Cool Facts about Hurricanes


Hurricane FactsWhen a hurricane hits, no one screams about how cool they are, but you’d be surprised to learn what an interesting natural disaster they are. For example, you might be wondering what happens to the birds? While humans flee the area or hunker down and wait it out, where do the birds go? Scientists aren’t necessarily sure if they leave the area or fly ahead of the hurricane, but birds have been shown to leave the area as well. They are believed to hear sound waves below what humans can perceive, known as infrasound, and this warns them of the incoming storm.

Where Does the Word Hurricane Come From?

The actual English word for hurricane comes from a Native American word called, “Taino.” It means “Evil spirit of the wind,” which should tells you all you need to know about what this culture thought of hurricanes. A tropical storm can travel up to 74 miles per hour, but hurricanes can travel even faster than that. In fact, hurricanes can travel at speeds of up to 160 miles per hour. They form in warm moisture atmospheres and over warm water, and as the hurricane hits land, it starts to disintegrate.

Releasing Death and Destruction

Great hurricanes can be devastating to anyone, and they have been known to release the equivalent of 10 atom bombs per second. You don’t even want to imagine the amount of power behind them.

Inside the Eye of a Hurricane

If you want to know where the most dramatic weather changes on earth occur, then you should look no further than the eyewall of a hurricane. Inside of the eye, you normally have a light wind. They’re usually about 20 to 40 miles in diameter to give you a picture of how big hurricanes can be. Meanwhile, only a short distance away, you have what’s known as the “Eyewall.” When you hit this point, you know it because some of the most destructive and intense hurricane winds will be found near the eyewall.

Hurricane eyes will appear in different shapes and sizes. Some hurricane eyes will be clear enough that you can see water or land from satellite imaging. Someone on the ground could possibly even see the stars at night.

Will Hurricane Windows and Doors Protect You?

A hurricane window is comprised of polyvinyl butyral in between two slabs of glass. While the glass most likely shatters on impact, the polyvinyl butyral keeps it in place. While these windows do cost a little more, they offer you better protection. Meanwhile, hurricane doors will be made from commercial-grade aluminum with the finest hardware.

Important to note that just because a hurricane has only been classified as a three or four doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take precautions. In fact, the one that slammed Galveston, Texas, in 1990 was only a category four, but 8000 people died as a result of 15-foot waves and 130 mile-per-hour winds. Hurricanes kill more people every year than any other storm.

Contact East Coast Windows and Doors today and be ready for the next storm.



Protecting Your Windows and Doors during a Hurricane

Hurricane Doors and Windows on a House

Hurricane Doors and Windows on a HouseIt’s that time of year again for us Floridians. Hurricane season is upon us and with it comes strong, damaging winds and rain. These winds will often carry with them large amounts of debris that often damage homes, mostly their windows and doors. It’s important to remember to protect your doors and windows during these storms. Below are some helpful tips to keep your doors and windows safe during the harshest of storms.

Buying Hurricane Impact Windows and Doors

Probably the easiest way to ensure your doors and windows are protected against storms is to buy Hurricane Impact windows and doors made especially to withstand the storm. By owning doors and windows that are built to last during these harsh storms, you save money in the long run by not having to spend money on materials to board up your doors and windows every year. This is also a time saver, as you do not have to take time out of your preparation to secure your doors and windows, allowing you to focus on important tasks like gathering supplies and preparing for power outages.

Boards and Shutters

Boarding up your doors and windows is a common practice done to protect them from being blown away or damaged during a hurricane. Boards act as an extra barrier to protect your home from debris. Shutters guard your windows in a similar manner and are available in various metals, such as aluminum.


In a worst case scenario, if you are unable to protect your doors or windows, the next available option is to have them insured. Having them insured means that you will be able to replace or repair any damages that may have occurred during a storm. Using the money from your claim can also be used to upgrade your windows and doors to hurricane impact windows to avoid having to board them up in the following years.

