Prepare Now for Serious 2016 Hurricane Season
Four hurricanes. Seventy percent chance of a named storm making landfall along the west coast of Florida. Sixty percent chance that Texas will be impacted by a hurricane. These are just some of the dire predictions by the Weather Research Center for the 2016 Hurricane Season.
“Our Cyclone Strike Index (CSI) provides forecasts of the most probable landfall of where a tropical cyclone will occur during the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season,” says Jill Hasling, CCM and president of the Weather Research Center. “The west coast of Florida, and Texas coastal areas, have the highest risk of being impacted this year. And, of key importance is that the Gulf of Mexico oil leases have a 90 percent chance of experiencing a named tropical cyclone.
“We’re predicting seven to 10 named tropical cyclones forming in the Atlantic this hurricane season, with four of these intensifying into hurricanes. Given this forecast, now is the time for homeowners and business owners to evaluate the condition of their properties and take the necessary steps to prepare for severe weather.”
Preparing for Storms — From the Ground Up
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has declared May 15 – 21, 2016 National Hurricane Preparedness Week. The organization recommends people in the potential path of severe weather take steps during this week to prepare for potential hurricane conditions by developing an evacuation plan, assembling disaster kits and strengthening home and business structures.
For properties previously in severe weather, including flood conditions, it’s critical to evaluate the home’s structure — especially support beams. When building or rebuilding in coastal areas, all local, state and federal building codes should be followed. For structures in special flood hazard zones, including Base Flood Elevation (BFE) areas, Parallam® Plus PSL engineered lumber products from Weyerhaeuser meet the National Flood Insurance Program regulations for construction below BFE.
These sturdy column members can be installed directly in the ground and can withstand saltwater splash. Decay- and insect-resistant Parallam Plus PSL headers, beams, columns, and posts in a variety of standard dimensions are ideal for framing decks, retaining walls, carports, pool enclosures, and outdoor shelters, among other structural framing applications where the wood comes in direct contact with the ground or moisture.
After assuring the structural condition of a home or building is sound, the four key components that should next be evaluated include: the garage door, entry door, windows and roof. If any of these areas are compromised during severe weather, then hurricane-force winds can enter the structure and cause massive damage.
Entryways into the home — especially the garage door — are vulnerable to impact from flying debris from hurricane strength winds along with air force that can potentially “suck in” a garage door. Passing two industry tests — DASMA 108 for static air pressure, and DASMA 115 for impact and cyclical wind pressure — are critical for garage doors.
Several heavy-gauge steel garage doors from Haas Door® have received the Miami-Dade County’s Notice of Acceptance (NOA) certifying that the doors conform to High Velocity Hurricane Zone (HVHZ) provisions and Miami-Dade requirements. Steel struts installed inside these hard-working and stylish garage doors have helped them pass tests with design pressures up to +65.0/-73.5 pounds per square foot (PSF) for a door up to 9’2″.
Another vulnerable opening in the home are the windows. Structures in hurricane-prone areas should have windows that meet local codes and include impact-resistant glass. Even privacy windows should meet codes.
The Storm-Lite silkscreened glass privacy window from Hy-Lite® is certified to AAMA 506-06 specifications for Hurricane Impact and Cycle Testing, and has a Design Pressure Rating of DP50 in Wind Zone 4. The 4′ x 4′ fixed decorative glass window features a one-inch insulated unit with an annealed, laminated exterior glass in a heavy-duty vinyl frame to resist impact from flying debris. The unit also has tempered glass on the interior for enhanced safety, privacy and decorative style.
On top of the home, it’s critical that the roof overhead be able to sustain both straight line and pressurized winds during a hurricane. Severe winds can uplift shingles off a roof, push intense wind-driven rain at a roof, or cause flying debris to strike a roof.
The smart decision is to select a roof that meets Class 4 ratings for impact resistance along with the Miami Dade County Acceptance (High Velocity Hurricane Winds) and the Texas Department of Insurance. Synthetic roofing materials, like those from DaVinci Roofscapes®, meet these criteria and can withstand strong hurricane-force winds.
In addition, DaVinci slate and shake roofing tiles are rated Class A for fire retardance and have achieved the highest rating for straight line wind testing at 110 mph. The composite roofing material also has a lifetime limited warranty for added peace-of-mind.
Before the onset of Hurricane Season 2016, take time to evaluate the structures where you live and work. Make upgrades and changes now that can prepare you to weather upcoming storms. For more Hurricane Preparedness Week tips, visit http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/hurricane_preparedness.html