Hurricane Center

Get Your Home Ready For Hurricane

Check your home’s defenses

Start with shutters and your roof

Window and door coverings

Protecting doors and windows

THINGS TO DO BEFORE HURRICANE SEASON STARTS

The worst thing that people who live along coastlines can do is not to prepare for tropical storms and hurricanes. We have been through storms like Andrew, Katrina, Wilma and Irma and there will be more as we know it. All of our products are tested to ensure they surpass hurricane code requirements. We want to make sure your family is safe, not only during hurricane season, but all year round. Your safety is our #1 priority.

Guidelines to prepare for hurricane season

  • Find out if you live in an evacuation zone.
  • Call your local emergency information center.
  • Decide in advance where your family will stay during a hurricane — at home, a friend’s home, a shelter or a hotel. Pick a back-up location in case there is a problem with your first choice. Make sure everyone knows the location, address and phone number.
  • Ask an out-of-town relative or friend to be your emergency contact, and make sure everyone knows that person’s phone number. Tell your contact person where you will be during the hurricane.
  • Make arrangements for those with special needs.
  • Talk to your employer about whether you will have to work in the event of a hurricane. If so, decide who will pick up the children from school.

A hurricane supply kit should be put together long before a hurricane threatens your area.things that should be in your Hurricane supply kit:

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Have a TWO WEEKS supply of each item for each person in your home.

WATER

  • Seven gallons of water per person (1/2 gallon for drinking and 2 gallons for bathing, tooth brushing, etc.).
  • Store water in clean, plastic containers.

FOOD

  • Purchase foods that require no refrigeration and little preparation such as:
  • Ready-to-eat canned food
  • Canned juices, milk, soup (if powdered, store extra water)
  • Soft drinks, instant coffee, and tea.
  • Lots of ice (You can freeze your water supply.)

BABY

  • Formula, bottles, powdered milk, jarred baby foods
  • Diapers, moist towelettes, and special medications

PETS

  • Newspapers or cat litter for your pet’s sanitary needs
  • Moist canned foods in order to preserve water
  • Plastic sheets to cover the floor of pet’s room

MEDICINE

  • First aid kit, rubbing alcohol
  • Aspirin, non-aspirin pain reliever and antacid
  • Extra prescription medication (especially for those with heart problems and diabetics)
  • Ask your physician or pharmacist how to store prescription medication.

PERSONAL ITEMS

  • Toilet paper, towels, soap, shampoo
  • Personal and feminine hygiene products
  • Denture needs, contact lenses and an extra pair of eyeglasses
  • Sun protection, insect repellent

ELECTRONICS

  • Make sure you have all your necessary electronics (phone, tablet, laptop) fully charged
  • Make sure you have all power cords and charging accessories accounted for
  • In case you encounter sudden flooding or heavy rain, it is recommended to store your electronics in a waterproof case
  • Before the storm, make sure you backup all important files and documents
  • During the storm, avoid having electronics on, unless in emergency use, that way you can conserve their power

OTHER SUPPLIES

  • Battery-operated radio, flashlights, non-electric can opener, extra batteries
  • Charcoal, waterproof matches, extra propane for gas grills (Use grills outside only.)**
  • ABC-rated fire extinguisher in a small canister
  • Portable cooler
  • Plenty of absorbent towels, plastic trash bags
  • Wind-up or battery-operated clock
  • Tarp or sheet plastic, duct tape, hammer, and nails (for temporary roof repairs)
  • Cleaning supplies such as chlorine bleach
  • Aluminum foil, paper napkins, and plates, plastic cups.
  • Can of spray paint (can be used to identify your home for insurance adjusters in case it’s damaged)
  • These items can cause fires and shouldn’t be stored inside the house.

CLOTHING/BEDDING

  • At least one change of clothing per person, sturdy shoes, hat and work gloves
  • Blankets and pillows or sleeping bags

YOUR HOME

Complete this checklist before hurricane season:

  • Learn the elevation of your area and find out if you’re in an evacuation zone.
  • Make a list of loose items outside your home that should be put inside or tied down such as garbage cans, plants, etc. Don’t forget the TV antenna. Urge neighbors to do the same.
  • Trim trees and bushes before hurricane season. Excess limbs can break windows and damage roofs.
  • Install hurricane shutters that meet building code requirements.
  • Inspect the roof for loose tiles or shingles and debris.
  • The main electric breaker, water valve, and gas valve may need to be shut off. Know their locations.
  • Take pictures or record the condition of your home and personal property before hurricane season.

