I have nothing to contribute but the question was posed to me as I'm a know it all, but only had so much and so I ask you. 

Friend's relative in FLA got thankfully missed, but also didn't plan ahead, doesn't have shutters, couldn't find plywood to bolt down. It was posed as "how would you use a pallet to secure windows" and I was pretty negative for it (non-laminated cheapass boards can crack, lots of fasteners needed, etc) but... couldn't come up with anything as an option but "plan ahead." 

 

I thought overall it would be a good thread for this forum. Some starters: 

  • What are the real world pros and cons for various shutter types and materials you can buy?
  • What do you do if you suddenly need to cover the windows at Grandma's and the Home Depot is all out of plywood from the impending apocalypse? 
  • Under what circumstances do you barricade a door, and what options are there to use it as a door still? 
  • What else does one barricade, like air intakes, exhaust fans, etc? 
  • Are there other risks, and how to mitigate them? Say you get stuck in your plywood-secured house and wake up to flooding, how do you get out the second floor? 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

Original Post

Having lived in Kansas myself, one of  biggest differences between hurricanes and tornados is the long preparation time available while waiting for the storm.

i have aluminum shutters that cover all windows, doors and screened areas. These require two reasonably fit adults that can use simple hand tools. It takes four to five hours to install them all.  A single older person could not do it alone. 

Better are roll down and or accordion plastic shutters.  Some are moved horizontally ( single doors) or vertically ( most windows).  Some have manual deployment ( sliding devices) and the most expensive use electric motors.  Fitting a complete home can range from $10,000 to $50,000.  An older person can deploy them alone. They need periodic deployment and lubrication as the tracks and panels sometimes stick or collect wasp nests.

Impact glass is quite expensive and will prevent flying items from entering the home.  They will however crack if a brick or other hard flying object hits them at hurricane speeds.  Then, the window needs replacement .  Putting impact glass in a home requires major surgery as the entire frame needs replacement . 

Polycarbonite clear shutters and window covers are lighter than aluminum  and can be left up most of the season (June until December 1st).  The final panels on doors can be done by a reasonably fit older person.

Unlike a tornado,  the homeowner cannot go into a cellar or barrel type tornado shelter.  You wait for days to determine the storm track.

The garage door is the most important protection point.  If the garage door fails on an attached garage door, the roof will blow off .

I hope this information helps  

 

 

Location: Florida USA

Plywood on windows requires the most physically fit individuals and power tools like circular saws and power screwdrivers.  Placing plywood on a concrete building ( concrete block or poured concrete) requires a hammer drill and Tapcon fasteners.  Plywood is the most difficult of all.  I wouldn't know where to begin with the wood from a pallet as the wood is often cracked and full of fasteners.  The labor required to disassemble the pallets needed to board up an entire home would be better spent driving away from the potential area.  If Grandma waited this long to get ready, get her out of the area.  5/8 inch (nominal) plywood is heavy and needs two adults to hold it up and fit it properly.  Nothing in Florida will stop flooding.  Some people buy or make sand bags to little avail.  The whole-house water bag dam shown above in the thread may work for a home in a tree free plain like Texas, but most Florida homes have so much landscaping that it would prove impractical.  How long does that dam take to fill with freshwater?  Unless you live in a place with a private lake and use an high capacity water pump, it is impractical.  Filling it with a garden hose would seem impossible.

The return of the people who left south Florida for the storm continues.  The major North-South Interstates (I-95 and I-75) are still jammed.  I am sure that the Florida Turnpike is jammed, too.  The time to get the fasteners and window coverings needed is in about two months from now to prepare for 2018.  After Hurricane Andrew in 1992, the Home Depot in Homestead FL was the busiest in the world.  That is the last major city that will be available for the reconstruction of the Keys.  The Keys have only one access road (US-1), so rebuilding will take a long time.

Location: Florida USA

I recently began investigating this, as Irma had my attention last week.  I'm no expert, but this is my planning and thinking.

I intend to buy these to cover the primary windows to my first-floor living room and dining room, which are my planned habitat rooms during a significant storm:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/48-...nel-GEMW72/202482760

Reasoning is that since we will be residing in these rooms, possibly with limited power, their transparency helps with daily light entry.  They are not overly expensive.  They will store fairly easily.  I can manage to put them up by myself.  They will keep out flying debris, that would compromise my windows.  Note that I have large trees around the back of my house and live on a cul-de-sac surrounded by trees so there is no long 'fetch' for projectiles to start accelerating.  These are not storm-rated by some districts, but will (should) provide adequate protection for my family.

