News 6 weather anchor Danny Treanor breaks down hurricane myths

Myths range in topic from flood insurance to storm surge

By Danny Treanor - Meteorologist

ORLANDO, Fla. - As the start of hurricane season begins on June 1, News 6 wants to help you get prepared, and that means busting hurricane myths.

News 6 weather anchor Danny Treanor has covered hurricane season in Central Florida since 1978. Treanor said that the top myths then, are still the top myths now.

The first myth: Nearly 70 percent of people that News 6 surveyed think people should put an "X" on windows and sliding glass doors to prepare for a storm. Treanor said that is false.

"A few flimsy strips of tape aren't going to make any difference. In fact, the first American killed in Hurricane Charley was standing near a taped-up glass door," Treanor said. "You can and should use plywood to cover those windows instead."

The second myth: Cracking a window will keep your home from exploding due to pressure. Treanor said that myth is also false.

"All that will do is let the wind and rain come inside and you don't want that," Treanor said. "Keep the windows closed."

The third myth: Hurricanes only happen between June 1 and Nov. 30.

Treanor said, once again, that is a myth.

Most of them happen during hurricane season. However, in 1984, Hurricane Lili formed in the middle of December and tropical storms have been recorded in every month of the year.

The fourth myth is in regard to a storm surge being the deadliest part of a hurricane. That myth is also false.

"The storm surge can be very deadly and you need to take it seriously, but statistically, more people are killed by inland flooding from all the rain," Treanor said.

The fifth myth is that an early start to the hurricane season means the season will be bad and a late start means things will be calm.

"Neither are necessarily true and make sure to keep in mind the first official storm of the 1992 season didn't form until the middle of August," Treanor said. "That storm was Hurricane Andrew."

Our sixth myth is that homeowner's insurance covers damage from rising water.

Treanor said that is false and homeowners need a separate flood insurance policy.

One thing that is true, though, is that animals, birds and insects act differently when a storm is near. They sense the difference in pressure, wind and humidity more than humans do.

"Our final myth is regarding, and this myth is really important, when people say, 'Its only a tropical storm.'"

The fact is that a tropical storm, even tropical depressions, can be deadly and destructive. One example was tropical storm Allison, back in 2001, which caused $9 billion in damage, mostly in Texas.

That's far more damage than two legendary hurricanes: Hurricane Camille in 1969 and Hurricane Floyd in 1999.

The most important takeaway is to take every storm seriously in order to stay safe.

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