People have many beliefs about what will help protect their home during a hurricane, especially if they are new to coastal areas, but some of the most common beliefs are wrong. It’s important to know what to do before and during a storm, and it’s important to know what really works and what doesn’t. Stay safe this hurricane season by knowing what works and what is a myth.
Some Common Myths About Protecting Your Home During a Hurricane:
You should open the windows on the side of the house away from the direction of the wind.
Wrong! It isn’t possible to know ahead of time which direction winds in a hurricane are going to blow. The wind often changes direction as a storm goes through, and it’s impossible to predict. Opening or closing windows during a hurricane can put you in terrible danger. What if there’s a sudden gust of wind that breaks the glass? Also, if your windows are open, wind is going to drive rain in and that can do as much damage as flood waters.
To prepare for a hurricane, you only have to cover the windows or doors facing the water.
Wrong! Hurricanes spin as they move, and the wind can come from any direction. It could be on one side of you, quickly change to the other side, and you could find yourself in the eye of the storm. It’s unpredictable. The best thing for you to do is cover all your windows and glass doors with hurricane shutters.
Unless you’re on the coast, you don’t have to worry about hurricanes.
Wrong! Living inland is not a guarantee that you won’t be in danger from a hurricane. Though hurricanes and tropical storms often lose power when they make land, if the hurricane was a Category 3 over the water and drops to a Category 1 when it makes landfall, that still means it has more than 71 mph winds. That’s significant, and can still do catastrophic damage.
Taping a big X on your windows is sufficient protection.
Wrong! Taping an X on the glass doesn’t do anything to keep your windows from breaking and falling out of the frames. It will not keep the window glass firmly fixed in the frame if the window breaks. You’re better off installing roll-down shutters or regular hurricane shutters.
You should lean against the glass of the windows or doors if the wind is putting pressure on them and blowing them inward.
This isn’t just wrong, it is stupid. You can be cut by shattering glass or be thrown across the room if the door breaks. It doesn’t make any kind of difference what kind of glass you have, it can still shatter during the pressure changes and winds of a hurricane, and you can be hurt badly. Stay away from all glass windows and doors during a storm.
These are just a few of the erroneous beliefs some people have about preparing their home for a hurricane. Even if you’re new to a coastal area, if you move someplace like Boca Raton, Florida, you need to need to know what will protect your home. Don’t just cover the windows facing the water or facing the hurricane. Don’t think that living a little inland will protect you, and don’t think that taping a big X on your windows is enough, and don’t lean on glass windows or doors that are being forced inward by the wind. Stay safe by knowing what really works.