Taking Storm-Proofing Into Your Own Hands

Blowing Away the Myths

Building stronger new homes and storm-proofing existing homes are the most effective ways to reduce property damage and risk to human life. In an effort to increase awareness and encourage people to storm-proof their homes, insurance companies want to debunk common myths about storm-proofing.

MYTH: Opening the windows during a storm can control the air pressure.

    REALITY: Keeping the wind out is most important. Opening windows and doors would not only be unsafe, but it would not effectively control air pressure and allow wind-driven rain into the home or building. Additionally, the most unsafe place to be during a wind event is in front of unprotected glass as you can be seriously injured.

MYTH: Only the openings that face the direction of the storm need to be protected.

    REALITY: Hurricanes are rotating storms and all sides of a structure are at risk of damage. If only one side of a home or building was protected, the rest of the building remains extremely vulnerable to wind and water.

MYTH: Taping windows with a big "X" will make them safe and impact resistant.

    REALITY: Taping does not prevent windows from breaking, nor does it make them any more resistant to breakage. At a minimum, window shutters need to be made of 5/8" plywood or metal and fastened correctly in order to provide protection. Tested and approved shutters are always best.

MYTH: It is safe to go outside during the "eye" of the hurricane to check the damage

    REALITY: Stay inside for the entire duration of the storm; it is not safe to go outside during the "eye" or any other time of the hurricane. There is no way of knowing how long before the strongest "eye wall" winds will return.
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