What to do After the Hurricane

hurricane matthew

The hurricane is over. You are filled with both relief and fear. What happens next?

Here is a checklist of what you should do following a hurricane.

  1. If you have cell phone service and/or power, check in with family members and friends. Texting and social media are great options and won’t use as much battery as a phone call if you need to conserve your battery life.
  2. Listen to official news reports for instructions for your area.
  3. If you have evacuated, wait to return home until authorities have given the OK.
  4. Be careful of downed powerlines and report them to your local electric company if they are not yet aware of them.
  5. Be careful around debris and make sure small children stay clear. Many injuries occur from improper debris clean up.
  6. Do not let your children play in flood waters. If possible, you should also avoid walking through flood waters, especially if there’s a current.
  7. When you clean your home, wear rubber gloves as there could be toxic cleaners or other chemicals that could have leaked.
  8. Try to also keep your vehicle away from flood waters. Did you know that just one foot of fast-moving water can sweep your car away?
  9. For insurance purposes, take pictures of any damage to your property. You may need this later if you have any insurance claims to submit.
  10. Try to perform temporary fixes to prevent any further damage. This may include applying a tarp on your roof if you have any leaks, or taping plastic bags or other material over a broken window.
  11. If you lost power, throw out all perishable food and beverages.
  12. Stay alert for any rainfall that may come after the storm has ended.

Although you will be tempted to explore your local area, or check on family and friends in person, it is important to still only drive if necessary, especially if there is flooding.

Your safety during the storm is our number one concern.  If you’re interested in learning how to minimize damage to your home, contact us to see what your options are and for a free quote.

2018 Hurricane Predictions

Doppler view of Florida

2018’s hurricane season is expected to be an above-average season similar to 2017.  In 2017 we saw 17 named storms, with three major hurricanes landing in the United States.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) predict a 70 percent chance of 10 to 16 named storms with winds of 39 mph or higher. Of those, between 5 and 9 could become hurricanes, with winds of 74 mph or higher; and 1 to 4 are predicted to be major hurricanes of Category 3, 4, or 5 with winds of 111 mph or higher.

This prediction includes a 35 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season, and a 25 percent chance of a below-normal season. An average hurricane season consists of 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

Two of the factors driving this outlook include the possibility of a weak El Niño developing and near-average sea surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea.

Are you ready for the 2018 Hurricane Season?  Contact us today for a free estimate and we’ll show you how you can protect your home with impact windows and doors.

During a Hurricane

A view of winds from a hurricane showing palm trees blowing

During a hurricane, it can be normal to feel frightened. Being prepared and keeping yourself occupied can help give you the confidence that your family and home will be safe.

Here are some tips to get you through the storm:

  1. When the hurricane is six hours away from landfall, and you are not in an evacuation area, stay put at home. You may also want to let your family and friends know you are staying home.
  2. Charge your cell phone now so that you will have a full battery, in case you lose power during the storm. If you have a wireless battery charger, go ahead and get that charged too!
  3. Close all of your storm shutters, and make sure everyone knows to stay away from the windows. Flying objects can act as weapons during fierce hurricane winds.
  4. If you do not have impact windows and doors and you have shutters, secure the shutters on all of your openings.  If you don’t have either then use plywood to board up your openings.
  5. Turn both your freezer and refrigerator to the coldest settings available. Doing so will keep your food and drinks fresher longer, in case you lose power during the storm.
  6. Turn on your television or radio to stay on top of the latest weather updates, and also emergency instructions.
  7. Have candles and flashlights with extra batteries ready to go. You never know when the power will go out.

Now, to keep your family occupied, try some of these tips, especially if you lose power and have kids that just beg to be entertained:

  1. Read a book. Whether it’s quiet time or group story time, catching up on some reading is always a great way to stay preoccupied.
  2. Take turns telling stories with shadow puppets.
  3. Play eye-spy.
  4. Prepare a box of art-and-crafts ahead of time. Some handy ideas would be glue, scissors, construction paper, paper cups, cotton balls, popsicle sticks, and if you’re really feel adventurous, paint brushes and water colors!
  5. Ad-lib puzzles. Let your kids choose the words and you’ll never know what to expect.
  6. Or you could always do the good ‘ole fort with coloring.

