Windows and doors can often be the most direct route for high winds to enter your house, causing severe damage to your walls and roof—and potentially ruining your family's personal possessions.
One of the most effective ways to protect windows—and keep you and your family safe from breaking and flying glass—is installing wind shutters (sometimes called hurricane shutters), protective coverings specifically designed to completely cover window and door glass openings during high winds. While some homeowners build their own wind shutters (typically using 5/8"-thick exterior grade plywood), information about custom-built options is widely available online.
Another option is purchasing pressure or impact rated windows. Besides protecting your home's interior from water and wind damage, they also increase its overall structural stability, reducing the risk of destructive structural failure from hurricane winds.
For doors in high-wind areas, at least one double door should be secured with heavy-duty bolts both at the top of the frame and at the floor. Be aware, though, that the bolts included with most doors aren't strong enough to withstand high winds. Check with a hardware store for heavier-duty bolts. The door's manufacturer may also sell a reinforcing bolt kit specifically made for your door. The manufacturer may also make pressure- or impact-rated doors that are designed to offer increased wind protection.
Doors installed to open outwards reduce the chance of the door blowing open in high wind. Inward rushing wind can cause pressure changes in your house, changes that can actually cause wall and roof structural failures.