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Hurricane Center

hurricane rated impact garage doors

Here at Broten, we know a thing or two about hurricanes.

Being based in Broward County for 60 years, we have been through storms like Andrew, Katrina and Wilma. All of our products are tested to ensure they surpass hurricane code requirements. We want to make sure your family is safe, not only during hurricane season, but all year round. We have a list of frequently asked questions and storm tips, and we are available to answer any questions or concerns. Your safety is our top priority.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Before hurricane season begins, experts agree that one of the best things to do is prepare a family hurricane plan — an outline that specifies what every member of the family will do before, during and after a hurricane.

Some general guidelines for preparing your family hurricane plan are:

  • Find out if you live in an evacuation zone.
  • Call your local emergency information center.
  • Decide in advance where your family will stay during a hurricane — at home, a friend’s home, a shelter or a hotel. Pick a back-up location in case there is a problem with your first choice. Make sure everyone knows the location, address and phone number.
  • Ask an out-of-town relative or friend to be your emergency contact, and make sure everyone knows that person’s phone number. Tell your contact person where you will be during the hurricane.
  • Make arrangements for those with special needs.
  • Talk to your employer about whether you will have to work in the event of a hurricane. If so, decide who will pick up the children from school.
  • Practice and review your plan.

A hurricane supply kit should be put together long before a hurricane threatens your area.

Contact us with any questions or comments about our Hurricane Preparedness Information.

Without protection, your home is at risk if a hurricane strikes. All windows and doors should be protected with products that meet the new building code. Shutters, windows and doors that meet strict hurricane resistance standards are classified as, “hurricane protection products.” In addition to new shutters, there are also hurricane-resistant windows and doors that provide protection without using shutters. These windows and doors seal against the rain and windblown debris. If hurricane-force winds happen to get inside the house, your roof will not survive. Roofs are not designed to withstand wind pressure pushing up from the inside. Since hurricane-force winds can come from any direction, it’s important to protect the entire house. When shopping for your hurricane protection products, make sure the products you choose are approved.

Contact us with any questions or comments about our Hurricane Preparedness Information.

Chances are, if your garage door is more than 10 years old, it does not meet the new Florida Building Code criteria for safety against hurricane winds.

The single most important improvement you can make to your home is to install a Hurricane-Rated garage door.

Contact us to learn more about hurricane codes, and to see if your garage door meets Florida’s Building Codes.

As the single largest opening on a house, the loss of a garage door during a hurricane can lead to an uncontrolled buildup of internal pressure resulting in a complete or partial blowout of the entire roof system and supporting walls,” said Mark Westerfield, manager of product development and engineering for Clopay Building Products Company, the largest U.S. manufacturer of residential garage doors. “Hurricane Andrew taught the building products industry and homeowners some valuable lessons on the importance of being prepared for the worst-case scenario.”

Contact us with any questions or comments about our Hurricane Preparedness Information.

“Garage doors are now considered to be one of the most important parts of a building’s structure in regards to maintaining its structural integrity during a hurricane,” states Mark Westerfield, manager of product development and engineering for Clopay Building Products Company, the largest U.S. manufacturer of residential garage doors.

In March 2002, 10 years after Hurricane Andrew ravaged South Florida, the state adopted stricter building codes that require new garage doors or replacement doors to be structurally reinforced to withstand specific wind load requirements. In Miami-Dade and Broward counties the wind load requirement is 146 mph and 140 mph, respectively. In other parts of Florida, it ranges from 100 to 150 mph.

“To meet the new codes, garage doors must have heavier gauge tracking and springs to help keep them in place under extreme wind loads,” added Westerfield. “Retrofitting a door with new hardware won’t provide the same structural integrity as a new door in the event of a storm.” Homeowners who have not replaced their garage door since the code took effect should consider installing a code-approved, reinforced model.

Contact us with any questions or comments about our Hurricane Preparedness Information.

A reinforced door doesn’t necessarily mean covering the garage opening in a solid sea of steel. Broten Garage Door Sales also offers a variety of styles from which to choose and they are all hurricane-rated products. You can see all of these products and much more in the product section. Just follow this link and choose from several collections listed on the left.
There are many code compliant design options available to complement most architectural styles, from Contemporary to Mediterranean. Clopay is the first manufacturer in the industry to develop decorative windows that can withstand 350-pounds of impact energy as required by the new stricter code.
Contact us with any questions or comments about our Hurricane Preparedness Information.

There are two kinds of reinforced garage doors available. The first features long posts that a homeowner must install in the floor and ceiling to secure the door before the storm hits, and then remove afterwards to resume normal operation. This is known as Active reinforcement since you have to act to put it in place.

