Coastal Areas Ready Themselves for a Likely Active Hurricane Season
June 9, 2010

June 1 marked the official start to the 2010 hurricane season and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasters are once again predicting it will be an “active to extremely active” season. Across the entire Atlantic Basin for the six-month season, NOAA is projecting a 70 percent probability of 14 to 23 named storms, of which eight to 14 could become hurricanes, including three to seven major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5) with winds reaching at least 111 mph.

“If this outlook holds true, this season could be one of the more active on record,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “The greater likelihood of storms brings an increased risk of a landfall. In short, we urge everyone to be prepared.”

Florida glass shops as well as those along the Gulf Coast are no strangers to hurricanes, and many are already getting ready for whatever this year may bring.

“This season, I’m prepared for the worst,” says Leon Cirou, vice president of Cirou Glass and Shutter Co. in Naples, Fla. “But each hurricane season, I prepare for the worst.”

Despite the prediction for an active hurricane system, Tom Kopec, North American architectural manager for Dupont, says demand for hurricane-resistant products has not changed compared to years past. He says companies continue to introduce new products and systems regardless of the NOAA prediction.

But whether or not sales of hurricane-resistant window systems increase, the benefits of these products has been proven and a many safety organizations encourage their use. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently released a statement touting the benefits of laminated glass. The agency encouraged reinforcing glass windows and doors by: Installing impact-resistant laminated glass door or window systems and/or applying high-strength window security films to standard window and patio door glass. (CLICK HERE to read more.)

 Still, hurricane season brings with it a host of questions and concerns for many areas, particularly those that have already endured significant disasters this year. Some concerns relate to whether a hurricane will hit Haiti, and how an area, already devastated this year, will cope; how a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico could affect the oil spill; and whether a hurricane will reach the coastal areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, some of which are still recovering from 2005’s Hurricane Katrina.

CLICK HERE to read NOAA’s full outlook.

Need more info and analysis about the issues?
CLICK HERE to subscribe to USGlass magazine.