For pole building owners in high wind or hurricane areas, there are some tips which can be taken advantage of to reduce or minimize potential damage in the event of a catastrophic wind. Hurricane protection is something to think about when the wind is not blowing.
Does the building have windows?
If so, then an investment into Building Code approved hurricane shutters might be advisable. I’ve heard of insurance companies giving substantial discounts for having hurricane shutters installed on building windows. Don’t wait until the wind starts blowing, start on this project today – numerous vendors are advertising on the internet for hurricane protection products.
Don’t want to invest in hurricane shutters? Measure all of the windows, drive to the local lumberyard or big box lumberyard with the dimensions and quantities. The professionals there can make sure you get enough materials to adequately cover all of the windows (look for ¾” thick marine grade plywood), as well as the proper screws to adequately fasten the plywood to the sides of the building.
Once the plywood is home, cut to fit the windows, allowing enough distance past the window edges to fasten screws. Once cut, drill holes no less than every 12 inches around the perimeter of the plywood, and start the previously acquired screws into the holes. Label each sheet of plywood with the location of its window. Store all of these plywood window covers where they can be quickly accessed. Keep a cordless screw gun, with the appropriately sized driver bit (and a spare), by where the plywood is stored. The battery for the screw gun should be kept on a charger at the same location.
Why cordless? If the power goes out, driving screws by hand will not be fun.
For windows which cannot be easily reached from the ground – keep an appropriate length ladder along with the rest of the high wind supplies.
Don’t wait to do something for hurricane protection until a hurricane watch is posted. Even in 20 or 30 mile an hour winds, the plywood covers will be a task to install.
Besides the windows, make sure all doors are securely latched.
Do NOT park a car or other valuable vehicle or piece of equipment up against a large door with the idea this will prevent the door from blowing in. Backing vehicles up against the door from inside has very little value and may result in the car being damaged, along with the door.
Why is protecting windows and making certain doors are secured so important?
Once broken or opened, the wind blows inside to not only wreck the interior, but also to apply upward pressure on the roof, which might be enough to send it flying. If this happens, the walls could also collapse and your pole building…I am sorry to say…. is “done for”.