Surviving a hurricane may sound like a once-in-a-lifetime ordeal, but most residents of Florida know that hurricanes are a simple fact of life. With the right preparation for your home—especially for its more vulnerable components like windows and doors—you can enter each hurricane season with confidence, calm, and peace of mind.
Here are a few simple tips for preparing your windows before a storm:
- Install Hurricane Windows - It’s no secret that the very best way to prepare your windows for Florida storm season is to replace them with stronger, higher-quality storm windows. Especially if you have an older home, your windows are likely far flimsier and less durable than even cheapest windows available today! Installing impact-resistant windows (especially those that meet Miami-Dade County’s strict requirements) will keep glass from shattering, even with direct impacts of 100+ mph.
- Don’t Neglect Any Windows - Some Florida homeowners mistakenly believe that only waterfront-facing windows need to be specially protected. Since flying debris can blow from all angles, it’s important to take precautions for all of your home’s windows—first floor, second floor, water-facing, or not.
- Install Hurricane Shutters - Most often crafted from aluminum or other metal materials, hurricane shutters are a next-best solution to protect your home’s windows. Although they do provide a layer of exterior defense, they also require a bit of manual labor to set up, especially if you have many windows or particularly large windows. Still, they’re definitely recommended if your windows aren’t storm-rated.
- Board up Your Windows - If you have neither hurricane hurricane windows nor hurricane shutters, then plywood is likely your best alternative to preventing window glass breakage. If available near you, metal or plastic storm panels will provide more reliable protection than plywood for a comparable price.
- Clean Your Yard - Any items sitting in your yard can become high-speed projectiles under the right hurricane conditions! Be sure to move any outdoor furniture, cooking equipment, umbrellas, or loose yard décor into storage. If you have time, it’s also a good idea to trim your tree branches short enough that they cannot directly beat against your windows, siding, or roof.
- Forget the Tape! Whatever you do, don’t buy into the myth that taping an X across your windows will help. In fact, tape can actually make your windows more dangerous! Rather than shatter into small, relatively harmless pieces, the tape can force glass into huge shards that cause much more damage.
Although hurricane season lasts up to five months of the year, the good news is that we’re rarely caught off guard. Weather experts track the start of storm season every year, and the earlier you take steps to protect your windows, the safer your family will be when June 1 rolls around!
By adequately preparing your Florida home with storm-ready, energy-efficient solutions, you won’t just survive hurricane season; you’ll be able to thrive all year long—no matter the winds or weather outside.