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New tariffs affecting supply of hurricane shutters in South Florida

Posted at 8:11 PM, Jul 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-20 05:21:31-04

If you're finding it hard to get your hands on hurricane shutters, you are not alone.

Almost a month after the Trump administration placed tariffs on steel and aluminum. It has caused major delays for shutter companies and the customers who need them.

Megan Stojack says her duplex does not have hurricane shutters.

"When all of your personal belongings and your family is inside the home, it would definitely be more comforting to have that backing of hurricane shutters," said Stojack.

For some people wanting to buy them, it could be a long wait. The recent steel and aluminum tariffs are affecting the supply of hurricane shutters in South Florida.

"Typically the average wait during hurricane season is about four to six weeks, and that's typically what it has been over the last several years. But this year because of the high demand, the price increase, we are waiting four to six months," Charlie Barden with Blue Coast Aluminum said. 

Barden said the shutters are needed for old and new homes to protect across fierce storms.

"It's the people that had homes that were built before the (new hurricane) code allowed the houses to be built with shutters.  And there are people that are upgrading from a panel shutter to an accordion shutter. They don't want to have to do the panels anymore," said Barden.

Time is running out if you want shutters this season.

"So if you haven't ordered your hurricane shutters by now, you may not get them for the hurricane season," Barden said. 

Other South Florida shutter companies said they are facing delays from 14 weeks to six months.