This will be the place to find all your hurricane prep information. Whether it be preparing your home, family, pets or evacuation plans here is where to find the information you need.
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Boarding up in prevention of the damages caused by a hurricane was a hassle before Storm Stoppers, which are translucent, easy to install and remove, 85 percent lighter than plywood and termite free.
And many people keep them on for shade, they're eye appealing and can save three to five percent in energy bills, said business owner John Smith.
Prior to hurricane Frances last year, Smith and Larke Kruse were looking for storm protection, but they couldn't find any plywood available in the stores. They thought they'd use three-eighths-inch thick translucent and waterproof corrugated plastic instead.
The couple found the plastic easy to cut and handle, and they secured it to windows using dual-locking fasteners, a sort of "super velcro" strip of industrial strength that Smith had already used for collegiate products they had marketed in the past.
"We first tried to screw the plastic to the windows and the window broke.
Then, we used the fasteners and they worked, and that's when we decided to start targeting the storm protection market," Smith said.
With the fasteners, it's not necessary to drill holes in the walls.
Smith took the plastic to a Florida-certified testing lab, where they used a four foot, 4.5 pound two-by-four at speeds that mimic 130 mph. The plastic passed the impact test.
Smith and Kruse started marketing the shutters last November. They already have licensed 20 retail dealers in the state, and one of them - Jerry Schroer, owner of Wind Brakers - serves the Naples and Marco Island areas.
Shroer, who in his 30 years working in Naples had never lived through a major storm, heard about the Storm Stoppers on the news and thought it was a great idea.
He found that, unlike plywood, Storm Stoppers are translucent and can be removed from the inside in the event of an emergency. They also pop out easily to provide an exit if needed.
He discovered that Smith was looking for retailers in the area, and after watching a demonstration, he decided to become a dealer.
Shroer comes from working in an advertising agency specializing in aircraft sales.
"I got my brother and my daughter involved in this business. We're basically setting up, putting the word out there," Shroer said. "We have e-mailed a list of consumers that John had gathered from his shows and are ready to launch a promotional campaign."
He added that he was very enthusiastic about the Storm Stoppers.
"It's a really good idea. These are stronger and lighter than plywood, are easily installed and you can push them away from the window if you need an exit," he added.
Shroer's first sale was to Marco Island residents Greg and Karen Salvi.
"Storm Stoppers are a vast improvement over the plywood we have used in the past," noted Karen.
"She especially liked the fact that the shutters are light enough that she can install them by herself, and that the panels are translucent, which lets light into the house and does not make her feel like she is living in a cave," Shroer said.
Storm Stoppers have been easy to commercialize because of their affordability, simplicity, availability and safety, Smith added.
The stoppers come in three different sizes: 74 x 80, 65 x 108 and 39 x 108. If necessary, they can be trimmed with a box cutter or any razor blade.
"They are extremely easy to install," Smith said. "The average cost is $100 per window."
The product is sold in sets, including the panel and all the components to secure it to the windows or doors, the fasteners, a special adhesive bonding solvent, location labels and handles for easy removal.
Smith stated they have Storm Stoppers in stock for immediate delivery. He now has 28 dealers in Florida.
For more information, visit their Web site at http://www.storm
stoppers.com or call 380-6949 or 434-9643.
This is being touted as a replacement for plywood only; not as a replacement for hurricane shutters.
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You guys are going to love this: http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/shutters/ I thought it was very interesting myself, go down to the bottom, under Hurricane Shutter Information, and click the link called General Shutter Info and that is NOAA's FAQ list on shutters, found within is this on films:
What about the plastic film and shatter resistant windows I've heard about ?
Although these are remarkable products that are being improved every year, they are no substitute for shutters. If you have windows that for some reason, such as access, can't be shuttered then you may wish to consider using the film or installing the shatter resistant glass.
Remember that the film only protects the glass, and the frame is still under pressure and the whole window could fail. Windows with these treatments will still suffer damage from the impact of debris and may have to be replaced after a storm, whereas a shutter would take most or all of the energy of such an impact. Films and special glasses also might not meet the building code for your area.
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