After five long years, many Gulf Coast residents are still struggling to get back on their feet following the pounding devastation of Hurricane Katrina and are concerned about what mother nature may dish out this hurricane season. To help, SABIC Innovative Plastics - working with Habitat for Humanity and the Hancock Housing Resource Center - is donating a thousand protective panels made from Lexan* Clear Storm Panel polycarbonate (PC) sheet to 120 low-income families in Bay St. Louis, located in Hancock County, Miss.
The reusable Lexan sheet panels offer significantly better impact strength than plywood or other protective materials; provide crystal clear transparency; will help the 120 families obtain certificates of occupancy so they can finally return to their homes; and will provide greatly improved hurricane protection for the future. This project is the latest in SABIC Innovative Plastics' long history of community involvement and volunteerism in cities, towns and villages around the world.
"Our organization is working hard to provide resources and technical assistance to Hancock County residents to improve housing damaged by Hurricane Katrina," said Rick Shepler, construction coordinator, Hancock Housing Resource Center. "We recently found out that Bay St. Louis is now requiring storm panels or impact windows before issuing a certificate of occupancy. The generous donation of Lexan Clear Storm Panels from SABIC Innovative Plastics couldn't have come at a better time."
Hancock Housing Resource Center is organizing distribution and installation of the panels, which are being stored by Habitat for Humanity and will be used in some Habitat houses, as well as in homes being rebuilt by other volunteers or the owners themselves. SABIC Innovative Plastics employees will assist with some of the installations this month.
"We are very pleased to help the people of Bay St. Louis finish rebuilding their homes and to protect them and their property against future hurricanes with our virtually unbreakable Lexan PC sheet" said Kevin Clunie, Supply Chain and Customer Service manager, Specialty Film & Sheet Americas, SABIC Innovative Plastics. "This is an excellent opportunity to help those in need by donating one of our toughest high-performance materials, technical expertise and other resources they need to make them safe and secure and to enhance their quality of life."
Clearly Superior to Plywood and Metal
Lexan Clear Storm Panels protect windows and doors with up to four times the impact resistance of a half-inch of plywood, and yet are up to 50 percent lighter than traditionally used metal panels. Their clarity lets in natural light, avoiding the claustrophobic effect of wood and metal coverings. Clear Lexan sheet also allows for panels to be installed days ahead of an approaching storm without plunging the home into darkness, as is the case with plywood.
Further, Lexan Clear Storm Panels can be left in place for the entire hurricane season. They outperform metal in that they will not rust or corrode, and retain their shape after impact. A single Lexan panel can completely cover a window or door, which eliminates the need for multiple panels and greatly simplifies installation.