According to the Palm Beach Post’s 6am report Palm Beach County is expected to experience hurricane-force winds before dawn on Sunday. We have today and tomorrow to keep preparing, but it will be in the rain that we will be doing these preparations. I want to cover two main safety issues herein — the concept of negative pressure and the reality of projectiles.
According to Hurricanescience.org, if we get his with a category 4 storm with winds gusting up to 131-155 MHP:
Catastrophic damage will occur. Large amounts of windborne debris will be lofted into the air. There is a high risk of injury or death to people and animals due to flying and falling debris. Older mobile homes and a high percentage of newer mobile homes will be destroyed. Well-built homes can also sustain severe damage with significant losses to roof structures and/or some exterior walls. Extensive damage to roof coverings, windows, and doors will occur. Top floors of apartment buildings will sustain structural damage, steel frames in older industrial buildings and older unreinforced masonry buildings can collapse. Most windows will be blown out of high-rise buildings- falling and broken glass will pose a significant danger. Commercial signage and fences will be destroyed, most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles down. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months, long-term water shortages can be expected, and most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months. For more information please follow this link: http://www.hurricanescience.org/society/impacts/windsatlandfall/
For more technical information on the effects of negative pressure please see PHD Negative Pressure Report.
In summary, if ANY window in your building blows out, if the glass in your neighbor’s door blows out, if a sliding glass door blows out, if debris your neighbor left out creates a whole in the structure by being a projectile YOUR HOME CAN BE DESTROYED RIGHT ALONG SIDE YOUR NEIGHBORS HOME. So in short, I encourage everyone to get out today and help their neighbors — for reasons of self-preservation if that is all that makes sense to you.