Hurrican Shutters

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Archive for September, 2012

CAT 5 Shutters, LLC received Better Business Bureau A-Rating Renewal!

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on September 26, 2012

CAT 5 Shutters, LLC received Better Business Bureau A-Rating Renewal!CAT 5 Shutters, LLC has been a member of the Better Business Bureau in Southeast Florida and the Caribbean since 2003 and received its A-Rating Renewal.

We design, manufacture and install hurricane shutters according to the Florida Building Codes.  We are licensed (CGC# 1517869) and insured.

CAT 5 Shutters is located in Palm Beach county and the Florida Keys.  We service Palm Beach County, including cities such as Atlantic, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Greenacres, Hypoluxo, Jupiter, Lake Clarke Shores, Lake Park, Lake Worth, Lantana, North Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Palm Springs, Riviera Beach, Royal Palm Beach, West Palm Beach and Wellington.  In the Florida Keys we service the Upper and Middle Florida Keys (Monroe County) including Key Largo, Islamorada, Tavernier, Long Key, Plantation Key, Windley Key, Duck Key, Conch Key, Sombrero Beach, Key Colony Key, Grassy Key, Boot Key, Ocean Reef and Marathon.

For a free estimate, please contact us in Palm Beach County at (561) 333-2285 and The Florida Keys at (305) 852-2285 or via the internet at http://www.cat5shutters.net.

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State of Florida Division of Emergency Management – Weekly Report Sept 24-30, 2012

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on September 24, 2012

State of Florida Division of Emergency Management - Weekly Report Sept 24-30, 2012•High pressure has built into the region and this will bring plenty of sunshine to the state for most of this first full week of fall. Mostly clear skies will be in place over the Florida Panhandle each day this week. On Tuesday, South Florida will be the only portion of the state that has a chance for isolated showers and storms as rain chances stay around 30%. By Wednesday and through the end of the week, a slight increase in moisture over the entire Peninsula will bring around a 30% chance for a stray shower and storm to most areas. Not all locations will receive rainfall, and for those that do not, you can expect a mix of clouds and sun with comfortable conditions. Any shower activity that does develop over the Peninsula this week will slowly dissipate after sunset with gradual clearing conditions through the night.

•Our daytime temperatures will stay seasonable this week as highs peak in the mid to upper 80s  statewide. For the overnight lows, the slight chill in the air that was in place over the Panhandle earlier this week will slowly move out as lows stay in the mid to upper 60s for most areas north of the I-4 Corridor from Tuesday night through Friday night. South of the Interstate, expect lows to stay in the mid to upper 70s.

•With great beach weather in place we want to remind everyone to look for warning signs and flags before entering the surf. Increasing easterly winds will generate an elevated risk of rip currents along the entire Atlantic Coast through the end of the week. While there will be a lower risk for the Gulf Coast
beaches, it is important to remember that rip currents can develop anywhere and at any time, especially near piers and jetties and that all swimmers should enter the water within sight of a lifeguard whenever possible.

The tropics are slowly starting to quiet down, even though we still have over two more months left in the hurricane season. All that we are monitoring this week is long-lived Tropical Storm Nadine over the far eastern Atlantic Ocean. This storm is not expected to be a threat to the United States and will likely
stay away from any land area through at least this upcoming weekend.  Elsewhere, tropical development is not expected.

•For more information on your local rip current risk or just to get an updates
statewide weather outlook, you can go to http://www.FloridaDisaster.org or you can
check us out on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/FloridaSERT.

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September is National Preparedness Month, pledge to prepare your family, business and community

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on September 19, 2012

September is National Preparedness Month, pledge to prepare your family, business and community
Interested in preparedness throughout the year? If so, continue here to Pledge to Prepare. By Pledging you will become part of the National Preparedness Coalition. There is no cost or obligation in doing so. As a Coalition Member, you will have access to exclusive resources and be able to collaborate with thousands of fellow members across the country on ways to participate and get your community involved.

Pledge to prepare!  To register go to:

http://community.fema.gov/connect.ti/system/register?nextURL=%2Fconnect.ti%2FREADYNPM%2FrequestJoinGroup%3FSHOWREG%3D%26amp%3BCONFIRM%3DN%26amp%3BDONEM

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Florida Division of Emergency Management – Weekly Report September 11-14, 2012

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on September 12, 2012

Florida Division of Emergency Management - Weekly Report September 11-14, 2012•Fall has arrived in North Florida this week after a cold front pushed
through the area. This front will likely continue moving southward and
weakening over the southern Peninsula through the week. High
pressure will build in behind it and this will bring plenty of sunshine to the
state each day this week.

