Being from England, Samantha Munday was accustomed to wet, stormy weather. However, no unexpected drenches in London could have prepared her for the first hurricane she experienced in the States.
Twenty-three years ago, the Munday family moved to the United States for Samantha’s husband’s career as a racecar engineer. Their family of four started in Georgia but soon moved down to Florida, where they’ve called home ever since.
The first big hurricane they experienced was one of the most infamous in recent history: Hurricane Katrina. Samantha’s husband, being the adrenaline junky he is, insisted they go to the beach the day before the storm was due to hit. What they saw was sobering.
“The winds and the gigantic waves were terrifying, and it was just the precursor. A wave crashed so hard it struck us from our supposed ‘safe distance’ and knocked my youngest daughter off her feet,” Samantha shares. “I scooped my daughters up, yelled to my husband that we’re leaving, and headed home to barricade ourselves.”
Samantha’s youngest daughter, Amiee, was only 6 years old, but she remembers that first hurricane as well as her mother. She and her sister huddled under a blanket, playing handheld video games to distract themselves from the raging storm.
“It sounded like a train,” Amiee says. “I was very young, but I’ll never forget that sound.”
Samantha and Amiee now work as a mother/daughter team at Wright’s Impact Window and Door, appreciating the value of the company’s products as much as their customers. Like many of their customers, they exchanged old hurricane shutters and plywood for impact windows at their home for the peace of mind it brings them.
“Your first hurricane leaves a mark, not only on your home but your state of mind,” Samantha says, also recounting how Hurricane Wilma was only a few months after Katrina. “As soon as we were able, we traded our old wood shutters for impact windows and haven’t felt the same fear we experienced with Katrina ever since.”
As ex-pats, Samantha acknowledges that many native or long-time Keys residents don’t share the same fear as hardened survivors of countless tropical storms and hurricanes. However, their products still provide peace of mind in several ways.
“In addition to hurricane safety, many homeowners invest in impact windows and doors for the added security against break-ins,” Amiee explains. “Plus, they benefit from lower home insurance premiums and lower energy bills.”
The My Safe Florida Home grant program is putting these benefits well within reach of homeowners. The grant provides huge potential savings, such as matching every $1 you pay with $2 from the state and no state sales tax on impact-resistant doors and windows.
To learn more, all you have to do is call Wright’s Impact Window & Door. Amiee’s is the first voice you’ll hear as the Front Desk Specialist. She’ll cheerfully answer your questions or direct you to the person who can. Samantha, who worked in the banking industry for 30 years, is the Customer Service Manager and another lovely voice who walks you through the process up to installation.
“Our Keys customers are the best!” they both exclaim. “They’re kind and such a pleasure to work with, which you don’t get to say very often when you work in the customer service field.”
Thanks to their customers, Amiee, a recent graduate of FSU, is enjoying her job at Wright’s as she determines her career path in criminology, and Samantha has never looked back after leaving the corporate world.
The mother-and-daughter team is only one part of the Wright’s family, working together from answering questions and getting permits and HOA approvals to installation and following up on customer satisfaction. All to help you prepare for the next hurricane.
– Jerrica Mah is a writer, Army wife, and freelance book editor, who loves to travel with her family.