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How to secure your windows to protect your home during a hurricane

cliddy@newsobserver.com

Do you know how to protect your windows during a hurricane? Here’s a hint: you’re going to need wood, not tape.

“It does not protect your windows and at best it is an inconvenience because you’re spending time taping the windows” — windows that can still shatter with wind-borne debris, says Brooke Holden, communications specialist with the Horry County Emergency Management Division.

Emergency officials say the best way to protect your windows from shattering during a hurricane is to board them up.

“Boards provide more support than tape,” Holden said. “If you don’t have shutters, you can board your windows and by doing so it is protecting your home and windows from breaking should tropical storm force winds reach your area.”

The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes recommends the following tips for boarding up windows:

  • Count and measure each window and door that has glass.
  • Measure each opening horizontally inside the exterior trim and vertically from the sill to the bottom of the top trim. Add eight inches to the height and width to provide a four-inch overlap on all sides.
  • Sheets of plywood are generally 4 feet by 8 feet. Be sure to purchase plywood that is 5/8 of an inch or greater in thickness. “The local hardware stores are familiar with this type of project,” Holden said.
  • Tools needed: circular saw, drill, drill bits, hammer, wrench, work gloves, safety goggles, bolts, wood or masonry anchors, nuts, large washers. A local hardware store can help you know what supplies you might need.
  • Drill holes in the same diameter as the bolts or screws, two inches in from the edges of the plywood at each corner and at 12-inch intervals around the panel.
  • Hold the plywood firmly in place over the opening to mark where to drill mounting holes.
  • When you’re done, mark each panel with the name of the opening so you will quickly know where to install it when a storm is approaching.
  • Store the panels, washers and nuts together in a location away from the elements. Consider waterproofing the panels with paint or a sealant.

For more tips on boarding up windows, visit http://bit.ly/2dzV3dv.

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