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Window Board-Up – Storm Protection on the Southeast Texas Gulf Coast
Article by David Selter
It’s Hurricane season again and there is one thing on the mind of businesses in the Gulf Coast area stretching from Houston to Galveston – window board-up.
Clear Lake is in the center of this Houston to Galveston Interstate 45 corridor. The area is surrounded by Trinity Bay on the East and the Gulf of Mexico on the south and takes the full brunt of storms coming in off the Gulf. The storms tend to come right up the bay to the east or Interstate 45 to the west. This flat low lying land offers little resistance to the wind, so wind damage is usually severe and one of the top priorities of storm preparation is definitely window board-up.
Texas City is very vulnerable, being closer to the Gulf than Clear Lake and it is also right on the bay. But the most vulnerable is the city of Galveston, which is located on an island in the Gulf right at the mouth of the bay.
During a tropical storm flying debris is the norm, and once the windows of commercial spaces are breached the potential for damage to the interior is magnified. That is why at the first sign of a storm Drymore where you will see the first and the most thorough window board-up. Galveston has a long history of preparing and dealing with tropical storms and hurricanes going back to its founding and takes storm preparation very seriously.
At the other end of Trinity Bay is the city of Baytown, some 40 miles north of Galveston. Since it is on the northern end of the bay the city is susceptible to storm surges from the Gulf that funnel into and are magnified in the bay. The bay also provides little resistance to the strong winds of tropical storms approaching Baytown.
Window board-up is a must as debris has the potential to be carried by wind and water. But debris is not the only threat to commercial windows in a tropical storm or hurricane. Most of these areas are evacuated by most people when an approaching storm becomes imminent. The businesses in these partially deserted areas become fodder for looters as soon as the storm has passed and before the general population has been able to return. And if you have seen one of these places after a serious storm, you know that this can take quite a while. Businesses that have had their windows boarded up are a much harder target for looters.
Tropical storms cause serious business disruptions in coastal areas, and although there is nothing we can do about where a storm decides to strike, there are some preparations we can make to help limit the damage. Window board-up is an important part of storm preparation that can help protect businesses both from flying debris and unscrupulous looters.
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