Hurrican Shutters

Installing "Peace of Mind"

Archive for July, 2012

Hurricane Shutter Protection Guide

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on July 31, 2012

Hurricane Shutter Protection GuideHurricane shutters are the most important protection for your home. To prepare ahead of time and ensure the safety of your house, CAT 5 Shutters offers the following report detailing the pros and cons of various types of hurricane shutters and protection it provides.

Storm Panel Hurricane Shutters
These steel or aluminum shutters attach to the walls around windows and doors on bolts or tracks. Storm panels are corrugated, and each piece overlaps the next for maximum strength. There are several styles of storm panels to choose from.

The first style incorporates both tracks and bolts. The top of the panel is slipped into a track above the window, and the bottom of the panel is secured to bolts that are permanently attached beneath the window.

The second style uses a set of C-shaped tracks above and below the windows and doors. Bolts slide into the tracks from either side and must be manually aligned with the holes on the panels.
The third style uses only bolts permanently set into the wall beside the windows and doors. They can be loosened as the panel is hung horizontally, and screwed down to secure it.

The biggest problem with storm panels is that homeowners often don’t check them when they buy a home. Many discover later that panels are missing or were cut improperly, or are too heavy to install themselves.

PROS
Most inexpensive of the permanent shutter systems.
Removable, so they don’t change the look of the house when not in use.
Strong, and can provide excellent protection for both doors and windows.

CONS
Require storage, but usually stack together tightly and take up little space.
Can be difficult to handle; hanging can require more than one person.
Sometimes don’t line up properly.
Have sharp edges.

Average cost: $7-$8 per square foot;
Average storm preparation time: 15 minutes per window depending on the style.

Accordion Hurricane Shutters
These one- or two-piece hurricane shutters are housed beside the windows or doors when not in use. They unfold accordion-style to cover and protect during a storm.

PROS
Permanently affixed beside the windows and don’t require any extra storage space.
Can easily be made storm-ready by one person.
Some models can be locked with a key and may be used as a theft deterrent.

CONS
Can look bulky and out-of-place on some houses. Consider the aesthetics before having them installed.
Glide on wheels, and have the potential to break more easily than some of the other systems.

Average cost: $16-$20 per square foot
Average storm preparation time: 15-30 minutes for an entire house

Colonial Hurricane Shutters
These are two-piece louvered shutters that attach to the wall beside each window. The fold together to protect the window.

PROS
Are permanently affixed beside the windows and don’t require any extra storage space.
Can easily be made storm-ready by one person.
Are decorative; they can beautify as well as protect your home.

CONS
Some types of colonials require a storm bar or center rod to lock the shutters in place. This can increase installation time.

Can’t be used to protect doors, and must be combined with another shutter system to ensure complete home protection.

Average cost: $18-$30 per square foot
Average storm preparation time: At least 45 minutes to an hour for an entire house.

Bahama Hurricane Shutters
These one-piece louvered shutters attach directly above the windows and prop open to provide shade for the window. Bahama shutters are storm-ready when lowered and secured to the wall.

PROS
Permanently affixed beside the windows and don’t require any extra storage space.
Can easily be made storm-ready by one person.
Provide permanent shade and privacy, even in the open position.

CONS
Have traditionally been weaker than other systems, but the newest models protect well.
Some people complain that they block too much light.
Design limits their use. They can’t be used to protect doors.

Average cost: $18-$30 per square foot
Average storm preparation time: 15-30 minutes for an entire house.

Roll-Down Hurricane Shutters
These shutters attach above the window. They roll up and store in an enclosed box when not in use. They are lowered either manually by a hand crank or automatically by push button, and lock in place for storm protection.

PROS
Are permanently affixed above the windows and don’t require any extra storage space.
Can easily be made storm-ready by one person.
Offer some of the best protection, and make an excellent theft deterrent.

CONS
Most expensive of the popular shutter systems.
Push-button-operated roll-down shutters require a battery backup system so the shutters can be lowered and raised during power outages.

Average cost: $30-$55 per square foot
Average storm preparation time: Minimum; probably the easiest shutter to operate.

Hurricane Glass
This glass can withstand hurricane debris and eliminate the need for hurricane shutters. It costs more, especially to retrofit an older house. Modern code requirements, which already require hurricane shutters or other protections on new houses, make the glass a more practical option at the time of construction.

PROS
Eliminates the need for hurricane shutters.
The most practical hurricane glass is similar to a car windshield, with a durable plastic-like layer sandwiched between glass. The outside layers break, but the center prevents a hole.

CONS
Must be installed by a window contractor.
The frame must be replaced along with the panes to meet code.

Average cost: $35-$50 a square-foot, including new window frames and layered hurricane glass
Average storm preparation time: None.

Other Window Coverings
• Some newer window covers are made of a high-tech fabric that allows light and visibility while protecting from high winds effectively enough to meet hurricane codes. One brand is Armor Screen, which costs roughly $15 per square foot. These fabric screens must be installed by a dealer, not the homeowner.
• Few, if any, types of window film as storm protection meet hurricane codes, but may give some limited protection if properly installed.
• Less expensive panes, commonly used as thick plastic-like security windows, are about half the cost of layered panes. But they are less aesthetically satisfactory for household use because they scratch easily and fog when in contact with household cleaning chemicals.
Average cost: Varies widely.
Average storm preparation time: Varies by type.