•There will still be a minimal chance for an isolated shower and storm
over South Florida through the week, but most areas will stay dry and
breezy. With increasing winds out of the east, winds may gust as high as
15 to 20 mph each day this week.

•With plenty of sunshine in the forecast high temperatures will peak in
the upper 80s to low 90s statewide and the fall-like feel will really be in
place during the overnight hours. Lows will dip into the mid to upper 60s
throughout most of North Florida and into the mid to upper 70s across
•With great beach weather in the forecast this week, our main concern
will be rip currents. Increasing onshore flow along the Atlantic Coast and
lingering ocean swells from the distant tropical systems will bring a
moderate to high rip current risk along the entire Atlantic Coast. These
same strong easterly winds will push wave heights up to 3-5 feet in the
Gulf and near 4-7 feet along the East Coast. An elevated risk of rip
currents will also be possible along the Panhandle Coastline through the
week and we encourage everyone to pay attention to flags and warnings
signs posted along the beach. Swimming within sight of a lifeguard is
always the safest way to swim.

•Looking at the tropics, while they are quite active this week we are not
expecting any direct tropical impacts throughout the Sunshine State.
Both Leslie and Michael are expected to stay well to our east while they
travel in a general northward motion and weaken this week. The new
system in the central Atlantic is also expected to stay far from Florida as
it curves north of the Leeward Islands later this week.

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NASA Compares Hurricanes Isaac and Katrina: 7 Years Apart

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on September 12, 2012

NASA Compares Hurricanes Isaac and Katrina: 7 Years Apartith Hurricane Isaac making landfall on the northern Gulf coast almost 7 years to the day that Hurricane Katrina made landfall and in almost the same location in southeastern Louisiana that Katrina did, it is natural to compare the two storms.

Katrina of course will always be remembered for the massive storm surge that inundated large portions of the northern Gulf coast, reaching almost 28 feet (8.5 meters) along the Mississippi coast, breaking the previous mark of 24 feet (7.3 meters) left there from Hurricane Camille. Like Katrina, Isaac was also a large storm with both measuring roughly 248 miles (400 km) in size. Big storms have bigger wind fields, which allow them to push against the ocean surface over a large area, increasing the potential for storm surge for a given area of coastline.

Fortunately, Isaac impacted the coast as a much weaker Category 1 hurricane and was a tropical storm prior to that; Katrina made landfall as a much more powerful Category 3 storm and was previously an extremely powerful Category 5 storm. At one point, Katrina had hurricane force winds extending up to 75 miles (120.7 km) from the center. So far preliminary reports indicate that Isaac’s storm surge may have reached up to 12 feet in parts of Louisiana, which is quite substantial for a “mere” Category 1 storm. Of course the surge can vary according to the shape of the coastline and seafloor, but 12 feet (3.6 meters) is more in line with a Category 3 storm than a 1 and shows how size can be an important factor.

TRMM’s Precipitation Radar (PR) can provide a unique perspective on hurricanes. Data from the PR were used to construct these 3D images of Isaac and Katrina. Katrina (on the right) appears as a very symmetrical storm, a sign of a strong circulation, with a well-defined eye (in the center of the cut-away view) surrounded by a complete eyewall containing an area of deep convective towers (shown in red). Isaac (on the left), on the other hand, though surrounded by rainbands that spiral in towards the center is less symmetrical and does not have a distinctive eye though it too has some deep convective towers near its center (shown in red).

Actually, for most of its life, Isaac lacked a core and only really began to organize and intensify when it neared the coast, which was when the data for this image was collected. Isaac’s lack of a core greatly inhibited its intensification and was most likely due to dry air intrusions. This is somewhat evidenced by the gaps in the surrounding precipitation field (visible as the blue and black valleys). Were it not for the dry air entering its circulation, Isaac may have arrived at the Gulf coast looking but much more like Katrina. At the times that the data for these two images were collected by the TRMM PR, Katrina was a rapidly-deepening Category 3 hurricane in the central Gulf of Mexico on its way to Category 5 with sustained winds already at ~115 mph (100 knots) and quickly increasing, and Isaac was a recently-upgraded Category 1 hurricane near the coast of Louisiana with sustained winds of ~80 mph (70 knots).

