 May 2017

Satellite image of a hurricanePreparing for Hurricane Season 2017!  May 15 is the official start of the hurricane season in the northeast Pacific Ocean while for the Atlantic Ocean, it will start on the first day of June. That’s not far off.  The season will end on the last day of November for both regions.

You may have started prepping for the season, especially if you live in hurricane prone regions, but a lot of the recommendations you will find from concerned strangers on and off the Internet will be faulty.

For instance, taping your windows will not prevent breakage whether you use the crisscross method with duct tape or electrical tape unless you tape the entire window. When glass shatters because of debris, you get a lot of big shards which is more dangerous because of the size. In addition, once the storm is over, it can be difficult to remove the tape cleanly.

Instead of taping windows, invest in storm windows. It is an investment and the smart move would be to plan ahead. However with the hurricane season soon arriving, your next best move would be to study past hurricane patterns and choose the windows most vulnerable to debris. These are the windows you can change to storm windows. The other windows and glass doors can be boarded up with 5/8 plywood but you must be sure to attach the boards to the frame or the boards will fly and cause damage to other structures.

Another recommendation that will not work is cracking open a window so you allow some wind to pass through and minimize air pressure. Off the cuff, it may sound like a logical solution but scientists explain that during a hurricane, the wind speed can average 100 miles/hour and cracking the window will not make a difference.

Instead, you should go over the perimeter of your home and check for weak branches, tie down young trees and your roof, inspect and trim old trees, and generally think ahead of what could come loose and fly towards your windows. It’s also a good idea to check and update your home insurance against flood and hurricane damage. Make copies of all important documents and put them in a safe, dry place.

Finally, make plans to evacuate if necessary. Experts cannot stress the importance of having an evacuation plan. When the winds are high and powerful and the water is rising, it’s time to move to safer ground. You cannot fight these elements of nature. Fortunately, if you have the storm or hurricane windows, you will not have to worry about structural damage. These windows are designed to resist high winds, low pressure, and unpredictable wind patterns.