ORLANDO, Fla. - As the start of hurricane season begins on June 1, News 6 wants to help you get prepared, and that means busting some hurricane myths.
News 6 weather anchor Danny Treanor has covered hurricanes in Central Florida since 1978. According to him, the top myths then, are still the top myths he tends to hear now.
What exactly are they? Here’s Treanor’s full breakdown of the myths he hears most:
1. 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. According to Treanor, 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," he said. "You can and should use plywood to cover those windows instead."
2. Cracking a window will keep your home from exploding due to pressure. Treanor said that is also incorrect.
"All that will do is let the wind and rain come inside and you don't want that," he said. "Keep the windows closed."
3. Hurricanes only happen between June 1 and Nov. 30. Treanor said, once again, that this is a myth.
Most of them do take place during hurricane season, he said. However, in 1984, Hurricane Lili formed in the middle of December and tropical storms have been recorded in every month of the year. Another prime example was Subtropical Storm Alberto, which just formed last Friday, a week before the season was set to start.
4.The fourth myth is the belief that a storm surge is the deadliest part of a hurricane.
"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.
5. Another myth: 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."
6. Many people believe that homeowner's insurance covers damage from rising water. That makes yet another myth.
Though that is a common belief, Treanor said homeowners need a separate flood insurance policy.
7. According to Treanor, the following myth is extremely important and is a dangerous way of thinking: Some people tend to take tropical storms less seriously than other systems and brush them off by saying, “It’s just a tropical storm.”
Here’s what’s wrong with that: Tropical storms and even tropical depressions can be deadly and destructive, Treanor said. He cites the 2001 example of Tropical Storm Allison, 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,” he said.
One common belief that is true, though, is that animals, birds and insects act differently when a storm is near, Treanor said. They sense the difference in pressure, wind and humidity more than humans do.
After his myth-busting session, Treanor said the most important takeaway is that people should take every storm seriously in order to stay safe. The best way to do that is to stay informed ahead of and during potentially threatening weather.
News 6 is always working to put out the most accurate updates to keep you in the know and up to speed during dangerous conditions.
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