In a Passive system no advanced setup is required. Reinforcement is contained within the structure of the door and is engaged by simply locking the door, 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 door is secure as long as it’s locked.

At Broten Garage Door Sales our doors have built-in (Passive) reinforcement.

Contact us with any questions or comments about our Hurricane Preparedness Information.

Yes. The garage door makes up a significant portion of the outside wall of your home. As such, it is actually a structural element, whose strength is crucial to the integrity of the home in the event of hurricane-force winds. It is for this reason that cities and counties require permits for the replacement of garage doors, thereby insuring the strength and safety of the door and the remaining structure.

Contact us with any questions or comments about our Hurricane Preparedness Information.

If the power goes out, homeowners may need to disconnect their electric openers to manually open the garage door. That can be easier said than done, so we suggest homeowners learn how to do it before an emergency arises. To prevent having to search frantically for a garage door instruction manual in the dark, here are some helpful tips:

  • Disconnect the garage door opener when the garage is in the closed position, not when it’s open. If the springs aren’t balanced, the door could suddenly drop to the ground and cause injury. If the springs are properly balanced, the door will open easily with the lift handles. If it is difficult to open, have a professional garage door service technician check the door as soon as possible to avoid further damage or safety risks.
  • Lock the door. When the automatic opener is disconnected the door is not securely shut until you manually slide the lock bar.
  • Reconnect the opener when the power comes back on. Make sure the door is unlocked when the opener is reconnected. Electrically opening the garage door while the lock bar is still in place can cause major damage.
  • Invest in an automatic door opener that includes a battery back-up feature. That way, when the power goes out, the garage door will still function using the opener, as will the entry keypad and the safety sensors, and the garage door will be locked and secured.

Contact us with any questions or comments about our Hurricane Preparedness Information.

Post-High Wind Event Door Operation By A Building Occupant

Building occupants should not attempt to remove, adjust or repair doors, springs, or any other door system components, or anything to which they are fastened. Doors are large, heavy objects that move with the help of springs under extreme tension, and can cause serious injury or death. Only trained door systems technicians should remove, repair or adjust doors.
If a building occupant is unsure of the condition of the framing surrounding the door to which the door is attached, a building contractor or design professional should be contacted.
If any problem is observed during visual inspection, visual inspection should immediately cease, the door should not be operationally inspected and a trained door systems technician should be contacted to resolve the problem.

If any problem is encountered during operational inspection, the door should be immediately and carefully lowered to the closed position and a trained door systems technician should be contacted to correct the problem.
Any deformation of panels, tracks or hardware can make a door questionable with regard to withstanding another high wind event. A professional door installer should be contacted in this case.

Visual Inspection

  • Begin inside the garage. The door should remain closed during this activity. A flashlight and a step stool or ladder should be kept handy.
  • Door alignment. Check for misalignment of door or door components, or evidence of damage including broken or cracked glass.
  • Opening frame. Visually inspect jambs and header for proper attachment to the structure including any loose or improperly attached connections.
  • Door track system. Visually inspect for any looseness of fasteners or misalignment of the track. If OK, continue with the inspection.Contact us with any questions or comments about our Hurricane Preparedness Information.

Contact us with any questions or comments about our Hurricane Preparedness Information.

Primarily straight-line winds associated with velocity pressures that are a result of hurricanes, thunderstorms and other non-tornadic events.

Contact us with any questions or comments about our Hurricane Preparedness Information.

Hurricanes are severe tropical cyclones with winds reaching sustained speeds of 74 miles per hour or more. Hurricane winds spiraling toward a relatively calm center or eye of low pressure at speeds which may reach more than 150 miles per hour (130 knots). Near the center hurricane winds may gust to more than 200 miles per hour. Although usually erratic and unpredictable, hurricanes generally follow a westerly to northwesterly path. In the Atlantic, they move toward the Gulf of Mexico or the Eastern U.S. coast causing abnormal water level fluctuations known as hurricane surges. Major hurricane hazards include high winds heavy rainfall, flooding, storm surge and high surf. Every year, these violent storms bring destruction to coastlines and islands in their path.

Contact us with any questions or comments about our Hurricane Preparedness Information.

Yes. Hurricanes are categorized from 1 through 5, by the Saffir/Simpson Scale. These magnitudes are assigned in accordance to the amount of potential damage and wind speed.



Category One
Winds of 74-95 mph. Storm surge generally 4-5 feet above normal. Damage primarily to unanchored mobile homes, power lines and trees. 
Example: Hurricane Katrina (Florida), 2005.



