This section of our website is dedicated to exposing hurricane myths. Many of the myths surrounding hurricanes are widely believed to be true, due to inaccurate information and the media repeating them over and over again.
Some of these myths can put people in dangerous situations that could prove to be fatal. Don't hesitate to correct someone who believes one of these myths and help stop the spread of deadly misinformation about hurricanes.
Below you'll find nine of the most commonly believed hurricane myths. Many of them continue to live on and continue to get repeated by media outlets. If you know of a myth that should appear below, contact us and tell us about it.
The Myth: Only people who live near the coast need to worry about a hurricane.
The Facts: A hurricanes powerful winds, flooding, tornadoes, and heavy rain can affect areas inland for hundreds of miles.
The Myth: As soon as the sky turns blue it's safe to venture outside.
The Facts: The eye of a hurricane is clam with blue skies, and many people have died venturing outside thinking it's safe, but they were in the middle of a hurricane eye. If your area is in the path of a hurricane's eye do not venture outside until the storm has completely passed.
The Myth: Wind is the most dangerous part of a hurricane.
The Facts: People don't realize that wind is just one part of a hurricane's destructive power. The rise in sea levels from a storm surge can devastate infrastructure in costal areas, and if powerful enough, farther inland. Additional they can dump vast amounts of rain and cause flash flooding.
The Myth: A category 3 hurricane will cause more damage than a category 1 hurricane.
The Facts: The Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale, which is the scale used to rate a hurricane's strength is based only on sustained wind speeds. It doesn't take into consideration the size of a storm. A very large, but weak hurricane can create devasting storm surges over a large area.
The Myth: If you use tape and put a big "X" on your windows it will keep them from breaking.
The Facts: Putting a big "X" on your windows with tape or any material will not prevent strong winds or flying debris from shattering a window. The best protection is to use permanent storm shutters or to board up your windows.
The Myth: Just windows facing the direction of water need to be protected.
The Facts: A hurricane produces violent windows that can turn virtually any items into a deadly projectile. Wind tunnels are created, and these projectiles fly in every direction. Make sure you protect all your windows.
The Myth: I only need to prepare for a few days.
The Facts: If a hurricane is in your path you need to prepare for more than a few days. Hurricanes can devastate an area and limit access for weeks, if not months. Ensure you have a 30-day supply of medication, 5 to 7 days of food and water. Formulate a plan of where you can stay if your area is inaccessible.
The Myth: I can wait to evacuate; the storm is days away.
The Facts: Waiting the last minute to evacuate can have grave consequences. Hotels fill up, supplies at stores get depleted and storms change paths. Many people got stranded during Hurricane Sandy because they waited to long to evacuate.
The Myth: Open windows to alleviate or equalize pressure.
The Facts: Unless you have the only home in the United States that is pressure sealed you do not need to do this. Opening a window will just cause more water damage and make it easier for projectiles to enter your home.