Plywood
Plywood hurricane shutters do not meet most building codes, yet many homeowners who lack more permanent storm shutter systems cover their homes with them. If you decide to use this system, it is important to install the shutters correctly.

Barrel-Bolt Plywood Shutters
Use on concrete-block stucco homes that have windows inset at least two inches from the exterior wall.
• Buy plywood ahead of time, before the rush. Make sure it is at least 5/8 of an inch thick.
• Buy 3 or 4-inch barrel bolts, enough for one bolt for a minimum of every 12 inches of plywood.
• Cut the plywood sheets to size for each window, allowing for a snug fit in the inset.
• For larger windows or sliding doors, attach two pieces of plywood together with 2×4’s or a piano hinge.
• Attach bolts to plywood, mark where you need the holes to be drilled in the concrete stucco.
• Drill holes, in marked spots in concrete stucco.
• When storm approaches, fit plywood into the inset as tightly as possible. You don’t want wind to get under the shutter.

Overlapping Plywood Shutters
If your windows do not have a 2-inch inset, plywood shutters can overlap.
• Buy plywood ahead of time, before the rush. Make sure it is at least 5/8 of an inch thick.
• Cut the plywood sheets to size for each window, allowing for an overlap of at least 4 inches. Label each panel.
• Drill corresponding holes in the plywood and walls. Use a 1/4-inch drill bit for the wood. Use a masonry or carbide-tipped bit for concrete or stucco walls.
• Hammer 1/4-inch lead sleeve anchors – not plastic – into the holes in the wall. The anchors should be at least 2 inches long.
• When a hurricane threatens, use tapping screws at least 2 inches long to bolt the plywood in place.
Average cost: $1 – $5 per square foot
Average storm preparation time: 1 – 1 1/2 hours per window.

Distributed by Viestly

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Areas to Watch…Welcome to our daily analysis of the tropics for the 2012 hurricane season.

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on July 30, 2012

Areas to Watch…Welcome to our daily analysis of the tropics for the 2012 hurricane season.The above image is an overview of the Atlantic and eastern Pacific Ocean basins, based on analysis provided by Senior Meteorologist Stu Ostro and Hurricane Specialist Bryan Norcross.  Named storms, hurricanes, or depressions in either basin will be labeled on the graphic. Any other features of interest we’re keeping an eye on for possible development will be circled.

If there are areas of interest, you’ll find zoomed-in details in the next few images. Otherwise, we’ll provide perspective graphics on tropical cyclone climatology for the current month, as well as status updates on the season-to-date.

ATLANTIC
– The strong tropical wave that’s been moving westward across the tropical Atlantic the past few days since coming off the African coast is now bringing squally bands of showers across the Leeward Islands. Tropical cyclone development is not expected but the wave will continue to be accompanied by gusty winds and locally heavy rain as it heads to Puerto Rico and Hispaniola during the next couple days.
– Farther out in the Atlantic, convection in a portion of the “monsoon trough” is clustering and spinning at around 35W and 10N. It’s possible that this feature further organizes as it moves west at a low enough latitude to avoid hostile atmospheric conditions farther north but far enough away from the equator to not preclude cyclone development. Some forecast model runs are bullish on this becoming Ernesto.

June 1 2012 was the beginning of 2012 Hurricane Season. At CAT 5 Hurricane Shutters we design, manufacture and install hurricane shutters according to the Florida Building Code. We are licensed and insured (CGC # 1517869). Don’t get caught with a malfunctioning shutter during a hurricane or Tornado. We are proud to introduce the most advanced Hurricane Protection System on the market. Our Hurricane Shutters are available in a wide array of designer styles, colors and will add value to your property and make it easier to secure your entire home than ever before. We service Palm Beach County, including West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Wellington and Riviera Beach.

Contact us for a free estimate at (561) 333-2285 or http://www.cat5shutters.net

Distributed by Viestly

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Protecting your Business

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on July 24, 2012

Protecting your BusinessProtecting Your Businesses

FEMA’s mitigation and insurance programs cover the whole community, people, organizations, government and even businesses. FEMA mitigation and insurance programs have tools every business owner can utilize to make their places of business safer for their employees and more resilient to disaster.

The FEMA Building Science Branch develops and produces guidance that focuses on creating disaster-resilient communities to reduce loss of life and property. They conduct post-disaster engineering investigations for both man-made and natural hazard events. They take a lead role in developing publications, guidance materials, tools, technical bulletins, and recovery advisories that incorporate the most up-to-date building codes, floodproofing requirements, seismic design standards, and wind design requirements for new construction and the repair of existing buildings.

Business owner Robin Calhlen shows FEMA Mitigation specialist Kathi Merritt the water line from the flooding in early May. FEMA and Commonwealth specialists will be on hand Saturday, June 5, to address the concerns of business owners and residents. The National Flood Insurance Program – Almost 40 percent of small businesses never reopen their doors following a disaster because just a few inches of water can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. Over the past 5 years (2006-2010), the average commercial flood claim has amounted to just over $85,000. Flood insurance is the best way to protect yourself from devastating financial loss. Find the flood risk for your business now using our One-Step Flood Risk Profile.

