If you already have hurricane protection on your home you are off to a great start. But, most people are unsure of when to put up hurricane shutters. This guide will give you guidance on when to put your hurricane shutters up.
Why You Need to Put Up Hurricane Shutters
Simply put, hurricane shutters help protect your home from the potential damage of a hurricane or tropical storm.
Hurricanes have the potential to be very dangerous storms for many reasons, including the following dangers:
- High winds – a hurricane’s high winds can cause a lot of damage due to wind-born debris hitting your home. High wind speeds and gusts also cause havoc on your home as well with the potential to destroy windows, roofs, screens, and more.
- Lots of rain – rain can cause flooding, especially in Southwest Florida. It can also cause issues if your windows or doors are not properly protected and get broken. It can get into your property from damaged, exposed areas. This may lead to interior issues such as mold or rot.
So, without hurricane shutters or another form of hurricane protection, such as impact windows and doors, your home is left vulnerable.
You may like: Hurricane Shutters vs. Impact Windows
What Are Hurricane Shutters
Hurricane shutters come in many forms. They include roll-down hurricane shutters, accordion shutters, Bahama style shutters, colonial shutters, clam shell shutters, and more. They vary in factors like aesthetics and ease of installation. But they all serve the same purpose, which is to protect your home during a storm.
There are also other hurricane protection options such as impact windows and doors, storm panels, and hurricane fabric.
Shutters and other storm protection products protect the envelope of your home. In other words, they protect any glass or screen opening that may be prone to damage from high winds or flying objects.
There are many different options to help you protect your windows as well as protect your florida room from storms. Which shutters you choose for your home depends on many factors. Read our guide on choosing the optimal shutters for your Southwest FL home.
When is Hurricane Season
According to the National Hurricane Center, hurricane season generally starts on June 1st and ends on November 30th.
However, severe weather storms can place outside of this period. In turn, being prepared, having a plan and knowing when to put up your hurricane shutters is a must.
When to Put Up Hurricane Shutters
According to the National Hurricane Center you should put up your hurricane shutters when a hurricane watch is put in effect for your area.
In other words, you should put your hurricane shutters up 48 hours before the storm starts.
This will give you adequate time to get your storm protection up before the high winds of a storm potentially start.
Below we detail what a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning is so you know.
What is a Hurricane Watch?
A hurricane watch is not the same as a warning. A watch is issued when it is believed that sustained winds of 74 MPH or greater may begin in a specific area within 48 hours.
What is a Hurricane Warning?
A hurricane warning is issued when it is believed that sustained winds of 74 MPH or greater are expected to begin within 36 hours.
The Risk of Waiting Too Long (to Put up Your Hurricane Protection)
Some people tend to take a “wait and see” approach when it comes to putting up their hurricane shutters. This might be because of a lack of time. It may also be because of the difficulty and hassle of installing some forms of hurricane protection. It is true that some types of shutters take more effort and time to install (see our instructions for how to install storm panels). However, waiting too long does create many risks.
First, and most obvious, is if you wait too long you may not be able to install your shutters before the storm starts. Installing hurricane shutters in the presence of strong winds is dangerous. It can create flying debris and create slips and trip hazards to say the least.
If the storm surge comes on strong you will also most likely not be able to finish your installation. This means your house will be exposed to the storm if you can’t install the shutters completely.
Also, if you hire someone to install your shutters you may be out of luck if you wait too long. Because many people hire contractors to do their installation you may not be able to find someone to do it for you. Contractors also may not do the installation past a certain point out of fear of their workers getting hurt or not being able to finish the job.
Storm panels can be tricky to install. If you need guidance see our step by step instructions for installing your panels.
Have a Plan and Be Prepared To Act Quick
For the reasons above and more it is always best to act quickly and diligently as soon as a hurricane watch is put in place for your area. You may be planning on installing your protection yourself. Or you may plan on hiring someone to do it for you. Either way you need to have a plan, and you need to be ready to act quickly and efficiently.
If your plan is to leave the area you need to be prepared even more in advance. Protect your house yourself before you evacuate the area or confirm that your contractor is able to do it for you.
The goal is to ensure that your hurricane shutters are installed prior to the start of the storm. It is difficult to properly prepare your home once the storm starts. In addition, it is outright dangerous.
If you need help with your preparation and your plan then check out our Hurricane Preparation Guide.
Frequently Asked Questions About When to Put Up Hurricane Shutters
Are Hurricane Shutters necessary?
Yes, hurricane shutters are very much necessary to protect your home from the high-winds and wind-born debris of a hurricane or tropical storm. Any standard glass opening of a home has the potential to be broken by not only wind-born objects but also gusts of wind if high enough speed.
What is the best type of shutter?
The short answer is “it depends”. There are many different hurricane shutter options for your windows. They vary by style, material and also by cost. The best option for you will depend on your needs, budget and preferences.
See our guide to help you select the best storm shutters for your needs.
Who can put up my Hurricane Shutters?
If you chose to hire someone to install your shutters you should have multiple options. There are companies that install hurricane protection products. There are also other contractors, such as handy men services that install them. Also, many contractors who specialize in other trades, such as electrical work, will do this work prior to a storm even though its not their usual business. It is recommended that you find a contractor for the work in advance of a storm. Don’t wait until a hurricane watch is issued to start calling companies.
We concluded that it is critically important to have hurricane shutters or some form of hurricane protection for your home in Fort Myers and throughout Southwest Florida. Once a hurricane watch is issued for your specific area you or your contractor need to install the shutters. Waiting too long has many risks, including injuries and not being able to adequately protect your home during a storm. Have a plan in place and be ready to act efficiently and safely.
Need Hurricane and Storm Protection? Eurex Shutters can help…
If you need hurricane shutters, impact windows and sliders, impact garage doors, hurricane fabric, hurricane panels, etc. we can help. Eurex Shutters has been providing the highest quality and value protection products to Southwest Florida since 1986. We have over 25,000 satisfied customers. We have been installing impact windows and hurricane shutters in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples, and throughout Southwest Florida for 35+ years!