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Hurricane Season 2012 is heating up

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on September 11, 2012

Hurricane Season 2012 is heating upCHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — The 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season has already been active. It got going early this year on May 19 with Tropical Storm Alberto, and it could get a whole lot busier here shortly. The climatological peak, when there is likely to be an active tropical system, is September 10.

There are a few reasons for this. One of those reasons is because the water in the entire Atlantic basin is warm by this point, just past mid summer. The basin includes the North Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricanes generally need water warmer than about 82 degrees to form and thrive.

August through September is also busier because the “Cape Verde” portion of the Hurricane Season is in full swing. These are the storms with origins near the Cape Verde Islands just off the west coast of Africa. They traverse vast amounts of warm water, which is fuel for a developing hurricane.

The danger is that these can grow into the largest most powerful storms on earth, and often enter the Gulf of Mexico or head toward the southeast United States.

This time of year, large thunderstorm complexes move across the north central portion of the African continent and emerge in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Once over water they move along the periphery of the subtropical ridge to the north, typically trekking west northwest. Not all of these tropical waves will form into a storm, but they are very intently monitored by meteorologists around the Atlantic basin.

Cape Verde storms are well known in the U. S. as the large damaging hurricanes of late summer and early fall.

The Galveston Hurricane of 1900 was a Cape Verde storm. It was a category four hurricane with winds estimated at 145mph when it made landfall. This is the deadliest and costliest hurricane in U. S. history. It killed between 6,000-12,000 people in Texas.

Another storm with origins near the Cape Verde Islands slammed the South Carolina coast in 1989, Hugo. This hurricane still ranks as one of the costliest storms in the U. S., and killed 27 South Carolinians.

In the quiet season of 1992, Hurricane Andrew formed near the Cape Verde Islands. This year is the 20 year anniversary of Andrew, and it is the last category five hurricane to strike the U.S. in south Florida.

It looked like this year was going to be a year with average to below average numbers of storms, before the season started. Now it appears the season may be a little more active after all, due mainly in part to a weaker more delayed El Nino than anticipated. It tends to quell tropical development.

With the Cape Verde season initiating and weak or no El Nino, now is the time to watch the tropics very closely.

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Hurricane Wind and Water Protection

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on September 11, 2012

Hurricane Wind and Water ProtectionRecent hurricane seasons have provided painful lessons in the importance of preparing for these destructive storms. Perhaps most important is the need to protect your home sooner rather than later. This will allow you to focus on more immediate needs when a hurricane approaches, including gathering supplies and heeding evacuation orders.

The first step is to decide what level of protection you want and can afford – especially for doors and windows. Then you can permanently install any hardware that should be in place before storms start brewing. When a storm threatens, you can quickly install the protection and move on to other tasks and actions.

Protecting windows

The highest level of protection normally available for windows is professionally produced shutters that meet the Dade County (Florida) standards for opening protection. These standards require that the shutter product be able to resist the impact of a 9-lb. 2’x4′ traveling at 34 mph without penetration of the shutter, and — if installed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations — not break the glass behind the shutter.

This level of protection can also be achieved for small- to medium-sized windows by making your shutters out of a ¼-inch polycarbonate sheet. This has the added benefit of providing a transparent shutter that will allow light in if the power goes out. If you are making and installing your own shutters, you may want to consider this for your windows that allow the most daylight into living areas.

It takes about a ¾-inch thick piece of plywood to provide close to the same protection as the Dade County-approved products, and that will make for a very heavy shutter. You can, of course, use thinner plywood, and plywood is recommended over oriented strand board (OSB) because it takes 30% thicker OSB to equal the impact resistance of plywood.

The resistance to penetration by wind-borne debris is reduced in direct proportion to the thickness of the plywood. In other words, a 3/8-inch thick plywood shutter would be only about half as effective in resisting penetration as a ¾-inch plywood shutter. IBHS recommends 5/8-inch thick plywood as a minimum unless you are having problems with handling the weight of the shutter.

Some layer of plywood will always be better than not protecting your window, as long as it remains in place. And even the thinner sheets will help resist the most common wind-borne debris such as small branches and shingles.

If you live in a community with tile roofs, it is recommended that you seriously consider shutter products that meet the Dade County standards for your windows.

