As Florida homeowners gear up for the 2015 hurricane season, a tidal wave of “tips and tricks” are once again hitting the Internet that describe how to best protect your home from a major storm. But how do you know which ones to believe, and which ones should be blown off?
We’ve collected 5 common hurricane myths and the truths behind them to help you (and your home) better prepare for hurricane season.
Myth: Taping your windows is the best way to prevent them from shattering during a hurricane.
Fact: Tape cannot withstand flying debris caused by hurricane-force winds. Opt for tested and approved storm shutters or emergency plywood instead.
Myth: It's "only" a tropical storm…
Fact: Tropical storms, even tropical depressions, still pose a serious hazard. They often generate widespread, torrential rains of more than 6 inches, which may result in deadly and destructive floods.
Myth: Before a storm, fill bathtubs and sinks to use as drinking water reserve in case the power goes out.
Fact: Water stored in a bathtub can be used for washing clothes, bathing or flushing toilets. Unfortunately, it’s not considered sanitary enough for drinking purposes. Opt for bottled water instead.
Myth: Crack your windows open to stabilize pressure during a hurricane.
Fact: This is one of the worst things you can do in a storm. If you let strong wind into your home, it's going to look for a forceful way out, breaking your windows upon impact. In addition, buildings are not airtight. Your home is constructed with enough small openings to prevent pressure from causing anything to explode.
Myth: Using sandbags prevents water intrusion.
Fact: While sandbags can redirect water away from your home, they are not the end-all be-all solution. To ensure optimum sandbag water mitigation, fill sandbags half way, tap into place and do not stack sandbags more than three layers high.