Hurrican Shutters

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Archive for April, 2014

Severe Weather Hitting Areas Hard

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on April 30, 2014

Severe Weather Hitting Areas HardSevere flooding in the panhandle of Florida was blamed for the death of a Pensacola woman Wednesday, raising to 36 the death toll from a series of violent storms accompanied by heavy rains rolling through parts of the Midwest, South and East since Sunday.
Tornado warnings had been posted for the Pensacola, Fla., area Tuesday evening, and the National Weather Service said several tornadoes touched down in eastern North Carolina.
Seventeen people were reported killed Monday after tornadoes roared through Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee.
Rain soaked Alabama as it tried to recover from Monday’s tornadoes. The Weather Channel reported widespread flash flooding along Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Nearly 9 inches of rain fell in Mobile in one of the wettest days ever there.
The prolonged weather pattern was unusual, forecasters said, noting that Monday and Tuesday marked the first time in 22 years with 10 or more tornado deaths for two straight days.
The twisters and high winds flattened homes and businesses, uprooted trees and flipped cars across sections of the South and Midwest. The National Weather Service was investigating reports of almost 100 tornadoes. And the destruction may not be over yet.
More than 60 million people from southeastern Michigan to the central Gulf Coast to the Carolinas and southern Virginia were at risk of severe storms and tornadoes, AccuWeather meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said Tuesday.
Mississippi and Alabama remained the states with the highest risk of severe weather, with cities such as Meridian, Miss., and Birmingham, Ala., in the cross hairs for tornadoes, the weather service said.
The East Coast was not exempt. A forecast of ongoing heavy rain caused the weather service to issue flash-flood watches from northern Florida to southern New England.
Mississippi was hit the hardest Monday. The tornado that struck the Louisville, Miss., area was given a preliminary rating of at least EF4 by the National Weather Service. EF4 tornadoes have winds of 166-200 mph, making the Louisville twister the most powerful one to hit the USA this year.
Twelve deaths were reported in the state, nine of them in and around Louisville, a town of about 6,600 people. State Sen. Giles Ward said he was huddled in a bathroom with his wife, four other family members and their dog Monday night as a tornado destroyed his two-story brick house and turned his son-in-law’s SUV upside down onto the patio in Louisville.

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Another Quality Job by CAT 5 Shutters, LLC

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on April 25, 2014

Another Quality Job by CAT 5 Shutters, LLC

Here is another quality job done by CAT 5 Shutters, LLC

Located on the water in Boca Raton, Florida

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Hurricane Preparedness

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on April 23, 2014

Hurricane PreparednessKnow the Difference Hurricane Watch
Hurricane conditions are a threat within 48 hours. Review your hurricane plans. Get ready to act if a warning is issued, and stay informed.

Hurricane Warning
Hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours. Complete your storm preparations and leave the area if directed to do so by authorities.

Landslides have occurred in almost every state and can cause significant damage. The term landslide describes downhill earth movements that can move slowly and cause damage gradually, or move rapidly, destroying property and taking lives suddenly and unexpectedly. Most landslides are caused by natural forces or events, such as heavy rain and snowmelt, shaking due to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and gravity. Landslides are typically associated with periods of heavy rainfall or rapid snowmelt and tend to worsen the effects of flooding. Areas burned by forest and brush fires are also particularly susceptible to landslides. Landslides generally happen in areas where they have occurred in the past. Learn about your area’s landslide risk. Landslides can also be referred to as mudslides, debris flows, mudflows or debris avalanches.Debris flows and other landslides onto roadways are common during rainstorms.Heavily saturated ground is very susceptible to mudflows and debris flows.Be aware that, generally, landslide insurance is not available, but that debris flow damage may be covered by flood insurance policies from the National Flood Insurance.

Our pets enrich our lives in more ways than we can count. They are members of the family. In turn, they depend on us for their safety and wellbeing. The best way to ensure the safety of your entire family is to be prepared with a disaster plan. If you are a pet owner, that plan includes your pets. Being prepared can help save lives. Emergency action plans for your family should include your animals

Coping with Power Outages Sudden power outages can be frustrating and troublesome, especially when they last a long time. If a power outage is 2 hours or less, don’t be concerned about losing your perishable foods. For prolonged power outages, though, there are steps you can take to minimize food loss and to keep all members of your household as comfortable as possible.