In the wake of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Miami-Dade County established stringent testing and approvals for hurricane shutters and other products used to strengthen and protect homes against hurricanes. These standards are thought to be more strict than those of some other national product-certification groups.

Installing plywood shutters

If you are going to make and install your own shutters, take the time to pre-install the anchorage hardware and prepare your shutter materials before a storm threatens. Pick out and purchase the material you want to use and cut it to the appropriate size for the type of installation you select. There are a lot of effective ways to install shutters and many more that are not.

While you can nail plywood shutters as a last resort just before a storm strikes, repeatedly putting them up and taking them down will damage the area around your windows and doors, and ultimately affect anchorage quality.

Plywood is stronger in the direction parallel to the grain. So you can take advantage of the panel’s inherent strength, place fasteners only on the sides perpendicular to the grain, or along the sides if the grain runs that way.

For installations on wood frame walls, you can order stainless steel studs that have wood threads on one end and machine threads on the other. Search under hanger bolts for the types of hardware you need. Select stainless steel anchor bolts for permanent masonry installations.

Be wise about window myths

Do not open windows during a storm. This only lets damaging wind and rain into your home.
Tape does not protect your windows from flying debris. It might keep more of the glass together when impacted, but it will not keep it in place.
Window film does not provide much gain in protection from impact of anticipated debris. Some thicker “structural” film passes the small missile test, which applies to things like gravel or similar sized objects. It does help keep glass shards together when the window breaks.

Protecting doors

All doors should have three hinges and a dead-bolt lock with a minimum 1-inch bolt throw length. Metal or solid wood doors may withstand hurricane pressures and wind-blown debris, but if you have double entry doors (French doors), doors with glass or hollow-core doors, you may want to shutter them.

For double entry doors, add barrel bolt restraints to the inactive door to help keep them from bursting open during a storm. Make sure the bolts connect through the door header and through the threshold into the subfloor.

Garage doors

Because of their width, double-wide garage doors are more susceptible to wind damage than single doors. The wind may buckle the door, force it out of the roller track, or the track could be vulnerable to the pressure, especially if it is light weight or the fasteners don’t penetrate the wall deep enough. Wind coming into your home through an opening this large poses grave problems for the rest of your home – especially your roof.

Consider installing a garage door that is hurricane resistant (tested and approved for your area), or shutter the garage door opening with a wind pressure and impact rated system appropriate for your area. Be sure to check if there are any other code requirements for garage doors where you live.

Garage door retailers may have a wind retrofit kit specifically made for your door. If the manufacturer does not make a system for your door, you can purchase a generic garage door retrofit kit. There is at least one manufacturer of a vertical bracing kit that has Florida Building Code approval. However, keep in mind that these retrofit kits do not provide any additional protection from flying debris. Most doors that are not hurricane rated will not.

If you decide to reinforce your double-wide garage door, do so at its weakest points. Install horizontal and/or vertical bracing onto each panel, using wood or light gauge metal girds bolted to the door mullions (vertical member that forms a division between units of a window, door, or screen). Heavier hinges and stronger end and vertical center supports may be required.

If you do anything that adds weight to your garage door, call a professional to make sure the door is balanced. The springs will probably need adjusting. Note: Since the springs are dangerous, only a professional should adjust them.

Additional steps to consider

Shutter and seal gable end vents to prevent wind-driven rain from entering attic space.
Use a high quality silicone caulk around outside wall openings such as clothes dryer, kitchen or bathroom vents, outdoor electrical outlets and locations where cables or pipes go through the wall. Just before a storm, close dryer and bathroom vents with duct tape (but remove it after a storm, before using the vents).
Consider cutting wall screens in pool enclosures just before the storm hits, if you are still there and your property is located near the landfall position. This may save the aluminum enclosure.

Source: Institute for Business and Home Safety. IBHS is a national nonprofit initiative of the insurance industry to reduce deaths, injuries, property damage, economic losses and human suffering caused by natural disasters.

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Michael Becomes the First Category Three Hurricane of the Season 2012!

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on September 7, 2012

Michael Becomes the First Category Three Hurricane of the Season 2012!Michael Becomes the First Category Three Hurricane of the Season

Hurricane Michael — currently in the central Atlantic, about 980 miles south-southwest of the Azores — has strengthened to Category 3 to become the first major hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic season. Maximum sustained winds are near 115 mph and Michael is a small, but powerful, hurricane, with hurricane force winds extending outward
about 15 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds extending outward up to 70 miles.

