Expect Delays Getting Hurricane Panels And Shutters

It's been a hectic hurricane season for Todd Cantor. The general manager for Window King says he's having a tough time keeping up with the strong demand for storm panels and shutters.

"It's unbelievable. Right now the phones are ringing probably about 10 appointments an hour we're getting," Cantor said.

But Cantor says customers have to sit on waiting lists. That's because many companies get most of their supplies from Florida, and since demand is also soaring over there, homeowners in South Mississippi will just have to wait.

"We're under the mercy of suppliers, which right now, they have 4 storms hit them and that's why the delay is so large. Every time a storm gets on camera, people are calling day and night. Everybody wants it now. We hate to tell people you got delays up to 12-14 weeks right now."

Gary Brazile counts himself among the fortunate. He had the panels installed on his Jackson County home on Saturday, right before Hurricane Dennis made landfall.

"I lived in Miami when Hurricane Andrew hit. My home did get destroyed. At the time, a lot of people there learned their lesson about having enforcement codes with these panels and we found out they really do work," Brazile said.

Brian McMillian's house came with pre-installed hurricane panels. He says they're easier to deal with than plywood.

"You don't have to worry about cutting the boards and the effort of all that. It's a day's work doing that," McMillian said.

One thing to consider about the special windows is the cost. They don't come cheap. For instance, it could cost about $200 per window to install aluminum panels, and up to $1,200 for the roll-up variety.

But Gary Brazile is willing to pay a higher price for a little peace of mind.

"I think if you have a home and you're concerned about your home, they're well worth it."

WLOX talked to a couple of other companies that install hurricane panels and shutters, and they all tell us the same thing. Because of the shortage, order them early. Unfortunatly, the best advice is to not wait until hurricane season.