Transcription: StormSafe Rolling Shutters
Host: In September of 2004, back-to-back hurricanes ripped through Florida, causing billions of dollars in damage. And waking thousands up to the realization that their homes were not safe against one hundred twenty mile per hour winds. One of those people is Diane Madden, who lives in a condominium in Jupiter, just 10 miles South of where hurricane Jean and Francis both made landfall. She got a first hand look at what a category 3 storm can do.
Diane: The wind at this particular place is coming from several directions. So, the wind was really whipping in circles and it was taking the sun shutters out and twirling them around and wrapping around them around my furniture that was on the floor and all the furniture went out the door with the sun shades and the screens. Everything was gone.
Host: With forecasters predicting an even busier storm season in 2005, Madden realized it was time to be prepared. She went in search of a roll down shutter that was built to withstand powerful winds but she ran into a snag.
Diane: The first thing was, that you couldn’t even get an appointment. That you would call a company that you had heard about and they would say that the appointment to come and look at it was two months away at least. And, so, eventually, we did get a couple of appointments. We waited and they came, and then they said there wouldn’t be any shutters installed for seven or eight months.
Host: Then Mrs. Madden found an authorized dealer for QMI Roll-a-way shutters, the manufacturers of the AL6E. This shutter came about after more than four years of development and more than 10,000 hours of design and engineering. The AL6 slat has been put through over 250 hurricane impact tests and 135 large missile impact tests. It’s been subjected to 200 mile per hour winds. The result is the strongest most effective single walled roll down shutter available and happy customers like Mrs. Madden.
Diane: My experience from the first phone call until the end with QMI just couldn’t have been nicer. They came when they said they would. They came in time to get my shutters in before the next hurricane happened. I couldn’t have been more pleased.
Host: In two days, the company would install shutters across her entire patio, a shell of protection built to the most demanding standards, and operated with simple push button controls.
Diane: To have them motorized is a real luxury. To just push the button like you’re turning on your TV set and down it comes and back it goes.
Host: Then came the storm season of 2005 and Hurricane Wilma. Wilma once again battered South Florida with winds up to 100 miles per hour, passing over the Madden’s complex, and leaving a path of destruction in it’s wake.
Diane: Sure enough, Wilma came. Right again, right to our same location and many trees were taken down again. There were porches that lost their screens. My shutters were down, my shutters held up perfectly. My sister lives in the same complex and she came over and she came over a day after the hurricane and she said, “Dianna, there is not even a drop of water on your porch”. Everything was in perfect condition over here. My screens were protected as well as the interior.
Host: What Mrs. Madden has discovered since is how useful they are even after storm season has passed.
Diane: I invite people over just to see my shutters. I am so happy with them. I love the remote control. I can stand in the kitchen or living room and say it’s a little windy in that one corner, we’ll put that shutter down, and it’s just the most exciting thing. It gave me livability on this porch that I didn’t have before. Now I’ve added 56 feet of space to my condo just because of these shutters.
Host: Meanwhile, about 40 miles down the road in Boca Raton, a family of six was also experiencing the finer points of QMI’s rolling shutters. Eric and Jill built onto their home in 2004.
Eric: The part of the house I am standing at is the rear bedroom of a 750 ft. addition we added on the house last year before the hurricanes. Obviously, you spend a lot of time with the architect and a lot of money in the construction, $150- $200 a square foot.
Host: When it was all said and done, their addition included a bedroom, bathroom, playroom…
Eric: And there were five or six windows on this side that were very important to obviously have shutters on.
Host: The shutters were crucial because of the storms of course, but the homeowners were also looking for more than just hurricane protection. With the investment they made in their house, it was critical to Eric and Jill find a shutter that complimented the home’s exterior.
Eric: QMI was the only company that we looked at that really gave us the opportunity to enhance the look of our addition with their roll down shutters.
Host: So, aesthetically speaking, QMI was a perfect fit. But, it also gave Eric and Jill the extreme comfort level they needed to let their daughter sleep across the house from them.
Eric: Every night she goes and pushes a button and rolls the shutters down before she goes to bed. They are secure as can be. They’re not just hurricane shutters. They’re safety shutters, there is security, there is peace of mind in being all the way on the other side of the house in the master and knowing your nine year old daughter is, you know, 100 ft. away, but nobody’s getting into that room.
Host: So, much like the Maddens, Eric and Jill had discovered a shutter that was convenient, attractive, and safe. And, at the same time, they created much needed shelter from the storm.
Eric: The shutters are very simple to work and again that’s another huge key with the QMI shutters. You have a battery powered push button control that you simply walk up to, that brings the shutters down, slowly, nice and secure. When you want you can stop them in the middle, you can bring them all the way up. A three year old can do them. Very easy. Another thing is, as I mentioned they are battery powered so during the height of the storm, we were out of power for eight days during Wilma. It seemed like the only thing that worked in the house after four days were the storm shutters, and again what’s great about that is anybody can bring them down at night for security. Especially when the whole neighborhood is dark and there’s no power, security seems to be an important thing at that time. And then, when the sun comes back out in the morning and the storms over, you put them back up. They lasted for the eight days we were out of power and we were thankful to have them.
Host: The AL6 also happens to be the only single walled shutter approved for spans of over 20 ft.
Eric: Before going with the QMI shutter we looked at a lot of other options. We looked at panels, we looked at accordions, we looked at other roll down type shutters, but there seemed to be some major negatives with all of them. The main ones with the panels and accordions, to me were, living on the coast of Florida you’re going to get brushed by a bunch of storms each year. They’ve gotten pretty good at telling us when one is going to hit us but, in truth, you really never know. With the panels and the accordions, there’s always work to be done and when you’re coming out in the middle of a work week because you have to go home and spend five or ten hours putting your panels up, or dealing with accordions that are giving you problems, they never seem to work well. Ya know, that’s a lot of time, that’s a lot of time to be out of work, that’s a lot of physical labor. Hiring somebody to do it, you just paid a lot of money for hurricane panels, now you have to hire somebody to come to your house and put them on every time, that’s a problem. The other problem is, if the hurricane hits, you’ve got your panels up, you’re living in a dark house, probably with no power for a long time. That’s a major negative. The roll down shutters are great, the problem with the rolldown shutters, other than the QMI ones, the cost is really cost prohibited. The QMI shutters were a great option because they are not only the best shutters I have ever seen, they are cost competitive, so it made it an easy choice for us.
Host: And it doesn’t require unsightly and cumbersome storm bars. With its tight roll diameter, the AL6 fits into the smallest housing available so it happens to be the best looking shutter on the market as well. And as we heard from our homeowners, it offers comfort and security when you need it most.