Flood insurance is available to homeowners, renters, condo owners/renters, and commercial owners/renters. Costs vary depending on how much insurance is purchased, what it covers, and the property’s flood risk.

Coverage for your building and contents is available. Talk to your agent today about insuring your business and its contents. Typically, there’s a 30-day waiting period from date of purchase before your policy goes into effect. That means now is the best time to buy flood insurance.

At CAT 5 Hurricane Shutters we design, manufacture and install hurricane shutters according to the Florida Building Code. We are licensed and insured (CGC # 1517869). Don’t get caught with a malfunctioning shutter during a hurricane or Tornadoe. We are proud to introduce the most advanced Hurricane Protection System on the market. Our Hurricane Shutters are available in a wide array of designer styles, colors and will add value to your property and make it easier to secure your entire home than ever before. We service Palm Beach County, including West Palm Beach, Boca Raton and Palm Beach.

Contact us for a free estimate at (561) 333-2285 or http://www.cat5shutters.net

Distributed by Viestly

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Helping Kids Learn More About Disaster – FEMA Introduces Flat Stanley and Flat Stella

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on July 18, 2012

Helping Kids Learn More About Disaster - FEMA Introduces Flat Stanley and Flat StellaHi, and thanks for reading our very first blog post. Our names are Flat Stanley and Flat Stella, and we are very excited to be two of the newest employees at FEMA. You’ll be seeing a lot of us as we help kids learn more about disasters and emergencies – a job Administrator Fugate asked us to do!

FEMA does a lot of cool things that you may not know about. By following our adventures around FEMA, we hope to share all sorts of fun facts and photos about staying safe.

So as we start our first day at FEMA, we did what any new employee does – we got our pictures taken for our official badge!

Flat Stanley
Flat Stella and Flat Stanley Characters with FEMA hat, Flashlight and Kit Bag with Ready Logo

Flat Stanley and Flat Stella have been asked to serve as ambassadors to promote preparedness. How great is that?!

Children and their parents can build their own FEMA Flat Stanley or Flat Stella, and then share with other children and classrooms the steps they have taken to support preparedness throughout their homes, schools and communities.

Here are different ways young people can customize and share their ‘Flats’ and what they have learned:

Flat Stanley app (available on iTunes)
Flat Stanley website
On Twitter using the hashtag #FlatStanley and of course, we feel free to post content on other social media channels, too

We’re excited about this is a collaboration between the Ready Campaign and Flatter World and the Flat Stanley Project to help educate school-aged children on the need to be prepared for emergencies and disasters, as well as what they can do to help their families and loved ones to build more resilient households.

According to Flatter World, 15 percent of all schools in the U.S. use Flat Stanley, and integrate their adventures into classroom lesson plans, so we look forward to hearing from teachers.

At CAT 5 Hurricane Shutters we design, manufacture and install hurricane shutters according to the Florida Building Code. We are licensed and insured (CGC # 1517869). Don’t get caught with a malfunctioning shutter during a hurricane. We are proud to introduce the most advanced Hurricane Protection System on the market. Our Hurricane Shutters are available in a wide array of designer styles, colors and will add value to your property and make it easier to secure your entire home than ever before. We service Palm Beach County, including West Palm Beach, Boca Raton and Lantana.

Contact us for a free estimate at (561) 333-2285 or http://www.cat5shutters.net

For more information about helping kids learn more about disaster go to:
http://www.fema.gov

Distributed by Viestly

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Extreme HEAT! Summer is here!

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on July 17, 2012

Extreme HEAT!  Summer is here!View of the mud, baked and cracked in the heat

Inspire others to act by being an example yourself, Pledge to Prepare & tell others about it!
Pledge to Prepare

Heat kills by pushing the human body beyond its limits. In extreme heat and high humidity, evaporation is slowed and the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature.

Most heat disorders occur because the victim has been overexposed to heat or has over-exercised for his or her age and physical condition. Older adults, young children and those who are sick or overweight are more likely to succumb to extreme heat.

Conditions that can induce heat-related illnesses include stagnant atmospheric conditions and poor air quality. Consequently, people living in urban areas may be at greater risk from the effects of a prolonged heat wave than those living in rural areas. Also, asphalt and concrete store heat longer and gradually release heat at night, which can produce higher nighttime temperatures known as the “urban heat island effect.”

A heat wave is an extended period of extreme heat, and is often accompanied by high humidity. These conditions can be dangerous and even life-threatening for humans who don’t take the proper precautions.

Before Extreme Heat

To prepare for extreme heat, you should:
To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
Install window air conditioners snugly; insulate if necessary.
Check air-conditioning ducts for proper insulation.
Install temporary window reflectors (for use between windows and drapes), such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside.
Weather-strip doors and sills to keep cool air in.
Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings, or louvers. (Outdoor awnings or louvers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80 percent.)
Keep storm windows up all year.
Listen to local weather forecasts and stay aware of upcoming temperature changes.
Know those in your neighborhood who are elderly, young, sick or overweight. They are more likely to become victims of excessive heat and may need help.
Be aware that people living in urban areas may be at greater risk from the effects of a prolonged heat wave than are people living in rural areas.
Get trained in first aid to learn how to treat heat-related emergencies.