Energy Conservation Recommendations Turn off lights and computers when not in use.Wash clothes in cold water if possible; wash only full loads and clean the dryer’s lint trap after each use.When using a dishwasher, wash full loads and use the light cycle. If possible, use the rinse only cycle and turn off the high temperature rinse option. When the regular wash cycle is done, just open the dishwasher door to allow the dishes to air dry.Replace incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient compact fluorescent lights.

Make Water Safety Your Priority Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone. Even at a public pool or a lifeguarded beach, use the buddy system!Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well. Enroll in age-appropriate Red Cross water orientation and Learn-to-Swim courses.Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.Establish rules for your family and enforce them without fail. For example, set limits based on each person’s ability, do not let anyone play around drains and suction fittings, and do not allow swimmers to hyperventilate before swimming under water or have breath-holding contests.Even if you do not plan on swimming, be cautious around natural bodies of water including ocean shoreline, rivers and lakes. Cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards can make a fall into these bodies of water dangerous.If you go boating, wear a life jacket! Most boating fatalities occur from drowning.Avoid alcohol use. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance and coordination; affects swimming and diving skills; and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm.

For all your shutter needs call us at CAT 5 Shutters. We offer free estimates. We also do service on hurricane protection. Once your family is prepared make sure your home is well. Contact us toll free at 1-877-CAT-FIVE or visit us on the web at www.cat5shutters.net

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Hurricane Season less than 2 months away..

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on April 22, 2014

Hurricane Season less than 2 months away..Hurricane season start June 1.. that’s less than 6 weeks away. Are you prepared? CAT 5 Shutters, LLC can help.. from installing new shutters to servicing the existing. Contact us today..so we can help you be prepared.

We can help you be ready for the storms. Don’t delay call us today.

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2014 Change In Predictions

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on April 16, 2014

2014 Change In PredictionsTop forecasters from Colorado State University predict a quiet 2014 Atlantic hurricane season, suggesting that nine tropical storms will form, but only three will become hurricanes.
The forecast published Thursday follows two consecutive poor forecasts: In 2012, when more than twice as many hurricanes formed as had been predicted, and in 2013, when only two hurricanes formed after a spring prediction of nine.
A typical year, based on weather records dating to 1950, has 12 tropical storms, of which seven become hurricanes. A tropical storm has sustained winds of 39 mph; it becomes a hurricane when its winds reach 74 mph.
The forecast was released by meteorologists Philip Klotzbach and William Gray of Colorado State University’s Tropical Meteorology Project. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.
Klotzbach said a predicted El Niño is one factor that led to their quiet forecast. El Niño, a climate pattern defined by warmer-than-normal water in the tropical Pacific Ocean, tends to suppress Atlantic hurricanes.
“The tropical Atlantic has … cooled over the past several months, and the chances of a moderate to strong El Niño event this summer and fall appear to be quite high,” Klotzbach said. “Historical data indicate fewer storms form in these conditions.”
In 1997, during a very strong El Niño, only seven named storms formed, and only three were hurricanes.
CLIMATE FORECAST: El Niño likely later in year, could help Calif. drought
Gray’s team was the first organization to issue seasonal hurricane forecasts back in 1984; this is the team’s 31st forecast.
This forecast is for the Atlantic basin, which includes the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Klotzbach said that of the three predicted hurricanes, only one should be a major hurricane — category 3, 4 or 5 — with sustained wind speeds of 111 mph or greater.
The Colorado State team’s seasonal forecasts are a mixed bag: Since 2000, the team has forecast fewer than the actual number of hurricanes four times, forecast more five times and been almost right — within two hurricanes — five times, a USA TODAY analysis shows.
FUNDING ISSUES: Hurricane honchos stay at center of the storm, for now
Insurance companies, emergency managers and the news media use the forecasts from Colorado State to prepare Americans for the season’s likely hurricane threat. The team’s annual predictions are intended to provide a best estimate of activity to be experienced during the upcoming season, not an exact measure, according to Colorado State.
For the U.S. coastline, Klotzbach said there is a 35% chance of a major hurricane making landfall in 2014. For the East Coast, including all of Florida, the chance of a major hurricane strike is 20%. The chance along the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle to Brownsville, Texas, is 19%.
Although a calm season is predicted overall, Klotzbach cautioned coastal residents to take the proper precautions. “It takes only one landfall event near you to make this an active season,” he said.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will be issuing its hurricane forecast in May.
The first named storms of the Atlantic hurricane season will be Arthur, Bertha, Cristobal, Dolly and Edouard.
The eastern Pacific hurricane season starts May 15. Eastern Pacific hurricanes seldom have any impact on the U.S. but can hit the west coast of Mexico. During El Niño seasons, activity in the Eastern Pacific tends to be more active than usual.