Category Two
Winds 96-110 mph. Storm surge generally 6-8 feet above normal. Some damage to roofs, doors and windows. Considerable damage to trees, mobile homes, small boats in unprotected anchorages and piers.
 Example: Hurricane Wilma, 2005.



Category Three
Winds 111-130 mph. Storm surge generally 9-12 feet above normal. Some structural damage to homes and buildings. Heavy damage/destruction of trees and mobile homes. 
Example: Hurricane Frances, 2004.



Category Four

Winds 131-155 mph. Storm surge generally 13-18 feet above normal. More extensive roof damage on small homes. Shrubs, trees and all signs are blown down. Complete destruction of mobile homes. Extensive damage to doors and windows. Low-lying escape routes may be cut by rising water 3-5 hours before the arrival of the center of the hurricane.
 Example: Hurricane Charley, 2004.

Category Five
Winds greater than 155 mph. Storm surge generally more than 18 feet above normal. Complete roof failure on many residences and industrial buildings. All shrubs, trees and signs blown down. Complete destruction of mobile homes. Severe and extensive window and door damage. Low-lying escape routes are cut by rising water three to five hours before the arrival of the center of the hurricane. Major damage to lower floors of all structures located less than 15 feet above sea level and within 500 yards of the shoreline.
 Example: Hurricane Andrew, 1992.

Contact us with any questions or comments about our Hurricane Preparedness Information.

Have a TWO WEEKS supply of each item for each person in your home.

WATER

  • Seven gallons of water per person (1/2 gallon for drinking and 2 gallons for bathing, tooth brushing, etc.).
  • Store water in clean, plastic containers.

FOOD

  • Purchase foods that require no refrigeration and little preparation such as:
  • Ready-to-eat canned food
  • Canned juices, milk, soup (if powdered, store extra water)
  • Soft drinks, instant coffee, and tea.
  • Lots of ice (You can freeze your water supply.)

BABY

  • Formula, bottles, powdered milk, jarred baby foods
  • Diapers, moist towelettes, and special medications

PETS

  • Newspapers or cat litter for your pet’s sanitary needs
  • Moist canned foods in order to preserve water
  • Plastic sheets to cover the floor of pet’s room

MEDICINE

  • First aid kit, rubbing alcohol
  • Aspirin, non-aspirin pain reliever and antacid
  • Extra prescription medication (especially for those with heart problems and diabetics)
  • Ask your physician or pharmacist how to store prescription medication.

PERSONAL ITEMS

  • Toilet paper, towels, soap, shampoo
  • Personal and feminine hygiene products
  • Denture needs, contact lenses and an extra pair of eyeglasses
  • Sun protection, insect repellent

ELECTRONICS

  • Make sure you have all your necessary electronics (phone, tablet, laptop) fully charged
  • Make sure you have all power cords and charging accessories accounted for
  • In case you encounter sudden flooding or heavy rain, it is recommended to store your electronics in a waterproof case
  • Before the storm, make sure you backup all important files and documents
  • During the storm, avoid having electronics on, unless in emergency use, that way you can conserve their power

OTHER SUPPLIES

  • Battery-operated radio, flashlights, non-electric can opener, extra batteries
  • Charcoal, waterproof matches, extra propane for gas grills (Use grills outside only.)**
  • ABC-rated fire extinguisher in a small canister
  • Portable cooler
  • Plenty of absorbent towels, plastic trash bags
  • Wind-up or battery-operated clock
  • Tarp or sheet plastic, duct tape, hammer, and nails (for temporary roof repairs)
  • Cleaning supplies such as chlorine bleach
  • Aluminum foil, paper napkins, and plates, plastic cups.
  • Can of spray paint (can be used to identify your home for insurance adjusters in case it’s damaged)
  • These items can cause fires and shouldn’t be stored inside the house.

CLOTHING/BEDDING

  • At least one change of clothing per person, sturdy shoes, hat and work gloves
  • Blankets and pillows or sleeping bags

YOUR HOME

Complete this checklist before hurricane season:

  • Learn the elevation of your area and find out if you’re in an evacuation zone.
  • Make a list of loose items outside your home that should be put inside or tied down such as garbage cans, plants, etc. Don’t forget the TV antenna. Urge neighbors to do the same.
  • Trim trees and bushes before hurricane season. Excess limbs can break windows and damage roofs.
  • Install hurricane shutters that meet building code requirements.
  • Inspect the roof for loose tiles or shingles and debris.
  • The main electric breaker, water valve, and gas valve may need to be shut off. Know their locations.
  • Take pictures or record the condition of your home and personal property before hurricane season.

Contact us with any questions or comments about our Hurricane Preparedness Information.

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