If your garage door is more than 10 years old, it does not meet the new Florida Building Code criteria for safety against hurricane winds.

The single most important improvement you can make to your home is to install a Hurricane-Rated garage door.

As the single largest opening on a house, the loss of a garage door during a hurricane can lead to an uncontrolled buildup of internal pressure resulting in a complete or partial blowout of the entire roof system and supporting walls.

Garage doors are now considered to be one of the most important parts of a building’s structure in regards to maintaining its structural integrity during a hurricane.
State adopted stricter building codes that require new garage doors or replacement doors to be structurally reinforced to withstand specific wind load requirements. In Miami-Dade and Broward counties the wind load requirement is 146 mph and 140 mph, respectively. In other parts of Florida, it ranges from 100 to 150 mph.

To meet the new codes, garage doors must have heavier gauge tracking and springs to help keep them in place under extreme wind loads. Retrofitting a door with new hardware won’t provide the same structural integrity as a new door in the event of a storm.” Homeowners who have not replaced their garage door since the code took effect should consider installing a code-approved, reinforced model.

A reinforced door doesn’t necessarily mean covering the garage opening in a solid sea of steel. We also offers a variety of styles from which to choose and they are all hurricane-rated products. You can see all of these products and much more in the product section. Just follow this link and choose from several collections listed on the left.
There are many code compliant design options available to complement most architectural styles, from Contemporary to Mediterranean.

If the power goes out, homeowners may need to disconnect their electric openers to manually open the garage door. That can be easier said than done, so we suggest homeowners learn how to do it before an emergency arises. To prevent having to search frantically for a garage door instruction manual in the dark, here are some helpful tips:

  • Disconnect the garage door opener when the garage is in the closed position, not when it’s open. If the springs aren’t balanced, the door could suddenly drop to the ground and cause injury. If the springs are properly balanced, the door will open easily with the lift handles. If it is difficult to open, have a professional garage door service technician check the door as soon as possible to avoid further damage or safety risks.
  • Lock the door. When the automatic opener is disconnected the door is not securely shut until you manually slide the lock bar.
  • Reconnect the opener when the power comes back on. Make sure the door is unlocked when the opener is reconnected. Electrically opening the garage door while the lock bar is still in place can cause major damage.
  • Invest in an automatic door opener that includes a battery back-up feature. That way, when the power goes out, the garage door will still function using the opener, as will the entry keypad and the safety sensors, and the garage door will be locked and secured.

Post-High Wind Event Door Operation By A Building Occupant

Building occupants should not attempt to remove, adjust or repair doors, springs, or any other door system components, or anything to which they are fastened. Doors are large, heavy objects that move with the help of springs under extreme tension, and can cause serious injury or death. Only trained door systems technicians should remove, repair or adjust doors.
If a building occupant is unsure of the condition of the framing surrounding the door to which the door is attached, a building contractor or design professional should be contacted.
If any problem is observed during visual inspection, visual inspection should immediately cease, the door should not be operationally inspected and a trained door systems technician should be contacted to resolve the problem.

If any problem is encountered during operational inspection, the door should be immediately and carefully lowered to the closed position and a trained door systems technician should be contacted to correct the problem.
Any deformation of panels, tracks or hardware can make a door questionable with regard to withstanding another high wind event. A professional door installer should be contacted in this case.

Visual Inspection

  • Begin inside the garage. The door should remain closed during this activity. A flashlight and a step stool or ladder should be kept handy.
  • Door alignment. Check for misalignment of door or door components, or evidence of damage including broken or cracked glass.
  • Opening frame. Visually inspect jambs and header for proper attachment to the structure including any loose or improperly attached connections.
  • Door track system. Visually inspect for any looseness of fasteners or misalignment of the track. If OK, continue with the inspection.Contact us with any questions or comments about our Hurricane Preparedness Information.

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