Hurricanes are becoming more and more prevalent and powerful, and with all the destruction that has taken place in the past, insurance companies are starting to refuse insurance to people who live in the areas that most need that insurance.
The only solution is to protect your home as best you can yourself.
If you live in an area that is frequently hit by hurricanes or windstorms, it is probably the law that you have hurricane-proof windows. However, even these (windows with plastic panes, shatter-proof glass or glass with protective membranes) can use all the help they can get. In a hurricane the strength of your windows is the difference between your house surviving with minimum damage, or with a missing roof. If a window breaks because of battering by strong winds, those winds rush into the house like a freight train, air pressure inside the building increases, and that's what helps cause the roof to be ripped off.
So don't be stingy. Get the best hurricane shutters you can.
As with any other household item on the market, there are quite a lot of choices to choose from. You can purchase removable shutters - but shutters are heavy and you will have to have the strength to remove them and a safe place to store them. Other shutters are affixed permanently to the house. Even though these shutters are a necessity, there is no reason why they cannot also look attractive until they have to be put to use.
Save time and money by surfing around the internet and comparing prices and features. Then visit your local home improvement and home decor stores and discussing your needs with the people there, so you can make an informed decision.
Hurricane Depot carries hurricane storm panels for your windows, but also braces for your garage door. Don't neglect that important part of your home, by the way!
Storm Shutters is another online company that carries hurricane shutters, as well as other kinds of storm shutters for those of you who live in areas subject to tornadoes or violent windstorms.
Aluminum or steel too heavy? A company called Wayne Dalton provides Fabric-Shield storm panels! There are PVC coated woven fabric panels - tested to block rain, wind, and storm-driven projectiles.
1. Hurricane Storm Panels
These panels are the most inexpensive system you can purchase. The panels are made of aluminum or steel, and are removable for easy storage. (If you are going to store them, however, make sure that you are strong enough to put them back on their tracks should you need to. And make sure that all the hardware you need to replace the panels, stays with them. )
2. Roll Down Hurricane Shutter
Roll down shutters are attached to the top of your window, and are lowered through the use of an electric motor. Should your power go out, they can also be lowered by the use of a hand crank. These shutters will protect you not only from a hurricanes, but from home intruders as well. However, because they are automatic, they are expensive.
3. Accordion-Type Hurricane Shutter
Accordion shutters, which as the name implies fold and unfold like an accordion, are also relatively inexpensive, but there are maintenance issues you need to be aware of. It is very important that the glide wheels on which they roll be well-maintained, and the last thing you want to do is find out that you can't shut them when you really, really need to.
These types of shutters are used to enclose your entire porch or veranda, and would not be used for single windows.
4. Bahama-style Hurricane Shutter
The Bahama-style shutter is actually an awning. It's a single-piece shutter attached above the window. It only opens a little way, which allows in the air but not a lot of sunlight. (Which can be a good thing if you want to protect your furniture and paintings from fading. ). During a storm you lower the shutter completely and lock it down.
5. Colonial Hurricane Shutter
Colonial hurricane shutters always come in pairs. These are the most decorative of shutters, made of aluminum or steel. (Don't buy any that use styrofoam filler or sheet metal parts. These would be too weak to stand up to a real storm. .
Andrew Caxton is a consultant who writes on many consumer topics like furniture and home ideas for http://www.home-decorating-reviews.com A website with tips on vinyl shutters , amongst many related topics.