What you should do if the weather is extremely hot:

Listen to NOAA Weather Radio for critical updates from the National Weather Service (NWS).
Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
Stay indoors as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun.
Stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine if air conditioning is not available.
Postpone outdoor games and activities.
Consider spending the warmest part of the day in public buildings such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, shopping malls, and other community facilities. Circulating air can cool the body by increasing the perspiration rate of evaporation.
Eat well-balanced, light, and regular meals. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
Drink plenty of water; even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine. Persons who have epilepsy or heart, kidney, or liver disease; are on fluid-restricted diets; or have a problem with fluid retention should consult a doctor before increasing liquid intake.
Limit intake of alcoholic beverages.
Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
Protect face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Use a buddy system when working in extreme heat, and take frequent breaks.
Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.
Avoid extreme temperature changes.
Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Go to a designated public shelter if your home loses power during periods of extreme heat. Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 12345).

Publications
National Weather Service

If you require more information about any of these topics, the following resources may be helpful.

Heat Wave: A Major Summer Killer. An outline brochure describing the heat index, heat disorders and heat wave safety tips. Available online at: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/brochures/heat_wave.htm.

Related Websites

Find additional information on how to plan and prepare for extreme heat and learn about available resources by visiting the following websites:

Federal Emergency Management Agency
NOAA Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services
American Red Cross
National Integrated Drought Information System
Center For Disease Control and Prevention

Listen to Local Officials

Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by your state and local government. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.

FIRST AID FOR HEAT INDUCED ILLNESSES:

Sunburn

Skin redness and pain, possible swelling, blisters, fever, headaches.

Take a shower using soap to remove oils that may block pores, preventing the body from cooling naturally.

Apply dry, sterile dressings to any blisters, and get medical attention.

Heat Cramps

Painful spasms, usually in leg and abdominal muscles; heavy sweating

Get the victim to a cooler location.

Lightly stretch and gently massage affected muscles to relieve spasms.

Give sips of up to a half glass of cool water every 15 minutes. (Do not give liquids with caffeine or alcohol.)

Discontinue liquids, if victim is nauseated.

Heat Exhaustion

Heavy sweating but skin may be cool, pale, or flushed. Weak pulse. Normal body temperature is possible, but temperature will likely rise. Fainting or dizziness, nausea, vomiting, exhaustion, and headaches are possible.

Get victim to lie down in a cool place.

Loosen or remove clothing.

Apply cool, wet clothes.

Fan or move victim to air-conditioned place.

Give sips of water if victim is conscious.

Be sure water is consumed slowly.

Give half glass of cool water every 15 minutes.

Discontinue water if victim is nauseated.

Seek immediate medical attention if vomiting occurs.

Heat Stroke ( a severe medical emergency)

High body temperature (105+); hot, red, dry skin; rapid, weak pulse; and rapid shallow breathing. Victim will probably not sweat unless victim was sweating from recent strenuous activity. Possible unconsciousness.

Call 9-1-1 or emergency medical services, or get the victim to a hospital immediately. Delay can be fatal.

Move victim to a cooler environment.

Removing clothing

Try a cool bath, sponging, or wet sheet to reduce body temperature.

Watch for breathing problems.

Use extreme caution.

Use fans and air conditioners.

Distributed by Viestly

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Tornadoes!!!

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on July 16, 2012

Tornadoes!!!Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms. Spawned from powerful thunderstorms, tornadoes can cause fatalities and devastate a neighborhood in seconds. A tornado appears as a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground with whirling winds that can reach 300 miles per hour. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long. Every state is at some risk from this hazard. Some tornadoes are clearly visible, while rain or nearby low-hanging clouds obscure others.

Occasionally, tornadoes develop so rapidly that little, if any, advance warning is possible. Before a tornado hits, the wind may die down and the air may become very still. A cloud of debris can mark the location of a tornado even if a funnel is not visible. Tornadoes generally occur near the trailing edge of a thunderstorm. It is not uncommon to see clear, sunlit skies behind a tornado.

At CAT 5 Hurricane Shutters
we design, manufacture and install hurricane shutters according to the Florida Building Code. We are licensed and insured (CGC # 1517869). Don’t get caught with a malfunctioning shutter during a hurricane or Tornadoe. We are proud to introduce the most advanced Hurricane Protection System on the market. Our Hurricane Shutters are available in a wide array of designer styles, colors and will add value to your property and make it easier to secure your entire home than ever before. We service Palm Beach County, including West Palm Beach, Hypoluxy and Boynton Beach.

Before a Tornado

To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or to commercial radio or television newscasts for the latest information. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.
Be alert to changing weather conditions. Look for approaching storms.

Look for the following danger signs:
Dark, often greenish sky
Large hail
A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating)
Loud roar, similar to a freight train.
If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately.

During a Tornado

If you are under a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately! Most injuries associated with high winds are from flying debris, so remember to protect your head.

If you are in a structure (e.g. residence, small building, school, nursing home, hospital, factory, shopping center, high-rise building)

Go to a pre-designated shelter area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck.
In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
Put on sturdy shoes. Do not open windows.

If you are in a trailer or mobile home

Get out immediately and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm shelter. Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes.