Do you have any quick tips you think should have made the list?  Let us know.  We would love to hear from you.

Being prepared and staying busy can help ease nervousness and anxiety about what is going on outside.  Knowing that your home is protected with Impact Windows can also bring great peace of mind.  You will be able to rest easy (or at least the best you can during a storm) knowing that your house is protected while your family is safe and sound inside.  Call us today for your free estimate.


How to Prepare for a Hurricane

A survival kit including flashlights, water, canned food and a medical kit

Every hurricane season, we all witness the catastrophic affects that hurricanes can cause. Many people mistakenly believe that hurricanes are just a threat to coastal communities, but the truth is that high winds, heavy rainfall, flooding, and even tornadoes can have devastating impacts many miles inland.

This is why everyone should take action now to be prepared for this year’s hurricane season. For starters, learn your zone. Evacuations are more common than most people realize, and familiarizing yourself with your area’s evacuation zones will give you a jumpstart if the time should come. You should also have a family communication in place. This includes planning how your family will gather, and plan where you will all go depending on the situation. You should also have a plan on how to contact each other in an emergency.

Make sure you stay “in the know.” There are many apps available that include weather alerts, disaster resources, safety tips and more. You can even receive push notifications to your cell phone to help you prepare for hurricanes.

Another important item on your checklist when it comes to preparing for hurricane season is to check your insurance coverage. Know in advance what your deductibles are, and find out if your belongings are covered in addition to your property.

Make sure to have a go-bag disaster supply kit. This kit should include a flashlight, batteries, cash, first-aid supplies, medications, and copies of any important information/documents you may need.

Last, but not least, it is very important for you to prepare your home. Here is a checklist:

  1. Trim or remove any damaged trees or limbs to keep your property safe. Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall.
  2. Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property.
  3. Reduce property damage by securing and reinforcing your roof, windows and doors, including the garage doors.
  4. Purchase a portable generator or install a generator for use during power outages. Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture.
  5. Consider building a safe room or storm shelter designed for protection from high-winds and in locations above flood levels.

Learning what do before, during and after a hurricane will give you a peace of mind in the event of an impending storm.

Need help protecting your home with impact windows and doors?  Contact East Coast Windows today and be one step ahead this hurricane season.

Avoiding the Economic Damage to Businesses in Florida from a Strong Hurricane

Hurricane Blowing on shore with flooding producing much economic damage

In 2017, an estimated 116.5 million came to visit Florida in spite of the natural disasters that hit the state. This is equivalent to around 3.6% increase from the previous year –a new state record. On the downside, the state also lost an estimated 1.8 million visitors when Hurricane Irma struck which is equivalent to a loss of $1.5 billion in potential revenues.

Unfortunately, recent reports reveal that many business owners suffered significant losses because of Hurricane Irma – an effect that continued for several months. Some owners spoke with a heavy heart about delays in business construction, damages to their structure and roads, and a severe drop in foot traffic.

Even more distressing is the announcement last April 1 that flood insurance rates have increased by 8% for the average premium to 25% for high-risk zones which include business properties. For residences in high-risk zones, the rate increased by 11%. Accordingly, this new rate is unrelated to the effects of last year’s hurricane season but because of two congressional decisions to help ease the National Flood Insurance Program which is buried under steep debts amounting to $25 billion.

Practical Strategies to Avoid Long-Term Effects of Hurricanes and Floods

Here are efficient and cost-effective business strategies you can adopt this year to protect not only your business, but also the business building.

