GETTING YOUR HOUSE READY FOR A HURRICANE
Take all measures to protect your home and property. It is not only your stuff you are protecting but yourself and your family who have stayed behind.
If you have removable hurricane shutters, try to put them up at least two days before landfall. Holding a 25-pound aluminum shutter while balancing on a ladder in 74mph winds no fun and can lead to bad things.
There is a slight risk of less-than-ideal folks wandering around the neighborhood possibly looking for an empty home to rob. Lock all doors and windows, place heavy, opaque drapes in front of windows to prevent outside eyes from looking in.
MAKE PLANS TO SECURE YOUR PROPERTY
Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8″ marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downs outs.
Replace gravel/rock landscaping material with shredded bark.
Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
Determine how and where to secure your boat.
WHAT ARE THE BEST KINd OF SHUTTERS?
The best are those that are affordable and that you can manage to install or operate. For a disabled or elderly person, this may require some sort of automated method for closing; suggesting something like accordion shutters.
Bahamas shutters are a favorite for some windows because they serve a useful purpose year-round and are quick and easy to install when needed.
Storm panels are a good compromise for many people. Steel panels offer the best protection, but are difficult to install because of their weight.
Aluminum panels at a comparable price offer less protection but are easier to install. If there is no source of heavy debris upwind, you might consider the lesser protection of
aluminum shutters adequate.
There are other types. The key in all of these is that the installation must be good, and done by a qualified and reliable workman, and they must suit the conditions under which they will be installed and expected to perform.
Which shutter choice is best for you depends on how much work you can do in fabricating and installing them.
One word of caution: if electric power is used to open or close shutters, then a mechanical backup is mandatory, since electricity may very well be out either before or after a hurricane.