Every once in a few years, places such as Louisiana and Florida are faced with a hurricane that lashes out with win speeds in excess of 150 mph. These wind speeds and storm tides can batter houses and buildings. Civil engineers have been experimenting with designs that can absorb or deflect the energies of these furious winds. A building designed to withstand category four and five hurricanes can provide shelter to people who may not have had the time to reach higher ground.
Considerations when building a hurricane-proof house include resistance to storm surges, resistance to wind, shape of the house, location of the house, building components, materials used.
If fifteen to eighteen feet high storm surges reach the ground or first floor of a building, they can quickly batter the building down and if the foundation is shallow or on sandy ground, the building will collapse. Walls made of materials such as sheetrock will disintegrate quickly. Ideally the building should be elevated on steel or concrete beams and should be attached to solid rock.
Winds attacking the roof of a building can take off with the roof if it is not firmly attached to the foundation through the walls. If the roofing goes, the entire building can fail very quickly. Hurricane harness strapping should be applied to the roof during the storm season and removed afterwards.
An underground cave or a bunker is the best way to wait out a hurricane if you are on high ground away from the storm surge.
A geodesic roof made of wood or concrete offers better resistance to hurricane winds as compared to a square roof. Hurricane shutters play an important role in keeping the winds out. Doors and windows are the usual failure points that succumb to the winds. If the winds enter the house then they can blow the roof off inside a minute. Use appropriate shutters to keep the doors and windows secure.
Hurricane-proof buildings should comply with building codes for the area. See if you can get the doors to be retro-fitted for extra bracing power. An important thing to remember is that doors and windows should open outwards. The windows should have shatter-proof glass or plastic panes. Use aluminum shutters to protect the panes.
If wood can be protected from insects and rot then its flexibility is an advantage in hurricane–prone areas. Reinforced concrete can take a lot of battering and offer safety against high winds and even the waves.
Larry A. - March - 2019 - San Diego, California I am writing this email to say Thank You to everyone at Empire. I have just finished installing the rolling and accoridon shutters you shipped to me on order 26692.The quality of your product is excellent, and your delivery was shorter than expected. The care that was taken by the people that packaged my shutters is above and beyond, and greatly appreciated. The patience Michael Joiner and his sales team showed me over the weeks I was debating what kind of shutters to by, and from whom, was also greatly appreciated. I would be happy to be a reference here on the West Coast if you should ever want one. -Larry
Mark P. - February - 2019 - St. Croix. U.S. Virgin Islands Thanks Empire Construction! Job well done with no issues. I really appreciate purchasing your products. I'm also looking forward to doing more business with you guys in the future. You guys are the best!!
Judy S. – January – 2019 - Cocoa Beach, Florida
Thanks so much for all your help!! My husband is thrilled with the Rolling Shutters and they look great.
Guven Y. – January – 2019 – Malabar, Florida
Thank you very much for everything. All of the Bahama Shutters have been hung and they all look great! They are very quality work and I am getting a lot of inquiries about them.Thanks again.
Gerald B – December – 2018 - Mattapoisett, Massachusetts
The Rolling Shutters are up and running and fit perfectly. They appear to be a very high quality product.
Jan T – November – 2018 – Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida Barbara,I just wanted to tell you the storm panels went up very nicely and you sent me all the proper panels. I'll be ordering the panels for the rest of the house after the holidays. Thank you again for your assistance and it was a pleasure working with you.
Mike G. - October - 2018 - Port Charlotte, Florida
Excellent Product! Thank you Ryan. Please pass my thanks along to Bill and the rest of the team as well. I am really impressed with the system we received. Thank you all for continuing that quality product with good support.
Robert H. - September - 2018 - Beaufort, South Carolina
My Accordion Shutters are up! The windows took about 1.5 hours each. The shutters all fit very nicely, the material and finish is excellent, and they look very good. They are not intrusive at all. I am pleased, my wife is pleased ( you know that is important) and my neighbor, who helped me was impressed based upon his window/door experience. Good job! Thanks.
Marcus J. - August - 2018 - St. John, U.S Virgin Islands Hello everyone at Empire, Marcus from St. John here. This project is being done by me and 1 helper, and we're going back much stronger, with many more tap cons, and wedge anchors than the original installers had done. Your rolling shutters are amazing, great quality and workmanship. Everything is going great so far!
David G. - July - 2018 - Sarasota, Florida
We wanted to self-install so we bought accordions and roll downs from Empire Construction.We measured our window and patio and sent Empire the specs.The shutters were an exact match.Installation is very doable for two reasonably mechanical people. In this case it was only one mechanical person and some extra hands. The accordions were a breeze as installation was mostly marking holes for spots, drilling holes, and screwing them in.Our accordions have locking pins that hold them open and act as a second lock when closed. Even if a projectile breaks the lock the rods will keep the shutters closed.These shutters are Bertha HV1. They are High Velocity Hurricane Zone Approved. Having seen a wide range of shutters we are extremely happy with the quality of the product we received!!
Jim J. - June - 2018 - Homestead , Florida
I installed fourteen aluminum accordion shutters which I purchased from Empire Construction.I could not be happier with my choice.The shutters are made very well and are powder-coated.The purchase included all of the required hardware which was powder-coated to match the shutters.The company is very customer-oriented.Michael and his staff were wonderful.They were attentive, helpful, and a delight to work with.The installation video on the website made the installation very easy.I highly recommend Empire Construction to anyone considering a purchase of hurricane shutters. Thanks again. Please say Hi to everyone,
Steffan L. - May - 2018 - St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, Florida
I picked up my shipment today at Paradise freight here on St Croix. Your shipping (and your products) deserves the highest rating. Thanks for excellent service..