hurricaneAs I write this, we still have three weeks to go before the “official” hurricane season is over, but the coast looks pretty clear right now.

We have passed the eight year mark since Hurricane Wilma struck Florida. There have been a number of major hurricanes during those years, but we have been spared.

Our friends further north have not been so lucky, as some areas are still recovering from Hurricane Sandy. It has been an amazingly quiet season for storms, in the bottom 10% over the last 70 years, and has the potential to be a near record quiet season.

Despite NOAA predictions of 13-20 named storms, 7-11 hurricanes, and 3-4 major (Category 3, 4 or 5) hurricanes, little activity has materialized. To date, there have only been 11 named storms, 2 hurricanes, and no major hurricanes. Meteorologists are looking at several factors that were not included in their models, to try and explain what has happened, and improve future forecasting. Among these are a larger than normal amount of dry air coming off the Sahara, which creates a high volume of vertical movement in the atmosphere.

There was also a significant increase in wind shear activity, or winds of different speed with an abrupt shift at a certain height above the ground. Both of these factors are disruptive to the formation of strong storms. While everyone certainly feels relief at another storm free season here in SW Florida, there are some concerns. Many people have relocated to our area since Wilma, which means they have never experienced the fury of a hurricane hitting land. This could mean they are more reluctant to follow evacuation orders in the event of the next storm, as they have no firsthand knowledge of the life threatening consequences.

Even experienced “old hands” can become complacent, developing so called “hurricane amnesia,” as the memories of the devastation of 2004-2005 fade into the past. Now, as we celebrate the holidays of Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve, we should indeed count our blessings. But this is also the perfect time to be thinking about protection for the 2014 hurricane season. Most companies that sell and install these products experience a bit of a slow down during this time of year.

Consequently, we are more likely to offer substantial discounts for projects booked and installed before things pick up again with a vengeance in the spring. Our suppliers have offered incentives to us to spur sales during this slow period to try to “make their numbers” for the year, and we are more than happy to pass those savings on to our clients. All of us who live here know that the beautiful weather we enjoy almost year round can turn into a storm quickly. Indeed, as far as hurricanes, it is not a question of IF, but WHEN.

Waiting until next storm season is almost upon us can expose your home to an early storm, as wait times for installation can run 4-8 weeks or more as the demand increases. Be a smart shopper and think about protecting your home now, so you can enjoy safety and peace of mind for all the holiday seasons to come.

Storm Force ( provides protection with its group of companies including Hurricane Home Protection, Replacement Glass, Shower Enclosure Installations, and Hurricane Garage Doors, located at 4160 Corporate Square Naples, FL 34104. Using top-of-theline products in a range of forms and styles, Mark and his team ensure clients receive exceptional service, safe, tailor-made solutions, and added value for their home or building. Mark can be reached at 239.261.5495 or email at

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