The WORST Hurricane Safety Tips You’ll Ever Hear
For those who live in areas with high hurricane activity, they’ve undoubtedly got a handle on what to do when one rolls into town. Option one, if the storm is strong and is anticipated to hammer wherever it’s to make landfall, is to simply leave town. Its a sure-fire bet that almost guarantees survival but comes at a cost of abandoning your home and personal property.
The second option, if the storm is on the milder side, is to stay put in and weather the storm. With this second option comes a bevy of “expert” hurricane safety tips that aim to have you, your home and other personal assets protected to the max.
While much of this information is as safe as it is practical, there’s always bound be outliers. These outliers may have your best intentions in mind but they certainly don’t subscribe to a rational thought and therefore serve as some of the worst hurricane safety tips you’ll ever hear.
Crack The Window
When it comes to windows, close them, lock them and board them up. Simple. But there are plenty of people offering shortcuts, workarounds and best practices that somehow offer more protection than merely shielding them with planks. One of these shortcuts is applying masking tape in a criss-cross fashion on the windows and skip boarding up your windows.
The misconception here is that somehow the adhesive in the tape goes towards the window keeping its form and integrity. Wrong. Its still just tape. Board up your windows and as a backup, use the criss-crossed masking tape to prevent the glass from splintering into smaller pieces if the window does happen to break. If you leave your taped up windows open to high winds, you’ll find yourself dodging large shards of glass that are held together with the tape.
Another poor hurricane safety tip is to crack your window during the hurricane to offset the differences in air pressures. This will, in some way, prevent your house from “blowing up.” Don’t do this. Your home has small openings throughout its structure that eliminates any sort of air-tight bond to the outside. Cracking a window only lets high speed wind in and once its in it will undoubtedly look for a way out, wreaking havoc on the inside of your home. Keep all windows closed.
Break The Bank
Terrible hurricane safety tips could also double as great advice for a post-apocalyptic scenarios. This sort of advice aims to have you financially prepared for the absolute worst case scenario but as history has shown, one hurricane doesn’t shut down the national or global financial system.
So, no, don’t go out and buy precious metals in fear that the a single hurricane will throw us all back into a gold standard economy. In fact, according to the Coast Guard, water and ice are like gold after a hurricane. They’re also much cheaper than the shiny stuff.
Other bad advice comes in form of withdrawing lots of cash before the storm to facilitate crucial purchases in a disaster scenario. Bad idea. That $20 bill you left in your jeans may survive a cycle in the washing machine but having paper money is a major liability when it comes to potential floods and high winds. Instead keep enough emergency cash on you and leave the rest in your bank account. If you’re worried- the vaults are typically water-proof anyway.
Hit The Bottle
One of the hardest hurricane “preparation tips” not to follow is the indulging in libations while weathering the storm. Yes you may be off work, yes power outages might cross things off of your to-do list but it’s advisable to avoid drinking during these times of distress. Off-beat and hip hurricane preparation guides will advise that you stock up on your rum and make a hurricane of your own but realistically, its best to have your wits about yourself. Like a certain car insurance commercial says, you’ll never know when disaster will strike.
Someone ought to tell that to Manhattanites as they tend to downplay the harsh effects of a hurricane and do what is locally known as “Hurricane Parties.” Usually set in trendy bars, locals flock to these watering holes – sometimes dressed in costume – and unload their rainy day funds onto the bartender.
Use Your Head
The best hurricane safety tip is to use common sense. If you know a hurricane is in your area, keep an eye on the news. If local agencies execute evacuations, then go ahead and pack some clothes and hit the bricks. If not, stock up on the essentials like tinned food, candles, flashlights, batteries and water to keep you and your family safe, secure and satisfied.
For more information regarding the latest hurricane news as well as hurricane preparation advice, visit www.national-hurricane-center.org.