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Hurricane Panels:  Arm Your Windows

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Arm Your Windows

Key Features:
  • Light-weight panels roll down from the inside
  • 80 percent of daylight passes through
  • Install on permanent mounting strips during hurricane season, remove afterwards
  • Available in many designer colors and patterns
  • Starts at $20 per square foot
  • Pricing as of 2008.
Ask For:
  • Storm-A-Rest
Learn more about Storm-A-Rest:
by Deborah Holmes, Ebricks.com
This North Carolina company that specializes in bullet-proof vests now has a product that can stop a hurricane in its tracks.

Storm-A-Rest is a lightweight, fabric hurricane panel for windows and doors that operates like a roll-down blind. Available in a variety of designer colors and patterns, the fabric panels outperform sheets of plywood in projectile tests. And they comply with Florida's building code requirements for Category-4 hurricane protection, the toughest in the nation.

Strength comes from Honeywell's Spectra fiber, a variation of which is used in military and police vests. Only .025-inches thick, the fabric lets in about 80 percent of available daylight. That makes waiting out a hurricane a little easier for folks who would otherwise be sitting in the dark with windows covered in plywood or metal hurricane shutters.

Another plus is the zipper, which allows the panel to be rolled down from the inside by reaching through an open double-hung window. Four simple steps get the job done:

  • 1) Unlock the window and lower the top sash. Release the Velcro straps and allow the shade to roll down.
  • 2) From the inside, raise by the top and bottom sashes. Unzip the panel.
  • 3) From the inside, reach through zipper and locate the panel grommets over studs. Apply wing nuts.
  • 4) Close zipper, lower bottom sash and lock window.
Storm-A-Rest can be installed on wood, metal or brick with permanent mounting hardware. The manufacturer recommends installation by a certified installer. You'll also have to use a certified installer if you want to qualify for insurance discounts in Florida.

Once it's installed the panel can be rolled up over the door or window. After hurricane season, you can take the panels down -- they weigh less than 2 oz. per square foot -- and store them in a garage or closet.

Panels require minimal maintenance, such as cleaning with common household products. They are guaranteed for 10 years against fading, water and impact damage.

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