Hurricane myths de-bunked - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Hurricane myths de-bunked

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Source: Weather Imagery Source: Weather Imagery
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

Turns out some common strategies people used to keep themselves safe from hurricanes aren't as safe as you think.

Climatologist Bill Keim has heard dozens of hurricane home safety remedies over the years; taping windows is just one of them.

"The tape is not gonna really help you keep it from getting knocked out, but if it does get knocked out it keeps the glass from shattering and going all over the place and creating other health hazards," said Keim.

Others swear by cracking windows around the house, to balance the outside versus inside air pressure.

"All that really does is allow the storm to get inside of your house...the wind," said Keim. "And that's only gonna create more damage, so that is not wise in either a hurricane or a tornado."

Keim says one of the more dangerous ideas he's heard is vertical evacuation or heading for higher ground, such as the attic, roof, or a higher floor in a building. Keim says in reality, that means risking running into higher wind speeds.

"In most hotels, for example, there's a lot of glass...exposed glass. As a result, you're very vulnerable to having glass windows knocked out, so that's a big issue," said Keim. "Of course, if a flood comes in behind it, like can happen in New Orleans, you could literally get trapped in those buildings."

Worse than vertical evacuation is not leaving at all. Keim says this is common among people who think the storm will never reach the city or region where they live.

"If you look at enough hurricane tracks over the last hundred or so years along the east and gulf coast, there really is virtually no place where you're actually safe. There are safer places, but you're still really not safe in any given location," said Keim.

Keim says even those so-called safe locations can still get hit by heavy rains and even tornadoes. He suggests that people across the country have a plan of action; especially during hurricane season.

Hurricane season begins June 1.

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