If you are in the outside with no shelter

Immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter.
If your vehicle is hit by flying debris while you are driving, pull over and park.
Stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows; cover your head with your hands and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible.
If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway, leave your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands
Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter.
Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.

After a Tornado

Injury may result from the direct impact of a tornado or it may occur afterward when people walk among debris and enter damaged buildings. A study of injuries after a tornado in Marion, Illinois, showed that 50 percent of the tornado-related injuries were suffered during rescue attempts, cleanup and other post-tornado activities. Nearly a third of the injuries resulted from stepping on nails. Because tornadoes often damage power lines, gas lines or electrical systems, there is a risk of fire, electrocution or an explosion. Protecting yourself and your family requires promptly treating any injuries suffered during the storm and using extreme care to avoid further hazards.
Injuries

Check for injuries. Do not attempt to move seriously injured people unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Get medical assistance immediately. If someone has stopped breathing, begin CPR if you are trained to do so. Stop a bleeding injury by applying direct pressure to the wound. Have any puncture wound evaluated by a physician. If you are trapped, try to attract attention to your location.
General Safety Precautions

Here are some safety precautions that could help you avoid injury after a tornado:

Continue to monitor your battery-powered radio or television for emergency information.
Be careful when entering any structure that has been damaged.

Wear sturdy shoes or boots, long sleeves and gloves when handling or walking on or near debris.
Be aware of hazards from exposed nails and broken glass.

Do not touch downed power lines or objects in contact with downed lines. Report electrical hazards to the police and the utility company.

Use battery-powered lanterns, if possible, rather than candles to light homes without electrical power. If you use candles, make sure they are in safe holders away from curtains, paper, wood or other flammable items. Never leave a candle burning when you are out of the room.

Never use generators, pressure washers, grills, camp stoves or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside your home, basement, garage or camper – or even outside near an open window, door or vent. Carbon monoxide (CO) – an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death if you breathe it – from these sources can build up in your home, garage or camper and poison the people and animals inside. Seek prompt medical attention if you suspect CO poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed or nauseated.

Hang up displaced telephone receivers that may have been knocked off by the tornado, but stay off the telephone, except to report an emergency.

Cooperate fully with public safety officials.

Respond to requests for volunteer assistance by police, fire fighters, emergency management and relief organizations, but do not go into damaged areas unless assistance has been requested. Your presence could hamper relief efforts and you could endanger yourself.

Inspecting the Damage

After a tornado, be aware of possible structural, electrical or gas-leak hazards in your home. Contact your local city or county building inspectors for information on structural safety codes and standards. They may also offer suggestions on finding a qualified contractor to do work for you.
In general, if you suspect any damage to your home, shut off electrical power, natural gas and propane tanks to avoid fire, electrocution or explosions.
If it is dark when you are inspecting your home, use a flashlight rather than a candle or torch to avoid the risk of fire or explosion in a damaged home.
If you see frayed wiring or sparks, or if there is an odor of something burning, you should immediately shut off the electrical system at the main circuit breaker if you have not done so already.
If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off the main gas valve, open all windows and leave the house immediately. Notify the gas company, the police or fire departments, or State Fire Marshal’s office and do not turn on the lights, light matches, smoke or do anything that could cause a spark. Do not return to your house until you are told it is safe to do so.

Safety During Clean Up

Wear sturdy shoes or boots, long sleeves and gloves.
Learn proper safety procedures and operating instructions before operating any gas-powered or electric-powered saws or tools.
Clean up spilled medicines, drugs, flammable liquids and other potentially hazardous materials.

Distributed by Viestly

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The Florida Keys During Hurricane Season

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on July 13, 2012

The Florida Keys During Hurricane SeasonWhen you live and play in paradise, Mother Nature occasionally likes to remind you that the same forces that created the comfortable climate and lush landscape can damage them, as well.
In California or Japan the reminder might be an earthquake; in Indonesia, a tsunami; in Hawaii, a volcanic eruption.

In the Florida Keys, the same forces that create balmy breezes and warm waves also can bring high winds, heavy rain and tidal surges.

Because they are on the northern fringe of the Caribbean, the Florida Keys occasionally are threatened by tropical cyclones, a generic name for a low-pressure weather system with organized thunderstorm activity and circular winds. When the wind speed of a tropical cyclone reaches a sustained 74 mph, it is classified a hurricane.

In the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean tropical cyclones can present a threat to most Caribbean countries, eastern Mexico, and North American coastal areas from Texas through Nova Scotia.
Fortunately, unlike with earthquakes and tsunamis, modern-day tropical weather forecasting provides ample time for preparation to protect lives and property.

The Monroe County (Florida Keys) Tourist Development Council (TDC) has a formal communications program that is tightly coordinated with local emergency management officials to provide crucial information to help visitors safely exit the Florida Keys in the event a hurricane threatens the region.
The Council has developed this program because the citizens of the Keys care deeply about the visitors who come to their islands. The TDC provides honest, trustworthy information about traveling to the Keys, and even advises people when it is not appropriate to travel in the event of a storm threat.

The TDC’s visitor safety program has been a model for other destinations in hurricane-prone regions. In 2007 both the National (U.S.) and Florida Hurricane Conferences honored the Keys programs with public awareness awards. It was the first time in the 30-year history of the National Hurricane Conference’s awards program that a tourism entity was honored.

