Volume 8, Issue 6,  November/December  2004

DEAR READER
BRIGID O'LEARY

Rain, Rain Go Away

So I’m sitting at my desk at Window Film magazine headquarters, surrounded by paper and trying to maintain order over it all when my coworker Kim comes down the hall and informs me that we were under a tornado warning. We were battling the remnants of Hurricane Frances, which just finished devastating about half of Florida.

Just before the announcement, our coworker Pam had left to make the daily mail run to the post-office. Pam, for those of you who may not know, is the woman with whom you will speak if you call to register for IWFE (see page 18 for details). 

While Pam was out, the tornado came right across the main thoroughfare on which our office is located. She was caught in the storm and, as she described to us upon her return, visibility was reduced to inches. She returned to the office quite shaken by the experience and concerned because it wasn’t the first time she’d been caught by surprise in her car by a tornado. 

Many years before, she and her young son experienced a tornado while driving; a tree fell in front of them, and before Pam could react, the storm and debris shattered one of her sidelites, cutting her and her son. She asked me if there were any protective window films for vehicles the way there are for buildings. 

About a week before our initial tornado incident, rain left over from Tropical Storm Gaston had flooded Richmond, which isn’t that far away from us, Hurricane Charley was still fresh on everyone’s minds and Ivan was already a concern for pretty much anyone living near water. Since then, we’ve had flood warnings and additional tornados in our area. For us here at Window Film magazine, the severe weather was an inconvenience and a passing threat. We’re able to move on and prepare for adventures such as SEMA (see page 10) but we were lucky. No one on our staff was immediately affected. 

This year’s particularly active hurricane season made it clear that, while the bad weather we suffered was nothing compared to those in the wake of the destruction, many of us who don’t live on the coast are not adequately prepared to deal with such severe weather.

In my short time on this planet, and the even shorter time that is my conscious memory, I have seen the effect of Hurricanes Hugo, Opal, Andrew and Isabel first hand. Now I can add Charley, Frances, Gaston and Ivan (and maybe Jeanne, Karl and Lisa) to the list. It comforts me to know that there are options such as safety film that can help protect us, but in the wake of the 2005 hurricane season, I wonder, who is going to help the window film dealers in coastal areas get themselves and their employees back on track?                                                        
WF

Brigid O’Leary is the editor of Window Film magazine.


WINDOW FILM

© Copyright 2004 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.