Phone lines at Storm Stoppers have been ringing up a storm since Isaac was named a storm with Florida in its possible path. Owner John Smith says he's fielding at least 40 calls a day, folks thinking they might need to prepare and protect their windows for a storm.
Smith showed us how easy his product is to use. He didn't once use a four letter word. He simply lifts them up, pops them into place, uses his fist or a mallet to secure storm stoppers to protect his windows in case of a hurricane. "I invented the storm stopper 8 years ago when I couldn't find plywood, out of necessity. It worked. It's corrugated plastic held on with 3M Dual lock. It's not Velcro...but it works like Velcro," said Smith.
Storm Stoppers are sold in large sheets just like plywood. Unlike plywood it's been large missile lab impact tested, earning it's passed hurricane lab tests and can sustain winds up to 129 miles per hour. Yet, Storm Stoppers are much lighter than plywood. All you need to size it to your windows are a measuring tape, a carpenter knife, a straight edge and clamps.
You strategically place the duel lock (imagine an industrial strength Velcro) every few inches around the window and match that up with the inside of the Storm Stopper. Cutting and setting up Storm Stoppers the first time takes about 30 minutes per window. The next go around will only take about a minute per window.
Storm Stoppers are more expensive than plywood. They cost roughly $2,000 for a 1500 sq. ft. house with 14 windows. Unlike plywood, Storm Stoppers weigh considerably less, they're easier to handle, they don't require an electric saw and they don't warp.
Smith says he'll be open for business all weekend, just in case we do end up Isaac's path.