There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect and Michael is not expected to impact the U.S. Details…

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/#MICHAEL

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NOAA – latest update on Hurricane Leslie and Hurricane Michael!

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on September 7, 2012

NOAA - latest update on Hurricane Leslie and Hurricane Michael!Hurricane Leslie and Hurricane Michael advisories issued by the NOAA National Hurricane Center (NHC). Elsewhere, an area of low pressure is located over the north-central Gulf of Mexico this Friday morning. GOES-East shows the activity in the Atlantic Region up to the last three days. Get the latest on the tropics by visiting the NOAA NHC: http://www.hurricanes.gov/.

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It’s been a busy, wet hurricane season

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on September 7, 2012

It's been a busy, wet hurricane seasonNear the half-way point, hurricane season 2012 has been more active than expected and more rain could potentially be on the way for Lake Okeechobee from the “spawn of Isaac.”.

Two hurricanes whirled far off in the Atlantic Ocean on Thursday, with one of them, Michael, briefly strengthening into this year’s first major storm.

Along the Gulf Coast, a sloppy offshoot of Hurricane Isaac has an outside shot at becoming Nadine, the 14th named storm of the season. But even if what forecasters have dubbed the “spawn of Isaac’’ doesn’t develop into a full-fledged storm, it could bring more rain to already flooded coastal Louisiana or possibly North or Central Florida, where it could add to the runoff still filling up Lake Okeechobee, which has risen two feet since Isaac’s passage nearly two weeks ago.

Hurricane season doesn’t officially reach its historical peak and halfway mark until Monday but 2012 has already proved more active than many experts expected — particularly when measured by the number of storms. Most pre-season forecasts called for an average year with nine to 15 named storms, including four to eight hurricanes. The total so far: 13 storms, seven reaching hurricane strength.

“It’s been a very strange year,’’ said Phil Klotzbach, a research scientist at Colorado State University who teams with climatologist William Gray to produce pre-season forecasts. Alberto popped up just off South Carolina. Chris and Ernesto hit hurricane strength for less than a day. Tropical Storm Florence quickly dissolved into a tropical wave. Hurricanes Lesley and Michael gelled farther north than is typical and never posed a threat to the mainland U.S.

“It’s been active but active in strange places,” said Klotzbach.

By one key measure combining the duration and strength of each storm, 2012 is running about 140 to 150 percent above average, said Brian McNoldy, a senior research associate at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science.

But it has generated only one storm above Category 3 strength — Michael got there briefly but then weakened — and the season has fortunately come nowhere close to matching the intensity of 2005, which spit out a record 28 storms, including Katrina and several storms that spent at least some time at Category 5 strength.

McNoldy said a combination of dry air and stronger than expected wind shear in the tropics have helped keep storms relatively tame — at least so far. Late season storms often prove more powerful but a slowly forming El Niño weather pattern expected sometime this month could help slow down the so-far busy season.

El Niño, marked by warming Pacific Ocean temperatures, typically fuels upper-level winds in the Atlantic that can weaken forming storms or sometimes rip them apart.

“I don’t think we’re going to see any crazy surge in activity,’’ said McNoldy.

Water managers in South Florida, still watching Lake Okeechobee rise from Isaac runoff and heavy rains over the last few days, are hoping for a dry spell.

Isaac pretty much erased concerns of a water shortage in South Florida, flooding portions of western Palm Beach County and the drenching the Kissimmee River basin, which flows south into the lake. Steady rains over the last few days have added to the inflow, said Randy Smith, a spokesman for the South Florida Water Management District, pushing the lake level to 14.42 feet above sea level — right at its historic seasonal average.

But if Isaac’s remnant drifts across Central Florida in coming days, it could potentially bring more runoff south, pushing the lake to a level that could begin to raise safety concerns about its aging dike, slowly being upgraded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Under a management plan the Corps adopted in 2008 intended to balance water supply demands with environmental protection, the goal is to keep the lake’s water between 12.5 feet and 15.5 feet above sea level, with the peak coming at the end of the wet and hurricane seasons. After the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons, the Corps was forced to dump massive volumes of lake water to protect the dike, but the polluted runoff ravaged estuaries on both coasts, killing fish and triggering algae blooms.

John Campbell, a spokesman for the Corps, said the agency was closely monitoring weather reports but there had not yet been any discussion about releasing water from the lake.

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