20th Anniversary of Hurricane Andrew and Looming Isaac a Reminder to be Prepared

Aug 24, 2012

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Today marks 20 years since Hurricane Andrew made landfall in South Florida, devastating Homestead, Florida City and parts of Miami. Total damage in the United States was estimated to be in excess of $20 billion, making it the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history at that time.

The storm taught the building products industry and homeowners some valuable lessons about the importance of being prepared for the worst-case scenario. Since that time building codes have been revised to help protect homes and their owners from the effects of strong wind events.

According to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Association), the loss of a garage door during a hurricane can lead to an uncontrolled buildup of internal pressure resulting in a blowout of the roof and supporting walls.

Code-compliant garage doors are critical to preserving a home’s structural integrity during a hurricane. Because of their size, garage doors are more susceptible to wind damage than other exterior openings – especially two-car garage doors. Unless you have a tested, hurricane resistant door installed, high winds can force it out of the roller track.

Clopay® has been at the forefront of developing reinforced garage doors that meet and exceed the revised building codes.

With the 20th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew and the forecast for Isaac looking to hit Florida, now is a good time to review garage door hurricane safety.

"Lock and go" garage door -  Clopay WindCode® garage doors  are "storm ready", meaning there is no need to add a post or additional reinforcement to secure the door. Reinforcement is built into the structure of the door and is engaged by simply locking it, a timesaving convenience in the event of a sudden evacuation notice.

This type of door is particularly beneficial to vacation home and rental property owners because they have peace of mind knowing that the garage door is secure as long as it’s locked.

Disconnect your garage door opener - If you try to use your garage door opener when the garage door is locked it will damage the door and/or the opener.

  1. Disconnect or unplug your automatic garage door opener when the garage door is in the closed position, not when it’s open.
  2. Pull the emergency cord to disconnect the door from the garage door opener. The cord usually has a red handle and will hang down from the center rail of the garage door mechanism.
  3. Lift the garage door straight up until the door is fully open. Make sure the door will remain open before leaving it unattended.
  4. Close the door manually until it reaches the floor.
  5. Lock the door. When the automatic opener is disconnected the door is not securely shut until you manually slide the lock bar.
  6. Reconnect the opener when you return to your home. Make sure the door is unlocked when the opener is reconnected. Opening the garage door with the lock bar in place can cause major damage.

Non-Clopay garage doors – Some garage doors require the homeowner to manually install reinforcement posts to o secure the garage door for a storm. This process can be time consuming and difficult, but is critical to properly secure your garage door. Review the installation instructions provided with your door or contact the installer for help.

Read more about choosing a hurricane ready garage door.


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