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Hurricane season is here, and although Florida hasn’t seen a major storm make landfall since 2005’s Hurricane Wilma, home and business owners should still be prepared for the weather to take a nasty turn.

Hurricane season runs from June to November, with August, September and October being the most active months for storms in Florida.

More hurricanes hit Florida than any other state, and since 1851, we’ve only had 18 seasons without a major storm. But it’s not just hurricanes we have to worry about. Jacksonville got hit hard by Tropical Storm Fay in 2008 and Tropical Storm Beryl in 2012. Tropical storms – even heavy thundershowers with hail – can cause thousands of dollars in damage to your property.

These tips will help you protect your home or business from damage in the event of a hurricane.

Prepare for a Hurricane in Advance

We’re all familiar with the rush on grocery and hardware stores the moment our favorite weather reporters say there’s a storm approaching. We recommend buying a few sheets of plywood every week during hurricane season, as it’s always in short supply when a storm is moving in. This also helps spread out the financial investment.

Stock up on bottled water, as well as canned/boxed food, too. It will keep for up to six years when stored in a cool, dry, dark place. Invest in a small propane stove top, just in case the power goes out. Make sure your family or employees know your emergency plan. And keep your first-aid kit well-stocked with bandages, instant-freeze packs, instant-heat packs and other essentials.

Protect Your Windows from Winds and Projectiles

Your windows are arguably one of the biggest investments in your home or business, especially if you have hurricane glass panes. Your insurance policy will likely cover any damage they sustain in a storm, but you will often pay a heavy deductible, and may even have to pay the upfront replacements costs and wait for reimbursement. Protect your windows from damage in a hurricane by boarding them up well before the storm makes landfall.

Plywood is the go-to option around these parts, but it’s not approved for hurricane protection by many state building codes. The Florida Building Code doesn’t allow for anything less than 7/16th-inch thick plywood, which can be the less-expensive exterior-grade quality. However, it must be attached to the structure, not just cut to fit over the glass.

Lee & Cates offers emergency board-up services for residential and commercial property. Give us a call if you need a hand.

Other options for window protection include:

  • Metal storm panels
  • Plastic storm panels
  • Fabric storm panels

You can also opt for permanently installed shutters. Work with a trusted professional to choose a style that meets local and state building codes.

Consider Installing Hurricane Glass

Hurricane glass is similar to the windshield of your car. It’s comprised of two panes of glass, laminated together with a sheet of Polyvinyl Butyral (PVB) in between them. Hurricane glass is stronger than the traditional glass used in windows, which reduces the chances of breakage in a storm. If the glass does break, the lamination holds the glass together, which reduces the risk of injury and also prevents the elements from entering your home.

If you’re thinking about installing new windows in your home, or you’re building a new commercial structure, state and local building codes may require you to use hurricane glass. Lee & Cates’ hurricane-resistant glass systems meet the strict guidelines set by Dade County and the state of Florida.

Want to learn more about retrofitting your current home or building with hurricane glass that will protect you during the Atlantic hurricane season? Contact us by phone or email today, or visit one of our many locations in Jacksonville, Panama City and other north Florida cities.