If you stay anywhere along the U.S coastline, then you are vulnerable to hurricanes and your homes should be protected against winds that can touch speeds of 110 miles per hour or greater. At present, the best bet for such protection is hurricane impact windows. These are better than plain hurricane windows and plywood protection. Impact windows conform to certain criteria. For example, in Florida the Miami-Dade Building Code lays down certain rules.
These rules require that every opening that opens to the outside should be protected against debris that can be hurled at such doors and windows. These rules are applicable to both residential and commercial properties. The impact resistance is measured for large-missile impact and resistance to small missiles.
Of course, such tests are no guarantee of protection in times of a hurricane but they ensure that hurricane safety products that you install meet certain essential criteria. The tests are severe with one test requiring that the product pass positive and negative wind loads for 9,000 cycles and resultant impact should not create a hole larger than 1/16 x 5″ in the interlayer of the glass. If your doors and windows are situated at 30 feet or less from the ground then they have to comply with the large missile test and should be compliant with both tests if they are situated 30 feet and above the ground level. You can look up products in the Miami-Dade system.