  1. Every year at least two months before hurricane season, have a professional inspect your building. This kind of certification will only bode well for you as it improves the confidence level of your employees, clients, customers, suppliers, and investors.
  2. If your business is located in a medium to high-risk zone, consider installing hurricane impact windows and doors. This can prevent indoor flooding, damage from flying debris, and keep your building safe from structural damage.
  3. There are other measures to protect your structure like roof ties.
  4. Trim trees and plants located near your building right before a hurricane lands
  5. Train your employees about protective measures before, during, and after a storm
  6. Consider having a backup business location away from the medium to high-risk zone in case access to your business becomes too difficult after the hurricane. This way you can still keep your business going soon after the storm leaves.

Finally, set aside a hurricane fund that you build up slowly over the years to cover new hurricane features and expenses. This fund should be separate from your operating funds so your business operations won’t struggle to stay afloat during the period immediately after the hurricane.

For all your hurricane impact window and door needs, contact us at East Coast Windows and Doors– your friendly professional window and door experts.

A Week in the Life of a Homeowner in the Aftermath of a Hurricane

Hurricane damage to a silver car that sits as a tree uprooted and landed on top

Hurricane damageAmericans who live in storm-prone areas understand the gravity of hurricanes, need for insurance and emergency plans, and have a strategy for survival and recovery. They also read up on meteorology, property risk mitigation, real property market, and emergency management. Some even go as far as taking formal lessons in weather patterns and bunker construction. When it comes to Mother Nature, you can never be too prepared.

People who have experienced a Category 4 or 5 hurricane will describe it as “scary” and “stressful.” Immediately after the hurricane, the relief is only but fleeting. Then the physical and emotional toil sets in as you try to put order back into your lives while trying to keep a lid on the trauma of loss or damages.

On top of having to take care of repairs, there is the added pressure to go back to work and start earning to pay for the unexpected expenses. A homeowner also has to face government officials who start making house calls to inspect homes alongside insurance agents, banks officials or financiers for mortgaged property, and relatives calling to offer or ask for help. In the case of Hurricane Irma, about 1 million homeowners had to survive a week without power while others had to wait for days before they could get help.

The government is constantly improving public service to victims of hurricanes. After Hurricane Katrina, the lessons learned included using the same playbook, enhancing first responder training, building emergency supply inventory way before the hurricane season, and learning to ask for help from the citizens. All lessons the government was able to apply during Hurricane Harvey and other hurricanes that followed.

However, the government cannot be relied on 100% to be the sole protector of the public. Individual homeowners should take the initiative to enhance their personal preparedness to minimize damage and trauma. After all, the government has limited resources and cannot be in all places at one time. Even though authorities are better today with natural calamities, there is room for improvement, especially in relief and recovery.  Recovery takes time.

As homeowners, you can invest in your property with hurricane impact windows and doors, roof ties, and other hurricane protection solutions like a generator. You should also keep your insurance updated, suggest a mobile alert program for the community, and educate families in the neighborhood about safe zones and protecting one’s health against trauma and mental stress.

Your First Line of Defense Against External Elements Including Fire: Hurricane Impact Doors & Windows

Two Firefighters preparing for there drill

Many homes in the state of Florida and around the country have installed hurricane impact windows. At East Coast windows, while this trend has validated our products, we also believe in making sure homeowners understand the realities of owning a hurricane-protected structure.

One of the main reasons for hurricane impact windows and doors is that fact that these products can stand against heavy debris traveling at a speed of 50 feet/second. And hurricane impact windows and doors do not look unsightly at all. They are beautifully crafted in different designs from double-hung to fixed, and from sliding door to casement.

Another reason for the popularity of hurricane windows and doors is the fact that they are security windows as well and can protect a family from vandals, intruders, and thieves.  And here is where East Coast offers the difference.

In many cases in the past, when fires break out in a house with hurricane impact windows and doors, firefighters have a very difficult time accessing the house. They require tools and at least five precious minutes to break the windows and doors. Those who are trapped inside, on the other hand, experience similar difficulties. This situation has prompted us to either make sure there are interior open/close window and door operations that can be used or that there is a warning system that will inform and advice firefighters about the windows and doors structure. This will save time and allow first responders to adjust to the situation more quickly.

