Hurricane Myths: Four Things Not To Do When Preparing For And Living Through A Strong Storm

As the entire state of Florida prepares for Hurricane Irma to arrive over the weekend, both residents and tourists are doing whatever they can to brace for the storm. While many have been evacuating to safer ground, there are those who will stay behind and are doing all the necessary things to safeguard their homes, possessions, and family. For those who may not be familiar with hurricanes, there are some myths that you need to avoid and these four things you really shouldn’t do when getting ready.

While there are many ideas which will help you prepare your home and yourself for outlasting a hurricane, there are many myths, which just don’t work. Do yourself a favor and don’t waste your time and effort over doing any of these things.

Tape your windows with a big “X” or any design

This is something that you see in every preparation video and in so much footage when news stations show homes and buildings ready for a hurricane. Taping your windows does absolutely nothing to strengthen them and actually brings about more danger for you if you’re staying in that dwelling.

While the tape may end up keeping any small shards of glass from flying at you, it’s not going to stop windows from breaking. If they break with the tape on them, you’ll now have large pieces of glass flying at you instead of smaller pieces.

Crack your windows open a little bit

Not only is this an invitation for rain and debris to come into your home, but it’s not going to help matters either. People say that cracking a window during a hurricane will help equalize the pressure in your house and keep things balanced.

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As reported by Snopes, this is totally false and you should keep all windows closed during a hurricane for your own safety. Virtually all homes have some kind of openings to let some air escape and it will keep things balanced for you while opening the windows makes things more dangerous.

Bring your generator inside to keep it safe from the elements

This should really be more of a common sense thing, but many people feel as if they need to bring their generators inside once the wind and rain picks up. As GE warns, never run a generator inside your home as it uses gas for an internal combustion engine which emits carbon monoxide.

All generators should be used in well-ventilated areas and never used indoors, which is essentially a way to cause yourself to suffocate.

The same goes for charcoal grills, those shouldn’t be used indoors either.

Venture into floodwaters to survey the damage

When a storm passes, there could be waist-high, shoulder-high, or even higher floodwaters all around you and your home. While the hurricane may be over and you don’t want to be stuck in your house any longer, it is not safe to venture out into the floodwaters as there could be so many dangers in there that can hurt or even kill you.

Here are just a few of the dangers lurking in floodwaters:

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There are some other hurricane myths out there that you should avoid and steer clear of, so, know these as well.

  • Board up only windows and doors that face the water – False – Hurricanes and tornados rotate which means they can hit any portion of a dwelling.
  • It’s alright to go outside in the eye of the hurricane – False, somewhat – While the storm may calm down during the eye, don’t risk it by venturing outside until the storm has completely passed. Eyes can be quite small and pass before you realize it’s time to get back inside.

Preparation for a large storm is something that should be done for Hurricane Irma and anything even remotely like it that may come your way. Residents and tourists need to always be prepared by following along with the forecasts and get everything ready, but do things the right way. Many of these myths for your preparation have been around for decades and people continue to do them, but they’re really just not going to help you at all.

[Featured Image by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]