The tourism council has developed a list of Frequently Asked Questions to provide factual information about hurricanes and how to safely and conveniently travel during the summer and fall.

At CAT 5 Hurricane Shutters we design, manufacture and install hurricane shutters according to the Florida Building Code. We are licensed and insured (CGC # 1517869). Don’t get caught with a malfunctioning shutter during a hurricane. We are proud to introduce the most advanced Hurricane Protection System on the market. Our Hurricane Shutters are available in a wide array of designer styles, colors and will add value to your property and make it easier to secure your entire home than ever before. We service the upper and middle Florida Keys, including Islamorada, Key Largo, Marathon and Ocean Reef.

Contact us for a free estimate at (561) 333-2285 or http://www.cat5shutters.net

Frequently Asked Questions About Traveling to the Florida Keys During Hurricane Season

What is a hurricane?
The terms “hurricane” and “typhoon” are region-specific names for a strong tropical cyclone. A tropical cyclone is the generic term for a low-pressure weather system formed over tropical or subtropical waters with thunderstorm activity and surface wind circulation. Tropical cyclones with maximum sustained surface winds of less than 39 mph are called tropical depressions. Once a tropical cyclone reaches winds of at least 39 mph it is typically called a tropical storm and assigned a name. In the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, once the winds reach 74 mph, the system is called a hurricane. There are five categories of hurricane, with Category 1 considered minimal and 5 the most severe.

When is hurricane season?
The Atlantic hurricane season formally begins June 1 and ends November 30. Historically, the chances of hurricane activity are greater between August 15 and October 1. During the past 100 years, the historical average frequency of a hurricane impacting somewhere in the state of Florida is once every two years. In the Keys, the historical 100-year average frequency of a hurricane of any category impacting is one in every 4.5 years.

Can I travel to the Florida Keys during hurricane season?
Absolutely. The Keys are very popular with vacationers in the summer and fall months. In fact, most visitors from the United Kingdom and Europe visit during that period. Many great events are scheduled in the Keys during that time, and late summer, early fall typically offer the best vacation values, because school is back in session and family vacationing is at a lull. Historically, the chances are excellent that your Keys vacation will not be interrupted by a hurricane.

Why, when I see a hurricane forecast tracking map, is so much area covered with that ice cream cone-like shaded area?

Although hurricane forecasting has improved each year, it is still an inexact science, especially when the storm is more than three days away.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) produces two types of tracking maps. The first shows the area of strike possibility from zero to three days out and the second includes four to five days out.
Because hurricane forecasting is not an exact science, NHC forecast tracks of the center line have high error rates, especially forecasts issued more than three days ahead of a potential strike. The average track forecast errors in recent years are used to construct the areas of uncertainty for the first three days (solid white area) and for days 4 and 5 (a white stippled area). For the four- and five-day forecast, the error can be hundreds of miles.

The primary purpose of the four- and five-day track forecast map is that the hurricane center wants people to simply be aware of the storm and to begin thinking how they will react in the event it continues to proceed in their direction. Because of its geographic proximity to the Caribbean, often the Florida Keys may be in the stippled area, but end up not being impacted by a storm.

What do I do if I’m in the Florida Keys and a hurricane threatens the region?

Throughout the summer and fall, Keys emergency management officials keep in constant touch with the National Hurricane Center, based in Miami. And the Keys tourism council has a formal communications program, in cooperation with emergency officials, to let visitors know of any need to evacuate. Local media reports and official information fax transmissions to lodging facilities provide updates and details about possible evacuation orders. If you hear of a storm threat, check with the registration office, visit the Florida Keys Web site at http://www.fla-keys.com or, while in the Keys, call the visitor assistance line at 1-800-771-KEYS. Should a storm threaten, for safety reasons, visitors are always asked to leave the Keys first. Although emergency officials will err on the side of caution, evacuation orders are only given if there is a significant storm threat.

The Tourist Development Council will also message storm-related information via its Facebook and Twitter accounts.

What do I do if I don’t understand English very well?

The Keys tourism council contracts with a round-the-clock, multilingual visitor assistance line for vacationers once they are in the Keys. Call 1-800-771-KEYS for any translation or information assistance.

When do I have to leave?

If a visitor evacuation order is necessary, officials strive to issue it early in the morning to provide ample time to make alternative travel arrangements. There is no need to panic, however, visitors are urged to follow emergency directives in a timely manner.

I have immediate plans to travel to the Keys, but an evacuation has been ordered. Why can’t I continue with those plans?

If an evacuation is ordered, there will be a steady stream of traffic leaving the Keys. If you travel to the Keys, you will be required to leave. Furthermore, most, if not all visitor facilities will not be open, as their owners make hurricane preparations. Buildings will be shuttered. Boats will be secured in protective moorings. State and county parks will close. So even though in the early stages of an evacuation, visitors may be able to reach the Keys, they will not enjoy the traditional benefits of a Keys vacation. It’s best to reschedule travel plans to visit after the potential danger has passed.

I’m in the Keys and there’s an order to evacuate, but I don’t have a car. How do I leave?

