Live in the Southeast and thinking about getting storm coverings for your windows? If so, I urge you to start exploring your options now. Sure it’s only February and hurricane season “officially” starts in June. But in April of last year Florida homeowners were warned that the wait to get some types of storm shutters was 8-12 weeks. By July the wait became 18-20 weeks, and some were told they’d have to wait until 2006. Backups were even worse in other states because most of the inventory went to Florida.

The main reason for the backlog? Surge in demand after back-to-back killer hurricane seasons. Backups in getting building permits (don’t forget those!) were another source of installation delays.

So, if you’re serious about storm coverings, don’t delay another moment. Your shutter options include temporary aluminum panels, accordion shutters, swing panels, and electric roll up shutters. You can even choose to replace your existing windows with impact-resistant windows that do not require additional shuttering for storms. New products becoming more available include fabric screen and polycarbonate products. Remember, you may be better served using a combination of some of these products.

Whatever your preference, we at FLASH urge you to use products that have been tested to one of these standards and have been designated as such by a recognized product approval: Miami-Dade Protocols PA 201, PA 202, PA 203, SBCCI SSTD 12; ASTM E 1886 and ASTM E 1996.

To learn about various types of storm coverings and get an estimate of what they may cost for your home, visit our FLASH Interactive Shutter Tool available on the Blueprint for Safety Web site.

Flash’s Interactive Shutter Tool