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Socket as a screwdriver: If the power goes out, a socket wrench with a 1/4" socket can be used as an improvised power screwdriver.


Lag bolt: For hurricane protection, fl ush- mounted shutters should be installed with lag bolts that anchor deep into the structural framing around the window.


Torx: For security against looters and in- truders, use non-standard screw heads for your mounting screws — like the Torx head shown here. Note the screw passes through a fl at washer to increase the surface area in contact with the plywood and make prying it off more challenging.


from getting under the edges of the plywood and tearing it off the house. To cut your plywood to fi t, mea-


sure both the top and bottom and both sides of the window recess and check the corners with a carpenter’s square. Most windows are not per- fectly square, so adjust accordingly to replicate its actual shape. Transfer that shape to your plywood and cut it out with a table saw or jigsaw. With the panel cut to size, the next


step is to install barrel bolts (the latch hardware that operates like the bolt of a rifl e) about every 18" around each panel. The ends of the bolts should be fl ush with the edges and the protruding end of the bolt fac- ing outboard. Place the panel in the window, mark the spots where the barrel bolts touch the window recess, and then drill holes into the recess to allow the bolts to extend into them. If the wall around your window is brick, concrete, or stucco, you’ll need a masonry bit to do this — and a fair amount of time. That’s another rea- son to start now. If you don’t have recessed win-


dows, you’ll have to mount your ply- wood shutters fl ush to the surface of the outer wall. You’ll also have to anchor them very securely into the framework of the wall to keep them


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from being torn off by the wind. To do this, it’s best to cut the panels at least 8" larger than the size of the window so you’ll have 4" overlap on all four sides. Drill a series of holes 2" from every edge about 18" apart. Then, center the shutter over the win- dow and mark through the holes onto the wall. With those marks as guides, drill holes into the wall to receive lag bolts. For windows 3x4' or smaller installed on a wood frame house, use 1/4" lag bolts and plastic-coated per- manent anchors. The lag bolts must penetrate the siding and frame sur- rounding the window at least 1-3/4". For larger windows, use 3/8" lag bolts that penetrate the wall and surround- ing frame at least 2-1/2". To fi nish your panel, drill four


small holes in the center of the panel to equalize air pressure and, if neces- sary, attach handles to it to make it easier to maneuver. You’ll also want to waterproof it with exterior paint or weatherproof sealant. Finally, do a basic sketch of your house and number every window that receives a shutter. Then, as you complete each panel, number them to match to pre- vent confusion when installing them.


Security Shutters If you don’t live in a hurricane-


Power drill: Make sure your power drill is charged and consider investing in an extra battery so you can mount your shutters even during a power outage.


prone area, shutters may still be a viable and desirable addition to your home security. During normal circumstances, the standard level of physical security of your home should be adequate to prevent intru- sion. However, if a disaster or emer- gency situation arises, normal may cease to exist and you may choose to harden your home to eliminate pos- sible avenues of forcible entry. For example, if you have a typical, well- prepared home, your doors are all high quality and properly reinforced. Your ground-level windows are also secured by means of an appropri- ate alarm system that detects glass breakage or open windows. If a win- dow is breached, the alarm gives you the time to react and get to safety and summons the cavalry. In a disaster scenario, the cavalry


won’t be coming, so you’ll need to fend for yourself. And the better pre- pared your resources are within your home, the more attractive they may become to scavengers, looters, and other miscreants outside your home. The process of securing your win-


dows against this type of threat can be very similar to the process de- scribed above for the threat of a hur- ricane. The difference is that you’ll be less concerned about wind and water


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