Right now, I don't plan to cover second story windows, but we'll see.

I plan on using pre-cut plywood on my garage windows.  Cheap, could be utilized for other things, easily replaced.

I have 3 skylights, 1 of which serves an upstairs bathroom, and 2 in a screened-in porch.  I am investigating some water-filled 'sandbags' that I can fill when on the roof to secure my own design of wooden covers for these skylights.  One skylight is already at risk due to a heavy branch that fell and shattered the 1st glass layer.  I'm working on replacing the whole unit.

I'm also looking to prevent a very heavy rain from flooding my garage by using these:

https://www.amazon.com/Quick-D...6-Pack/dp/B0085S0612

I have these and the 17-footer to help prevent a large, short-term amount of water from entering the garage in significant amounts.  I don't expect my garage to stay perfectly dry, but I am hoping these will prevent heavy, sustained rains from entering before my generally higher ground position allows adequate runoff.  I do need to do a bit more analysis on how the water drains from in front of my garage and possibly look to use these to redirect water already draining.

I live in the Tidewater Virginia area, but am not in a evac zone for CAT 1-4 hurricanes (CAT 5, all bets are off).  Therefore, we intend to stay in place for all but a CAT 5 direct hit. 

Tankersteve

In Yorktown, VA.          Joined August 2008

Gov't Civilian, after retiring from active duty in 2015. 

 

'One's own open sore never smells.'  - Haitian proverb

What is the thought on hardware? I know attachment is a key failure point for anything that is attached anywhere, but my concerns here are the force and repeated use. Putting a lagbolt into the same hole over and over will reduce the effectiveness of that fastener. 

Seen recommendations, but they look like the usual, one-time permanent install for anything. Do you need 2" more for repeated install, are there trustworthy threaded inserts? Searched, never seen a word on that. 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

tankersteve posted:

I recently began investigating this, as Irma had my attention last week.  I'm no expert, but this is my planning and thinking.

I intend to buy these to cover the primary windows to my first-floor living room and dining room, which are my planned habitat rooms during a significant storm:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/48-...nel-GEMW72/202482760

Reasoning is that since we will be residing in these rooms, possibly with limited power, their transparency helps with daily light entry.  They are not overly expensive.  They will store fairly easily.  I can manage to put them up by myself.  They will keep out flying debris, that would compromise my windows.  Note that I have large trees around the back of my house and live on a cul-de-sac surrounded by trees so there is no long 'fetch' for projectiles to start accelerating.  These are not storm-rated by some districts, but will (should) provide adequate protection for my family.

Right now, I don't plan to cover second story windows, but we'll see.

...

I'm also looking to prevent a very heavy rain from flooding my garage by using these:

https://www.amazon.com/Quick-D...6-Pack/dp/B0085S0612

...

I live in the Tidewater Virginia area, but am not in a evac zone for CAT 1-4 hurricanes (CAT 5, all bets are off).  Therefore, we intend to stay in place for all but a CAT 5 direct hit. 

Tankersteve

Be aware that the hurricane panels of tri-wall polycarb you posted are not rated for high-wind areas (nor are they Miami-Dade) rated.  That varies and depends where you are along the coast/Tidewater VA.  If you are inland, they are probably okay for what you need. 

You can also get aluminum panels that slide in a track, and solid Lexan polycarbonate panels that do the same thing.  You can get ones that are compatible so you can take advantage of the cheapness of the metal and still let in light without paying for an all Lexan system.  The ones on the track are easy to install, but you have to pre-install the tracks to your windows.

You need to protect all of your windows in a hurricane, if you are really looking to protect your house.  One window blown out will allow winds into your house which typically rip the roof off.  Lost roofs don't happen because outside winds tear them off, but that winds get inside via a broken window and overpressure blows them off.  Pretty cool unless it is your house.

I'm still looking for a good solution for skylights as I have them too.  Post up if you have a good idea or find a solution, and I'll do the same.

E46

Cannot find the article, but on the radio the other day about the slow pace of power restoration in FL was a guy whose house is fine, but unlivable due to... the shutters being down. Powered shutters. Only powered. No gen, so his house is sealed and unliveably hot until the utility comes and restores power. 

As I say a lot, think of end to end solutions. What if ___________? What next? 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

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