Some people in Florida might want to board up their houses with plywood to protect their home from Hurricane Irma. Getty Images

As Hurricane Irma gets ready to make landfall in Florida, some residents might want to board up their windows. Floridians were urged to evacuate the southern part of the state after the storm decimated the Caribbean. At least 11 people died, more than 1 million were left without power in Puerto Rico and 95 percent of the buildings in Barbuda were destroyed.

The following tips have been shared courtesy of

To properly board up windows for a storm, the following items are essential:

  • Marine Plywood
  • Measuring tape
  • An electric saw
  • A permanent marker
  • A long, corrosion resistant screws with flat heads
  • An electric drill and small drill bit

While having hurricane shutters is the best way to protect a home, it’s not an option for everyone. In that case, plywood is the next best thing. It’s relatively cheap, easy to get and has good impact strength.

1. Find the wall studs on the side and under the window. Then measure the board just past the studs. That’s where the board will be attached. It’s important to measure the board so that it’s bigger than the window frame, because the board can be blown in if it’s the same size as the window frame. Additionally, placing the windows outside the home might not look nice, but it’s the best way to keep the home safe.

2. So the boards for different window sizes don’t get confused, either mark them with numbers or the name of the room. With the marker, place an arrow facing up to represent the top of the window. Drill holes into the plywood every 12 to 16 inches, making sure the hole is 1 inch from the outside of the panel.

3. For the last step, use a drill to place all the screws into the board.

Some businesses in Florida also used plywood to protect their establishments. “I usually try to use anything from half-inch to three-quarter-inch plywood, about 2-inch screws, something along the lines of like a decking screw with a torque spit that'll hold up. That's a good strong screw. And just make sure you got something good that you're screwing into that's going to be good and solid when you're all said and done,” Joe Nickmeyer told WJAX Thursday.

President Donald Trump tweeted the federal government would help out residents after Hurricane Irma passed. “Hurricane Irma is of epic proportion, perhaps bigger than we have ever seen. Be safe and get out of its way, if possible. Federal G is ready!” he wrote. “Our incredible U.S. Coast Guard saved more than 15,000 lives last week with Harvey. Irma could be even tougher. We love our Coast Guard!”

Florida Gov. Rick Scott cautioned residents in evacuation zones to leave. “We cannot save you when the storm starts,” Scott said in a press conference Thursday. “So, if you are in an evacuation zone and you need help, you need to tell us now.”

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