For those inside the house, we at East Coast suggest that all adult/responsible family members be oriented on how to exit the house safely. There should be a designated place where hand tools are kept inside the house for the purpose of making a hole in the glass. You can also inform your fire department to encode in their database that you have hurricane impact windows and doors. Some fire departments welcome this information but will require further details such as the type and sizes of impact windows and doors.

The additional steps you need to take may be a little inconvenient, but it’s a small adjustment for such a safe and secure investment on your property and family. Hurricane windows save lives and property. In many parts of the country, these kinds of windows are mandated in building codes especially in the Midwest area but are evident in parts that don’t normally get hit by hurricanes.

Along with hurricane impact windows and doors, there are other ways you can protect your house and family as your second line of defense. For instance, you can use hurricane roof clips to tie down your roof. These clips can hold up to 1500 pounds, although the standard weight for low danger areas is 500 pounds. Another option for protecting your roof is the cable tie which holds the roof in place with a cable system.

Finally, a relatively new innovation is the concrete cloth which can protect the walls of your home. This technology can stop a bullet from penetrating the wall and comes in a dry mixture which you mix with water.

There you have it! The complete hurricane set-up for your home! Contact us today for your hurricane impact windows and doors and be prepared for the next big one!


The Aftermath of a Vicious Hurricane Season: How Did Your Windows & Doors Perform?

Hurricane - Sea coming ashore

Hurricane - Sea coming ashore2017 is now being seen as one of the worst hurricane seasons since 2005 because even though the hurricane season has not yet ended, there have already been 4 hurricanes to make landfall in the country, three of them were category 4 storms.

The question is not about the significance of the hurricane season although it is important. At East Coast, we prefer to ask property owners if they are satisfied with the performance of their hurricane windows and doors.

It has come to our knowledge from news reports that many homes in Florida whose owners invested in impact windows were duped. They were misled by marketing hype that relied on certain industry terms to sell a product.

Let us explain and help sort through the confusion. In this industry, there are different ways to protect windows and doors and ultimately, the house from damage due to strong winds and heavy debris. Hurricane shutters, plywood, or hurricane windows. What not many supplier will fail to explain is that there is a difference between a hurricane window and a hurricane impact window which we have at East Coast Windows.

The Difference between Hurricane Windows and Hurricane Impact Windows

Hurricane impact windows are impact resistant windows which have a higher resistance to heavy debris, fierce rain, and loud noises. They are safer and cannot be broken easily even by hurling an object at it by burglars or firefighters. It would require a power drill to cut a hole in a hurricane impact window or door so you can just imagine how strong these windows and doors are.

Hurricane impact products are manufactured in a different way as well. They use laminated glass bonded together with an clear interlayer that traps air between 2 glass panes and then followed by a third glass panel for insulation which is also air insulated to reduce heat transfer.

You can choose between two kinds of hurricane impact windows based on resistance: one that can resist small objects (PVB glass) and the other for larger objects (PET laminated glass).

Hurricane windows, on the other hand, are stronger than your standard window system but not as strong as the hurricane impact resistant systems. You can tell if your windows are hurricane impact or simple hurricane windows. With the impact resistant windows and doors, you should have a state certificate from your supplier. This is the certificate you can show to your insurer to request for lower rates. Some hurricane windows though are laminated well enough to resist small objects but will shatter when hit by larger debris.

There is the laser test which is not 100% reliable although it can be a starting point. The laser should be able to go through the window and be seen on the other side as a single dot only if it is impact resistant. In addition, the product itself should have a sticker stating that it is “Florida product approved” or “Miami-Dade county approved.”

Finally, you can request for an inspector to drop by your home to check the windows and doors. This document from a home inspector can also be used for insurance purposes.