By Z Golden
After Hurricane Irma hit the British Virgin Islands, Valerie Rhymer and Beverly Martin put their heads together to find a way to help their community. They found the answer: provide affordable, durable, portable, and effective hurricane shutters that can withstand a high-caliber storm.
They first heard the idea of Cat5 hurricane shutters years ago from a guest staying at their hotel, Myett’s, and were interested in the product. But the project stayed silent for a while.
After doing a lot of research on materials and screens, the two came back to Cat5 Hurricane Shutters and gave it a go.
They had Caribbean Cat5 Hurricane Screens installed around the gift shop at Myett’s prior to Irma and were amazed to see that there was absolutely no damage.
“All the sand and debris just piled up against the screen,” Valerie said. “It kept everything out and we didn’t lose any inventory.”
The entire front of the shop, now occupied by the Pusser’s gift shop, is glass. Imagine not a single scratch on any of it, even as parts of the roof of the entire building fell against the shutters. The ones they had installed have since been updated.
Made of sturdy textile consisting of polypropylene threads, the weave of the screens has 5% open space. The tiny bit of open space allows small amounts of air and moisture to move through the screens. You can also see through them, so you won’t be kept in the dark during a storm. If you enclose your patio with the screens, you’ll even be able to sit on the patio and light a candle through a storm.
The screens are available in five colors and can be easily stored in storage bags when not in use. Also, the screens are easily mounted and removable.
Unlike rolled down metal shutters that can be easily damaged during a storm, the screens actually bounce debris off a home like a trampoline
Valerie and Beverly are the only distributors in the Caribbean and they have stocks in the Virgin Islands. When they fit a house, they send measurements back to the United States and have custom-made screens sent down and installed on a house.
These screens are secured by bolt on the top and bottom of the screen and tightly fitted. When not in use, the bolts are easily hidden and lay flat to the ground.
So for homeowners who want to protect their homes and its contents, Cat5 Hurricane Screens may just be what minimizes destruction left by category five or stronger hurricanes.