There are several options. Check with the front office or hotel concierge to see if there are any rental cars or flights available from Key West International Airport. A number of ground transportation shuttle services operate between Key West and Miami and Fort Lauderdale International Airports. Typically, Greyhound Bus Lines adds extra buses to accommodate vacationers leaving the Keys. The TDC surveys transportation companies to determine what is available, and passes that information via advisories to accommodations facilities and posts it on the TDC Web site.

The Tourist Development Council will also message storm-related information via its Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Where can I go?

Local tourism officials realize that an unexpected vacation interruption is a hardship on visitors. The tourism council works cooperatively with other Florida destinations that typically set up special hotlines to provide hotel availability and rates. These numbers are published in advisories sent to properties and posted on the Keys Web site.

What about lodging refunds?

Each property has its own refund policy. The Lodging Association of the Florida Keys & Key West urges their members to provide refunds of unused nights as soon as local officials issue a visitor evacuation order. The majority of Keys properties subscribe to this standard. Prior to making a reservation, it is prudent for the visitor to have a clear understanding about a particular lodging facility’s refund policies in the event of a hurricane threat. Several travel insurance plans are available from companies that can provide additional fiscal protection. Expedia.com has a “Hassle-Free Hurricane Promise” for travelers that book vacations on their web site. If the National Hurricane Center issues a hurricane watch or warning for any destination, Expedia will waive associated Expedia.com cancellation fees; advocate with their travel partners to waive their fees and help find new travel options.

How come during an evacuation, visitors are asked to leave while residents can stay? And why do tourists have to leave so early?

Visitors are asked to leave the Keys during any category storm while residents are mandated to leave during a severe hurricane of Category 3 or higher. The early egress of visitors is for their own safety. Officials want visitors to have plenty of time to get out of harm’s way as well as to not impede the movement of Keys citizens in the event of a resident evacuation. Also, because of the Keys’ unique nature as a chain of islands, with one highway in and out, the region requires more time to evacuate than other coastal areas. And emergency officials must react earlier to avoid impacting possible evacuations of other South Florida communities.

In the event a hurricane does impact the Keys, there is high likelihood of power outages, temporarily impassable roads and airports that will be temporarily out of service. Most, if not all, hotels will be closed and visitor facilities will not be operational. At that point, the top priority for government and business owners is to restore facilities so the Keys can once again provide full-service vacation opportunities.

Historically, a hurricane only impacts the Keys once in four to five evacuations because the forecast error track rate (the projected path of the storm) is so great at the time of the evacuation order. As hurricane forecasting advances, that rate should decrease and hopefully diminish unnecessary evacuations.

When can we resume our vacation to the Keys?

This varies and depends on several factors. If only a visitor evacuation has been ordered and the storm misses the Keys, visitors often can begin returning the day after the threat passes. If both visitor and resident evacuation orders have been issued, and the storm misses the Keys, it might take a few days for visitor facilities to reopen. If the storm impacts the Keys, visitors can begin returning after electricity, road access and other infrastructure are restored. Check the Florida Keys Web site at http://www.fla-keys.com for the latest information concerning the status of the Keys as well as the lodging facility where you wish to stay.
When I see a satellite picture of a hurricane, it looks like a very large area is being affected. But many times, a much smaller area is significantly affected. Why is this so?

There is a simple reason for this. It’s because the strongest portion of a tropical cyclone is concentrated around the eye or center of the storm. Typically, hurricane-force winds usually emanate anywhere from 40 to 50 miles from the center, according to the National Hurricane Center. So even in 2004, when four highly publicized hurricanes impacted Florida, more than two-thirds of the state never experienced hurricane-force winds. Another example was in 1992, when Hurricane Andrew severely impacted southern Miami-Dade County as a Category 5 hurricane. The central and northern parts of Miami-Dade escaped with only minor damage and the vast majority of the Florida Keys escaped without any damage.

Where can I monitor hurricanes and receive more information?

The National Hurricane Center — operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a United States government agency, has an extensive Web site located at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov. It monitors hurricanes both in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Other resources include:
NOAA Key West National Weather Service Office
NOAA Weather Radio at frequencies 162.400 MHz and 162.425 MHz
Monroe County Emergency Management Office
Florida Emergency Information Line at 800-342-3557

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Hurricane Central – Exclusive Tropics Watch

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on July 11, 2012

Hurricane Central - Exclusive Tropics WatchATLANTIC

– Convection has been coming and going in the southeast Gulf; we’ll have to see to what extent it can come back and have a chance at organizing and forming a surface low.
– The remainder of the Atlantic basin is quiet.

EASTERN PACIFIC
– Daniel is continuing to fade fast. As its remnant low passes south of Hawaii it could bring a bit of an increase in surf and moisture there.
– Emilia peaked at Category 4 intensity but it has since weakened.
– The disturbance to the east of Emilia has organized into a well-defined low pressure system. The only thing lacking for tropical cyclone designation is convection which is deeper and concentrated closer to the center of circulation.

