Companies in Hurricane Dorian Path “Prepare for the Worst, Hope for the Best”

August 30th, 2019 by Kyra Thompson

Not an accurate depiction of Hurricane Dorian.

Hurricane Dorian is gaining strength with its eye heading toward Florida’s Atlantic coast. The Category 3 storm is expected to become a Category 4 hurricane before making landfall Tuesday evening. Current projections predict it will hit South or Central Florida. As the nation watches for updates on the storm’s path and strength, door and window companies in the state are busy preparing for what could be a major hurricane.

“We are getting flooded with requests,” says Joe Carriker, the owner of HMT Windows and Doors, located in Palm Beach county. “There are so many businesses to board up, almost to the point that we don’t even have to leave the street.”

Carriker says that making sure people are safe is so important to him, that he has even been recommending customers who call to other trusted companies he knows if he doesn’t think he will be able to service them in time. His company is also working on several shutter projects for elderly citizens in the Century Village area.

Scott Berman, the president of Florida Window and Door, that has several locations throughout Florida, said that they have already hired several people and plan to hire more to prepare for the influx of customer needs expected after the storm.

Even beyond meeting customer requests, PGT Innovations, an impact door and window supplier who has facilities in Hialeah, Miami, Orlando and Venice, is offering emergency relief supplies and aid to those affected by the hurricane, according to president and CEO Jeff Jackson.

While many door and window companies are working to meet customer’s needs prior to the hurricane, it’s also important for companies to protect their business. GCI Consultants is a building envelope consulting firm based in West Palm Beach. Paul Beers, CEO and founder of the company, says GCI has several decades’ experience preparing for hurricanes.

He advises that door and window suppliers and manufacturers in the area remove all electronic equipment up from the floor and away from doors and windows. He also recommends closing all doors before leaving the building so that if one area is breached by the storm, the damage is more likely to be contained.

For active jobsites, it’s important to secure any loose items.

“It’s also important to take pictures of everything before the storm, such as the building, equipment and offices,” says Beers, adding that if a company needs to make an insurance claim it’s good to have documentation in an accessible place.

Having a contractor on speed dial for repairs post-hurricane could help with any potential recovery needed. Beers also says that it’s important to establish alternative means of communication, such as cell phones, for employees and key customers.

Window World of West Palm Beach is confident that its elevated warehouse is well-prepared as they finish boarding up windows and securing the warehouse doors, Yasix Bowen, the installation director assured.

“We’re well-stocked and prepared for after the storm,” Bowen says. “But right now, preparation is mostly handling the fears and concerns of our customers.”

Several companies in the West Palm Beach area are planning to close early so that employees have a chance to prepare their own homes.

“We’re getting a lot of requests but I am not going to ask the employees to try and address all of them, I can’t ask them to risk that, they need to get home to their families too,” Berman says.

As the south-eastern community prepares for the storm, much of what needs to be done is still uncertain.

“We are preparing the best we can for what we know,” says Berman. “But the problem is, with stuff like this, all you can do is prepare for the worst and hope for the best.”

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