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What are you going to do with your tax return?

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on April 15, 2014

What are you going to do with your tax return?

Cat 5 Shutters LLC is located in the heart of Palm Beach County. We have shutters for every type of budget.  For safety during hurricane season and a peace of mind.

Our Hurricane shutters are available in a wide array of styles, colors, and will add value to your home. So the question is what are you spending you tax return money on.. why not invest in your home.

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Hurricane Protection: What are your options?

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on April 11, 2014

Hurricane Protection: What are your options?Plywood Panels?The first method that comes to mind immediately is, of course, plywood sheets. Well, if you have ever tried to protect your home from a hurricane by nailing plywood sheets over your windows, you know how troublesome that can be. They are difficult to handle, and difficult to install. That’s true even for a burly 250 lb guy; much more so for the average Joe. For women, it’s even more of a trouble, whether you try it yourself or find someone to help you. And, of course, plywood does not offer adequate protection against projectiles that may strike your home during a storm.

Other Shutter Panels or Systems?Hurricane panels, made from steel or aluminum, can give you protection, but they too can be heavy and difficult to put up. Plus, storing those panels when not in use means giving up space in your garage or storage shed. On the top end, more elaborate hurricane protection systems, such as aluminum accordian or rolldown shutters, are an option, but for many homeowners they can be cost prohibitive. And if you are a Do-it-Yourself homeowner, the installation of those systems can sometimes be beyond your jack-of-all-trades skills. There has to be an easier way for you to get hurricane protection for your home, right?

Hurricane Fabric Screens: A Better AlternativeCompare those hurricane protection systems to our simple, affordable, effective solution to the problem of hurricane protection. Our Storm Catcher hurricane fabric screens provide all the protection of other hurricane protection systems, but at considerable cost savings. Plus, at 8 ounces per square yard, they weigh a fraction of what other systems do. When you evaluate all options, we believe that you’ll agree: The Storm Catcher hurricane fabric screen system makes sense for you, the Do-it-Yourself homeowner.

Effective Protection that is Approved, Lightweight, and See-throughBlocking 97% of wind and rain, these extraordinary hurricane screens are made of a lightweight, geo-synthetic fabric that can protect buildings from hurricane force winds and flying debris. Because of the unique weave used in production, our hurricane fabric screens are translucent, allowing natural light to enter from the outside. This eliminates that dark, ‘closed-in’ feeling that you get with some other hurricane protection systems. This feature also enables you to see outside from inside the building.

Easy to Install, Easy to Store, Can Cover Any OpeningLess expensive and easier to install than other hurricane protection systems, such as accordion shutters or rolldown shutters, Storm Catcher hurricane fabric screens are ideal for protecting any size or shape window, as well as large openings such as lanais, storefronts and entranceways. Our hurricane fabric protection system is also a great way to cover garage doors, as an alternative to the costly option of installing a hurricane door. Storm Catcher hurricane fabric screens are virtually maintenance free and can be stored in a fraction of the space that other hurricane protection systems require. For larger orders, we even provide a breathable storage bag.

Installation: You CAN Do it Yourself!Because of the hurricane screen fabric’s light weight (8 oz per sq yd), it can be installed by almost anyone. Most applications require no special tools or heavy lifting. You have a choice of hardware, which can be purchased from us in addition to the screens. For most applications, whether attaching to a wood or concrete structure, “Panel Mates” will be the best and simplest option. PanelMates is a product of Elco Construction. These are also known as ‘concrete screws’, but work just as well in wood structures. These screws are secured into the substrate of the building, and have a protruding threaded post. The screen’s grommets go over the post and are secured with wingnuts. If you are fastening in concrete, you have the option of using “Flush Mount” anchors. These anchors are inserted into the concrete, flush with the wall surface. The screen is secured by sidewalk bolts that screw into the anchors.

Whatever hurricane protection you want you can contact CAT 5 Shutters, LLC at 1-877-CAT-FIVE or visit us on the web at www.cat5shutters.net. we offer free estimates and have all the latest and greatest products.

