Next Hurricane, Use Window Screens Instead Of Plywood

So Ike kicked your ass. It blew in a couple of windows and let in rain and debris and left your rugs soaking.

But putting up plywood is such a pain in the ass. Plus, you would kill yourself before you'd become one of the living cliches of a hapless guy running to Home Depot two days before a storm with no friggin' idea of how to actually put plywood up on your windows.

There's a new solution, apparently -- curtains. Not just any curtains, but bulletproof curtains. Stylish bulletproof curtains.

Popular Science magazine announced today the winner of its annual Best Of What's New contest, and the prize went to....hurricane-proof curtains.

These things, made by Honeywell, consist of the same stuff that's used in bullet-proof armor. Cutely, they're called "Storm-A-Rest" curtains.

"Because it uses Spectra fiber, the roll-down curtains can withstand 155 mph winds and impact from large wind-borne projectiles," the magazine says. The curtains are apparently don't weigh much -- only about one-quarter as much as a similar-sized currugated-aluminum panel -- and, best of all, come in 350 "Sunbrella-brand accent patterns." (Because when a hurricane is barreling down on you, the last thing you want is to be protected by some blah pattern.)

Says the Consumer Reports blog:

The tough fabric panels include tough Honeywell Spectra fibers, which the company claims help make the panels 15 times stronger for its weight than steel and allow them to withstand winds in excess of 155 mph. Indeed, Storm-A-Rest panels are certified for Wind Zone 4 and Large Missile D Impact, part of the Florida building code.

The translucent panels install over windows and attach to wood, brick, or concrete and allow 76 percent of the light through.

They're not exactly cheap, at $22 per square foot. But living in Westbury, we can't help but think bulletproof window screens might be useful at times other than hurricane season.

-- Richard Connelly

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