The Different Kinds of Hurricane Protection

By Published On: May 19, 2021

The necessity of some form of hurricane window or shutter in the States near the Atlantic Ocean is undeniable. Each year the Atlantic Hurricane Season brings forth a variety of storms, many of which make landfall and cause devastating damage. Different areas in these states are more or less susceptible to damage than others.

Preparing for this requires more than simply battening down the hatches, you should be sure that the impact windows or shutters you’ve installed are adequate. The dangers of not doing this are apparent, and have been televised over the years with families losing their homes and, in some cases, lives.

Knowing which impact windows or shutters are adequate requires understanding the different types, and also knowing your area.

Here is an explanation of the kinds of impact windows and shutters, as well as a look at where these types of shutter or window will suffice.

There are many different suppliers which can offer better or worse quality versions of the following. Knowing the gist of each will give you a fair idea of how much they can handle, you can then compare that with the local standards.


Plywood is the cheapest alternative to impact windows and shutters for hurricane protection. Although it may cost less in the short-term, most panels will only survive one storm, and they may not keep everything out. Installing plywood over your windows also requires time, power tools, and some building experience.

This may be an okay option as a one-off while you’re waiting for proper impact windows or shutters to be installed. Otherwise, if you’re living in inland Florida near the border of Georgia, places like Lake City, Jasper, or Jennings; having plywood ready may suffice. These areas aren’t so prone to the full-force of hurricanes.

Watch this video for detailed instructions on how to board up your windows.

Colonial Shutters and Bahama Shutters

These two types of louvered shutters have been used for many years, and can offer some hurricane protection, while also giving your home a rustic look.

Colonial shutters are typically two shutters affixed to the sides of windows which bolt together.

Bahama shutters are hinged on top of the window, and come down to offer hurricane protection.

Both of these systems offer a relatively easy albeit time-consuming way to prepare your home for a storm. They also offer shade due to their louvered nature, and as mentioned they are an aesthetically-pleasing addition to traditional homes.

Their downsides are that they’re usually made of a soft wood to keep them light, which makes them quite weak. They’re also limited in their design to only protecting windows.

Consider these shutter systems for your home in inland Florida, where you may expect the tail-end of a storm, like Gainesville or the surrounding areas. Otherwise, these could suffice in Tallahassee if combined with another system.

Impact Windows

Also known as hurricane-proof windows, their main advantage lies in the fact that they eliminate the necessity of hurricane shutters. Designed to break like a car windscreen, a layer of plastic holds the glass together in the event that it does get smashed.

They’ve also proven to be more energy efficient than standard windows, and can aid protection from robberies.

As their installation usually requires the window frames to be retro-fitted, the best time to install them is during construction or a renovation. They also require installation by a professional to ensure their efficacy, and tend to be quite costly.

Impact Shutters

Modern hurricane shutters come in three main forms: storm panel shutters, accordion shutters, and roll-down shutters. These generally offer the best hurricane protection as well as most convenience, but come at a much higher cost. Here are some of the main features for each type:

Storm panel shutters

  • The most inexpensive of the shutters
  • They’re removable, thus requiring installation and storage
  • They can be difficult to handle and may require more than one person to make storm-ready

Accordion shutters

  • Typically affixed to the sides of windows which may mean trading aesthetic-look for convenience
  • Can be made storm-ready by one person as they glide on wheels, although this also makes them easier to break
  • Can offer protection from robbers if leaving the house for some time

Roll-down shutters

  • The most expensive of the shutter systems
  • The easiest to make storm-ready, usually by the push of a button or a crank
  • Offer the best protection and make for a great theft-deterrent

Impact Window Installation Palm Beach County

The importance of installing hurricane shutters or impact windows in Palm Beach County or in South Florida is well known to Floridians. Storms can come and go very quickly, and its best to be prepared before the fact.

Florida Window Experts have been helping homeowners protect their most precious investment for years. Our window installations have stood up to the meanest storms in recent history and have given our customers peace of mind when a storm is brewing. It’s nice to know that when a hurricane is forming, you have no need to rush to break your back and put up heavy metal shutters.

Contact Florida Window Experts today for more information on our impact window installation in Palm Beach County.

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