CAT 5 Hurricane Shutters can help you get prepared for hurricane season. We are located in West Palm Beach, Florida, Palm Beach County. We design, manufacture and install hurricane shutters according to the 2010 FL bldg. codes. We are licensed CGC # 1517869. We service Palm Beach County, includes cities such as Boca Raton, DelRay Beach, Boynton Beach, Lantana and Wellington.
Contact us for a free estimate at (561) 333-2285 or http://www.cat5shutters.net

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Hurricane Central – Exclusive Tropics Watch

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on July 11, 2012

Hurricane Central - Exclusive Tropics WatchATLANTIC

– Convection has been coming and going in the southeast Gulf; we’ll have to see to what extent it can come back and have a chance at organizing and forming a surface low.
– The remainder of the Atlantic basin is quiet.

EASTERN PACIFIC
– Daniel is continuing to fade fast. As its remnant low passes south of Hawaii it could bring a bit of an increase in surf and moisture there.
– Emilia peaked at Category 4 intensity but it has since weakened.
– The disturbance to the east of Emilia has organized into a well-defined low pressure system. The only thing lacking for tropical cyclone designation is convection which is deeper and concentrated closer to the center of circulation.

CAT 5 Hurricane Shutters can help you get prepared for hurricane season. We are located in West Palm Beach, Florida, Palm Beach County. We design, manufacture and install hurricane shutters according to the 2010 FL bldg. codes. We are licensed CGC # 1517869. We service Palm Beach County, includes cities such as Boca Raton, DelRay Beach, Boynton Beach, Lantana and Wellington.
Contact us for a free estimate at (561) 333-2285 or http://www.cat5shutters.net

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January-June 2012 Heat

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on July 10, 2012

January-June 2012 HeatStates shaded in dark red set their record warmest January-June period in 2012. Numbers indicate January-June yearly rankings. For example, 118 means warmest January-June on record, while 1 signifies record coldest such period. States shaded in darker orange with numbers of 109 or higher had a top 10 warmest January-June.

The year 2012 continues on a record warm pace, according to a report released July 9.
In the June “State of the Climate” report, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found the first half of 2012 was the record warmest January-June period for the Lower 48 States, in records dating to 1895.

In all, a total of 28 states, all east of the Rocky Mountains, had a record warm first six months of the year. Another 15 states had their top 10 warmest January-June. Only Washington state recorded a cooler-than-average first half of 2012.

CAT 5 Hurricane Shutters can help you keep your house cooler. We are located in West Palm Beach, Florida, Palm Beach County and we design, manufacture and install hurricane shutters according to Florida Building Codes. We are licensed CGC # 1517869.

Our offices are located in West Palm Beach, but our customers are in all of Palm Beach County including Royal Palm Beach, Boynton Beach and Palm Beach Gardens.

Call us for a free estimate at (561) 333-2285 or go to http://www.cat5shutters.net

Graph of January-June mean temperatures over the Lower 48 States from 1895 (left) to 2012 (right). The long-term average is shown by the horizontal gray line. The long-term temperature trend is indicated by the red line. Credit: NCDC/NESDIS/NOAA

The month of June, however, was only the 14th warmest on record for the Lower 48 States in 118 years of records.

Despite this, Colorado recorded its record hottest June. Potential all-time state records in South Carolina (113) and Georgia (112) are currently under review by the U.S. State Climate Extremes Committee. Over 170 all-time record highs were either tied or broken in June. However, it’s important to note many of those locations had relatively short periods of record not dating back at least to the “Dust Bowl” of the 1930s.

Precipitation Highlights

The quick expansion of drought in the nation’s heartland was one of the highlights in the first six months.

January-June 2012 was among the top 10 driest such periods on record in 14 states, primarily in the Plains states. It was the driest such period on record in Delaware, second driest in Colorado, and third driest in Wyoming.

On the other end of the spectrum, Minnesota, Oregon, and Washington had one of their top 10 wettest January-June periods on record in 2012.

The month of June featured some rather stark precipitation extremes.
Tropical Storm Debby’s torrential rainfall contributed to what was the wettest June on record in Florida. Three additional states (Maine, Washington, Oregon) had a top 10 wettest June. For Washington, it was their second wettest June.

Meanwhile, it was the record driest June in Wyoming, second driest in Colorado and Utah. These parched conditions left over from a lack of snow in the spring months lead to dangerous conditions for wildfires. Over 1.3 million acres were charred during the month, the second most of any June on record.
(PHOTOS: Waldo Fire…Return Home)

June was also the top 10 driest on record in 8 other states from the Ohio Valley to the Great Basin.

Past 12 Months: Warmest on Record

The record for warmest 12-month period on record, established in March 2012 and broken again in April and May, was broken for the fourth month in a row in June. The average nationwide temperature of 56.0 degrees for June 2011 through May 2012 surpassed last month’s record (for June 2011-May 2012) by 0.05 degrees.

This new record encompassed the second-warmest summer, fourth warmest winter, and warmest spring on record. According to NOAA, 47 of the 48 contiguous states were warmer than average over the 12-month period, with Washington the lone exception.

(MORE: All-time, monthly record heat tracker)
On the other end of the spectrum, Washington state had its seventh coolest June.
Here is a month-by-month breakdown of the warmth over the Lower 48 States:
• January: 4th warmest
• February: 17th warmest
• March: Record warmest
• April: 3rd warmest
• May: 2nd warmest
• June: 14th warmest

Meteorological spring finished well ahead of all others in the 118-year period of record. March-May 2012 topped the previous record warm spring, in 1910, by a full 2 degrees Fahrenheit.

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