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The Florida Keys During Hurricane Season

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on April 9, 2014

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 (305) 852-2285 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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10 home insurance questions to ponder during hurricane season

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on April 2, 2014

10 home insurance questions to ponder during hurricane seasonThe sixth-month Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1. But are you and your hurricane-zone home fully prepared for it? Chances are, the answer is “no.”

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration predicts six major hurricanes will occur during the 2011 season. Researchers at Colorado State University put the number of major hurricanes at five. Forecasting company Weather Services International expects two to three hurricanes to make landfall in the United States in 2011. By contrast, the 2010 hurricane season was relatively quiet in the United States.

Millions of American homeowners could be in the path of hurricanes in 2011, as at least half of U.S. residents live in coastal areas (mostly along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts). By definition, “coastal” can mean as many as 50 miles inland.

To shore up your hurricane protection, ask these 10 questions regarding your home and your home insurance.

1. What type of home insurance do I need?

Standard homeowner’s policies typically don’t cover flooding caused by a hurricane’s storm surge. Furthermore, private insurers in some high-risk states — including Florida, North Carolina and Texas — have eliminated windstorm coverage from standard homeowner’s policies.
Most flood insurance policies are sold through the National Flood Insurance Program. Only about 10 percent of American households have flood insurance.
Keep in mind that there’s typically a 30-day waiting period after you buy a flood insurance policy before the coverage kicks in.
Don’t wait until a storm forms to buy that separate windstorm policy, either: Insurers draw a “box” on the map of the Gulf and Atlantic coasts that extends well out into the ocean. Once a hurricane enters that “box,” you can’t buy a policy.

2. How much coverage do I need?

Your insurance policy can cover either the actual cash value or replacement value of your home. If your home is destroyed, actual-cash-value coverage provides an amount of money equal to the market price of your home. Replacement-value coverage provides enough money to rebuild your home. If you’ve done upgrades or additions to your home, replacement-value coverage may be the way to go.
“I don’t think that it’s necessarily important to get as much insurance as you can,” says Lori Medders, associate director of the Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center at Florida State University. “The extra cost for getting as much insurance as might be available could be conceivably not worth it.”
You should read the fine print of your insurance policy, and know what it does and does not cover.
“Not being educated on policy terms and exclusions could lead to an unpleasant surprise if there’s a claim,” says Eric Shanks, senior vice president at Chartis Insurance.

3. How do I know whether the price for insuring my coastal home will rise or fall?

If you find an affordable premium, you should brace yourself for costs to double or perhaps triple down the road — even if a hurricane doesn’t come ashore, Medders warns. Why? Premiums are based on computerized catastrophe models approved by each state, so if those models predict more hurricane activity, your home insurance premiums could climb. By the same token, your premiums could drop if less hurricane activity is forecast.
“Most primary insurers select average results from at least two out of three of the main catastrophe models available for rate-filing purposes, and in some cases all three of these models are used,” says David Smith, senior vice president at Eqecat, one of the biggest producers of catastrophe models.
Once a catastrophe model is updated, it could take a year or so before that information affects your home insurance policy, Smith says.

4. What can I do if I’m having trouble getting windstorm coverage in a coastal area?

Residents of several coastal states can turn to insurers of “last resort” for windstorm coverage. While these state-backed insurers are meant to handle a limited number of policies where no other coverage options are available, many have become default carriers for coastal homeowners. After Hurricane Katrina, for instance, thousands of home insurance policies written by private insurers were canceled in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi because of the heightened financial risk.

“The closer you get to the beach, the fewer carriers you’ll find willing to write policies,” says Scott Jerome, assistant manager of the Mississippi Windstorm Underwriting Association, which has more than 46,000 policies in place in six coastal parishes.
A note of caution: Coverage from state-governed windstorm insurers normally costs more than such coverage from private insurers. The Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp., for example, sets its premiums about 10 percent higher than those of the highest-priced private insurer to avoid competition with the private market.

5. Does my home insurance policy have a windstorm or hurricane deductible?

Many insurers are selling home insurance policies with percentage deductibles for windstorm or hurricane damage instead of the traditional dollar deductibles, which are used for other types of losses such as fire and theft, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
With a policy that carries a $500 standard deductible, for example, the policyholder must pay the first $500 of the claim out of pocket, the Insurance Information Institute says. But percentage deductibles — typically ranging from 1 percent to 5 percent — are based on the home’s insured value. So if a house is insured for $100,000 and has a 2 percent deductible, the first $2,000 of a claim must be paid out of the policyholder’s pocket.
Hurricane deductibles are in place in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.
In some states, the percentage deductibles are mandatory, according to the Insurance Information Institute. In others, they’re optional. Check with your state insurance regulator for details.

