HOLLYWOOD, FL — Hurricane shutters rattle as residents in Hollywood, Florida prepare their homes for one of the most powerful Atlantic storms in a century.
After barely surviving past hurricanes, interior designer Josel Suarez intalled these accordion shutters to protect his home from raging hurricanes like Irma.
Suarez and other residents are not taking any chance this time, now that a state of emergency has been declared in the sunshine state.
“We have to make sure we have cash, all the ATMs will not be working,
You have to make sure you have gas in your car, full tank, you have to make sure that you have food, canned goods,” he said.
“We’re going the extra step to prepare the inside of the house for the possibility of the windows being blown in, having a storm surge, having water…we’re actually in a mandatory evacuation zone, some people are staying, we’re leaving,” said Steve Piper.
With more than 200 original paintings in his collection, including a malang, Manansala and other great Filipino artists, protecting these treasures is a priority for Suarez.
“The house is pretty sturdy, and if the roof blows up, then we’ll have water damage of everything, that’s why we’re trying to secure it to make sure that whatever possibly we can avoid water in some of these art pieces.”
Instead of boarding up, Filipino doctor Briggs Legaspi now has the time to focus on watching the news.
He has installed new hurricane impact windows, which can withstand winds of up to 140 miles per hour.
The problem is, Irma’s sustained winds has reached 180 miles per hour in the Caribbeans.
“All the openings, including the doors are all hurricane impact, and they’re up to code, so we will see, this is the first time that this 1944 house will face this kind of storm, we’ll see if it holds up…”
This Filipino family is boarding up their windows to ride out the storm at their Pembroke Pines home.
Filipino restaurant owner Darren Mendoza says these affordable storm panels can do the job of protecting their windows from flying debris.
“Do not underestimate, if they told you to board up, you have to board up,” he said. “Last time, they told us to board up but it didn’t hit us, a lot of people were upset, but it’s actually good for us.”
Irma is expected to hit the US via Florida with a still powerful category 4 on Sunday.