Board up your windows for hurricane
: During a hurricane, my wife insists that making the house as airtight as possible is essential, i.e., close all the windows to prevent them from blowing out. Do you know of any practical or scientific recommendation about this?
Answer: We called state Civil Defense and were referred to Gary Chock, a structural engineer with the local firm Martin and Chock.
Chock, an adviser to the State Hazard Mitigation Forum and member of the Multihazard Science Advisory Committee, said your wife is correct.
In the event of a hurricane, you should make your house as airtight as possible.
We found some information to the contrary on the Internet, with homeowners advised to open small windows on the side away from the wind, then closing and opening others as the wind direction changes.
However, Chock said that is an "urban myth." That has "never been recommended by the National Weather Service or any credible scientific source," he said.
Instead, "you don't want to allow any positive or negative pressurization of the home, so it's important to keep the windows closed," he said. "What can happen during a hurricane is that debris missiles can break the glass and breach the closure, and cause unintended pressurization."
That's where window protection comes in -- essentially, boarding the windows.
We asked Chock if taping windows -- putting big X's of tape on them -- actually helps.
"It doesn't really do anything," he said. Doing so "may not necessarily be time well spent in preparations, because just putting a little tape on the windows is not going to help."
If homeowners have time to do anything, they should consider boarding up the windows instead, Chock said.
Meanwhile, he pointed out that Senate Bill 960 Conference Draft 1, which became law in July, will provide partial rebates to homeowners who undertake some forms of hurricane protection, such as adding hurricane clips and window protection, and making roof decking upgrades.
The bill had been vetoed by Gov. Linda Lingle, but the Senate came back in a special session to override the veto.
Homeowners "should be on the look out for that program in 2006," Chock said.
I went to a Kaneohe yard sale on Saturday, Sept. 24. I was told to make an offer on a tea set, which I did, and handed the seller the money. "Auwe" to a woman who accused me of highway robbery and proceeded to outbid me. And "auwe" to the seller for backing out of a deal. -- No Name
On the evening of Sept. 21 at the Keeaumoku Street Wal-Mart, my 3-year-old granddaughter's fingers got caught in the elevator door. Two men wrested the door open with great effort, freeing her fingers. Our deepest gratitude to these two angels. -- Very Grateful Family
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