6. Are my valuables covered if they’re lost in a hurricane?

Home policies cover pricey items, up to certain dollar limits. For maximum protection, you should have jewelry, furs, silverware and other valuables appraised, then “scheduled” separately on your policy, Liberty Mutual advises.

7. How will the insurance company know which of my belongings have been lost in a hurricane?

Before a disaster strikes, take an inventory of your personal property, Liberty Mutual recommends. Document this inventory with video or photos. Store this information and other important documents in a safe deposit box.

A home inventory will help you buy enough insurance to replace your possessions, and can help speed up the claims process and prove any losses for income tax purposes, according to the Insurance Information Institute. The institute offers free web-based inventory software at KnowYourStuff.org.

8. Do I have coverage for additional living expenses?

Additional living expenses may or may not already be included in your homeowner’s policy, Allstate says. This coverage helps pay for the extra costs of living away from home — such as food and lodging — if your place is uninhabitable after a hurricane (or some other kind of disaster).

9. What can I do to prepare for a hurricane evacuation?

One of the simplest things you can do is create an evacuation kit. Nationwide says this kit should include personal IDs or documents, such as Social Security cards, insurance policies, deeds, birth certificates and wills. If you have time before you hit the road, grab vital prescription medications, a first aid kit, bottled water, a radio and extra batteries. Keep car keys and maps handy.

10. What can I do to structurally prepare my home for a hurricane?

One of the parts of your home that’s most susceptible to hurricane damage is your roof. So if you have a shingle roof, you need to check whether the shingles are starting to curl, crack or break, according to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. If you have a metal roof, is the metal in good condition with no signs of rust, and is it anchored securely to the roof deck? If you have a tile roof, are any tiles broken, loose or displaced?

Julie Rochman, president and CEO of the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, says: “There is no great mystery surrounding how to better equip residential and commercial structures for an active hurricane season. However, individuals and community leaders must make structural preparedness a priority, and take action now before a hurricane strikes.”

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Food Safety Tips For Hurricane Preparedness

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on April 1, 2014

Food Safety Tips For Hurricane PreparednessPreparations:

Use an appliance thermometer in the fridge and freezer to help determine if food is safe for consumption in the event of a power outage.

The temperature for the fridge should be at 40 degrees or lower and the freezer at 0 degrees or lower.
Grouping together your food in the freezer will help the food stay colder longer.

Consider freezing leftover items that you won’t need immediately, such as deli meats and milk. This will help keep these items at a safer temperature longer.

Have ice in the freezer in case the power goes out. A cooler with ice will allow you to prolong the life of your food. If you don’t have a cooler, you can also use the ice to keep the refrigerator cool.

Fill containers with water and store in the freezer. Not only can this help keep the freezer cooler longer, but it can also serve as a back-up water supply.

For pantry items, store all food on higher shelves in case of flooding.

As the storm approaches, turn down the temperature of the fridge and freezer to the max to make it as cold as possible. Don’t forget to turn it back once the threat passes.

If the power goes out, open the fridge and freezer as little as possible. Opening the doors allows the cool air to escape. A refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if you keep the door closed. A full freezer will keep cool for 48 hours and a half full freezer will keep cool for 24 hours.Precautions in the event of a power outage:

Check the temperature of both the fridge and freezer.

If you don’t have a way to read the temperature in the freezer, check each package. If the food contains water crystals, then it may still be safe.

Discard all perishable foods that have been kept in a fridge or freezer above 40 degrees for more than two hours, bacteria can multiply rapidly between 40 and 140 degrees.

Discard any food that is not in a waterproof container if there’s a chance it came in contact with flood waters. Also discard wooden cutting boards, plastic utensils, baby bottle nipples and pacifiers if they may have been in contact with flood waters.

Wash all metal pans, ceramic plates and utensils that may have come into contact with flood waters with hot soapy water. Sanitize by boiling them in clean water or by immersing them for 15 minutes in a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of drinking water.

Use only bottled water that has not been exposed to flood waters. If you don’t have bottle water, you can boil tap water for safe use.

Never, ever, taste food to determine its safety.

For all your Hurricane protection needs contact CAT 5 Shutters, LLC by visiting us on the web at www.cat5shutters.net or call us toll free at 1-877-CAT-FIVE.

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