Hurricane season is in full swing, and a hurricane could hit at any moment. When it comes to preparing for a hurricane, you'll hear tips from just about anyone – friends, family and self-proclaimed hurricane experts. While some of the tips can be helpful, others can be dangerous. Here are the top 5 hurricane myths:
1. Taping windows prevents them from shattering
This myth is one of the most dangerous. Taping windows to prevent shattering is not an effective form of window protection. When windows shatter, they're liable to shatter into little pieces. Although that sounds bad, windows that are taped may break into larger, more dangerous pieces. Those shards could cause severe damage to your home or even your family. Impact windows, hurricane shutters and screens are the best forms of protection for your windows.
2. Cracking open your windows stabilizes pressures
This myth gets tossed around with hurricanes and tornadoes. When you're in the middle of either, the last thing you want to do is open your window. Opening your windows during a storm lets in wind, water and flying debris. Your windows will break from the outside before the pressure inside is sufficient enough to do damage on its own. Additionally, houses aren't air tight, and there are openings throughout your home that will let out air pressure that builds up inside. The best thing you can do during a hurricane is to leave your windows closed.
3. Hurricanes are only a concern along the coast
While coastal areas do experience much of the damage, they're not the only ones at risk. The effects of a hurricane are also felt far inland. Strong winds, heavy rain, tornadoes and inland flooding can spread far beyond the coast, causing extensive damage.
4. Under an evacuation order, there's no reason to evacuate until the weather gets bad
Storm path forecasts can change rapidly, and waiting until last minute to evacuate can have negative consequences. Evacuation orders are given early enough to allow time for people to get to a safe shelter before the storm hits. Waiting too long to leave can mean that you'll be without an escape route. Even if the weather appears to be calm, gather the items that you need, secure your home and leave as soon as you can. When you leave, be sure to bring non-perishable food, water, your identification and prescriptions. Also, be sure to bring cash since you may not be able to use credit cards immediately after a storm.
5. We get high winds during our summer thunderstorms. A hurricane can't be much worse
While Florida's summer thunderstorms can produce wind gusts upward of 60 miles per hour, the winds during a hurricane can be twice as fast or even faster. Additionally, winds during a hurricane are sustained for hours, which is much longer than a brief summer thunderstorm. Each time the wind speed doubles, the wind it exerts is four times as strong. Even a Category 2 hurricane, which has winds of 96 to 110 miles per hour, can do considerable damage to roof structures and trees.
In the event of a storm, the best thing you can do is to make sure your home, family and pets are safe. While there are a few last-minute things you can do to prepare, it's best to prepare in advance by installing impact windows or hurricane shutters. Storm Solutions can help you prepare your home before a hurricane and can assist you with any necessary repairs to your windows or doors after the storm is over. Serving Naples/Marco Island, Fort Myers/Cape Coral and Port Charlotte/Punta Gorda, we are Southwest Florida's top contractor. For more information, visit our website or call us at 239.288.2807