By Gerry Peters

Now that climate change is proving to be real, official predictions are not foolproof. For example, the traditional NOAA El Nino advisories, which are focused on the equator zone. What’s new this season is a possible triple whammy: climate change, equator measured El Nino, and a new quasi Northern El Nino, with a direct warmer than usual water band from Mexico to the Hawaii Islands.

Waiting until the storm is two days away to think about protecting your house, lanai, carport and garage door is not going to work. In fact, how about getting your bottled water, filling your tanks and making arrangements for your pet to be able to be taken to one of the new pet-friendly shelters? What, me worry?

HPS Construction Services is a pioneer of retrofit hurricane protection — now in the company’s 26th year of protecting whatever on your house needs strengthening, right up to your whole house exterior. It’s a oneday project, from $1,495 for a one story home, with installation of 100-130 code rated hurricane connectors to connect your roof rafters to your walls — even single walls.


Check out HPS Construction Services’ website’s hurricane protection pages or The connectors are same strength as current codes. They are weatherized with up to a 20 year anti-corrosion warranty, and, best of all, they are painted to blend right in with the house exterior — and everything is done on the exterior. There is no need to disturb your family.

If you’ve gotten solar PV installed, then think about this: The solar panels are attached to the roof, but without hurricane clips (houses built before 1991), the roof structure holding the panels is not connected properly to the wall top frame(s).

If you’ve had a remodel in the last few years, and invested in providing improved comfort and utility and function, then don’t be blind to the reality that it only takes one storm, even a tropical storm, to lift part or all of your roof off the wall — and sayonara, new interior!

But wait, hold on for this surprise news about our friends the hurricane insurers: As you might, but probably don’t, know, the real problem, which will emerge after the next storm, will be that few realize the size of the hurricane losses deductible payment to be made by homeowners prior to insurers claims payment starting level, is incredibly larger than for the non-hurricane losses — probably $12,000 to $15,000 deductible plus loss of use. Read the hurricane rider fine print of your policy. But sit down first!


The HPS retrofit will provide what the state insurance division, engineers and hurricane insurers have approved after a $630,000, two-year study for which I was an active participant and advocate at the Legislature in 2001-2002.So, I applaud your smart decision to consider making this relatively small investment to help strengthen the most vulnerable parts of your house. It will help to do something to try to prevent not only the major dislocation a storm causes, but lessen your chances of a huge out-of-pocket deductible outlay from your checkbook before you get one dollar of claim money. Your peace of mind is most important, of course.

Almost every hurricane insurer offers about 22 percent yearly credit toward your hurricane premium — we provide the letter of certification. However, I’m sad to tell you that despite offering credits in many other South and Southeast coastal states, State Farm does not offer the credits in Hawaii, preferring to have you folks with post-1991 houses underwrite the cost of the older houses they insure. Sad, too, is the fact that Hawaii is “out to lunch” on mandating insurer incentives be made available, while 14 other state legislatures ignore the insurance lobby and have taken action to make insurers put more skin in the game.

Gerry Peters is president and general manager of HPS Construction Services.


Gerry Peters (leſt) content producer and co-host, and Mike Buck have a weekly on-air Fix It Fridays program, a live call-in home improvement and repair radio program, on “The Mike Buck Show,” on Salem Network’s KHNR AM690 FM94.3, Fridays 8-9 a.m.

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