Hurricane season is ramping up in Florida, and if this year is similar to the last, the cost of the 2019 season may exceed 19 billion dollars. Statistically, mid-September is the most active time for hurricanes and tropical storms. But officially, the Florida hurricane season won’t end until November 30th. What can you do to protect your Florida home? There are several actions you can take and the products you can invest in to keep your property safe from the worst damage. Impact windows and impact doors are some of the quickest and most effective ways to keep the storm from wreaking havoc inside your house. We’ll cover how you can plan for the risk of hurricanes in Florida before it’s too late.
Hurricanes and tropical storms are similar in that they both produce high, damaging winds. But the main difference between these two natural disasters is that hurricanes are far more intense, with winds reaching highs of at least 74 mph and up to 200 mph.
Hurricanes are one of the world’s most deadly and damaging natural disasters, along with earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tornadoes. Sometimes, a hurricane is also called a typhoon, or a tropical cyclone. A hurricane can spread over 600 miles into the air and across the ocean.
A hurricane occurs when the ocean water reaches a temp of at least 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and the wind starts blowing with an upward force. When the seawater begins to evaporate, it increases the power of the wind, forming a hurricane. The storm is most powerful at its source out in the ocean, and hurricanes are not as powerful when and if they hit land. But they do have the ability to create high winds and produce heavy rain inland.
A tropical cyclone, typhoon, or hurricane only forms in particular areas of the world’s oceans, near the equator. The Atlantic Ocean and the eastern part of the Pacific Ocean are prone to hurricane formation. These powerful storms essentially act like massive engines that need warm, humid air as fuel to operate. The state of Florida sees the most hurricane action each year, with these areas of Florida experiencing the most hurricane damage:
Parts of Texas, Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina also get damaged from hurricanes each year. Because Florida is a peninsula, it sees the most hurricane action. As a peninsula, three of its four sides jut out into the Atlantic, in an area where hurricanes are ripe to form. Because of its unique topography, Florida sees the worst wind damage from storms. These coastal areas are collectively known as the wind-borne debris region, and this is one of the reasons why Florida homeowners need to take special precautions to protect their houses with hurricane windows and hurricane doors.
The Florida Building Code designates certain areas of Florida as the ‘Wind-borne debris region‘. Mostly, these areas are positioned around the coasts of the state. But, there are also a few areas designated as wind-borne debris regions that are inland. These inland regions are all within a mile of the coastline with a mean coastal high water level, where winds can reach 130 mph. Any location that sees wind speeds of 140 mph or higher is typically designated as a wind-borne debris region according to the Florida Building Code. Farther inland, near Orlando, wind speeds tend to top out at 100 mph.
If a house is located in the wind-borne debris regions, the Florida Building Code stipulates that the property must have some protection from the high winds of a hurricane or tropical storm. Impact doors and impact windows, along with shutters, have all been approved in Florida for hurricane prep and protection. People with homes located in the Miami-Dade and Broward county areas must comply with even stricter building code requirements. The homes’ hurricane protection devices must meet these requirements to get a Miami-Dade Notice of Acceptance or NOA. Hurricane-resistance products such as impact doors and impact windows that get an NOA have reached the highest standards in the industry. Wrights Impact Window and Door products meet these strict hurricane protection standards.
While mid-September is the statistical peak of hurricane season in Florida, it’s not the only time powerful and dangerous storms can occur. For Florida homeowners, it’s still critical to prepare for a storm even after the statistical peak has passed. As ocean temperatures remain warm and the air humid, this can create favorable conditions for shearing, hurricane-force winds. Some of the most disastrous hurricanes in history have hit Florida in October, later in the season.
Hurricane winds produce some of the worst and most costly damage to Florida homes. If you own property in Florida, there are many things you can do and products you can purchase to protect your property in the wind-borne regions and inland. The following hurricane prep tips can be used several months before a hurricane, a few weeks before a hurricane hits land, and a couple of days before the storm reaches the coast.
In a hurricane, standard doors and windows sustain a lot of damage when they aren’t made of high-impact materials. All Wright’s Impact Window and Door products are made with the highest industry standards and are designed to withstand hurricane-force winds and rain. These durable doors can also withstand powerful impacts from any high-force, including those from home intruders. Request an estimate from Wright’s Impact Window and Door today to fully protect your home and family from hurricane damage.
Hurricane impact windows do more than just protect you from storms. The can prevent intruders, and save you money on your energy bills. You can read more here about the reasons why you should install impact windows and doors.