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5 Common Myths About Hurricanes

As you may already know, the Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1 and runs through November 30, but what you may not be aware of is that the 2020 hurricane season is predicted to be an above-normal season in activity. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) outlook for this season includes 13-19 named storms, with 6-10 predicted to become hurricanes, and 3-6 predicted to be classified as major hurricanes1. For those at risk of being in these storms’ paths, it will be very important to plan ahead and be prepared in order to avoid as much damage to your home as possible. A key part of the preparation process is being informed so that you don't fall victim to these five common hurricane myths:

Myth #1. An above-normal hurricane activity prediction means this season will be more dangerous than others.2

Not true. Even though this season is predicted to be busier than past seasons, it is the storms that make landfall that can be dangerous and will cause the most damage to communities.

A busy season may produce many named storms, but few, if any, of those storms may make it to landfall and have an impact on the U.S. On the other hand, a quiet season has the potential to produce few named storms, but cause a lot of damage by making landfall and hitting U.S. communities hard.

Myth #2. The best method for securing your windows from breaking is to tape them.2

The exact opposite is true. It’s recommended to skip the tape altogether. Taping your windows can actually cause them to be more dangerous in the event they do break and go flying through the air because the glass pieces will be larger in size.

The best methods for securing your windows in the event of a storm is attaching plywood to the outside of your home or installing storm shutters that can close over your windows.

Myth #3. Only homes along the coastline need to worry about hurricanes.2

False. Extensive rainfall totals, high winds, storm surge potential, and possible tornadoes are amongst the things people living further inland need to be prepared for with these storms.

Tropical storm and hurricane warnings are issued based on how far inland they are expected to make an impact with their high winds and large rainfall totals.

Myth #4. The maximum sustained wind speeds are what determines the outcome from a hurricane.2

Not exactly. While the maximum sustained wind speeds do make a big impact, so do the rainfall totals and size of the storm.

A slow-moving storm that drops a lot of rain can cause major flood damage throughout communities, while a major storm that moves fast and drops a lot of rain all at once may cause minimal flood damage. The wind field size of the storm should also be taken into account; a large wind field can impact many communities that are spread out over a wide radius, all at once.

Myth #5. Once the hurricane has passed, so has all other impending danger.3

Absolutely not true. Now that the storm is behind you, the aftermath is left in front of you and likely entails some potentially dangerous situations.

Be on the lookout for downed or loose power lines, report to the property authority, and steer clear until they’re able to be fixed. If your power does go out, don’t forget to check your food and throw out anything that may have spoiled.

Debris is likely to be scattered about in yards and streets, but be certain to also check around the perimeter of your house for anything that has the possibility to come loose and fall; whether it be an awning, a fence, loose tree limbs hanging over your roof, etc.

Hurricane season comes and goes year after year, but we are consistently here to help you during your time of need. Flood insurance is just one way to protect your home and assets against the potentially devastating cost of replacing everything. If you are interested in taking a closer look at your insurance policies, we would be happy to put you in touch with one of our insurance agents for a comparison quote report.

Get a quote for flood insurance

1 https://www.noaa.gov/media-release/busy-atlantic-hurricane-season-predicted-for-2020

2 https://weather.com/safety/hurricane/news/2018-09-12-hurricane-tropical-storm-myths-debunked

3 https://www.iii.org/article/what-to-do-when-a-hurricane-threatens

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Tyreo Harrison

As Executive Vice President, B2C Channel Development, Tyreo Harrison enables referral partners and financial institutions to offer personal, commercial and surplus lines insurance products to increase non-interest income, improve borrower retention and add value to their service offering. He maintains his General Lines Agent Licenses for Property and Casualty, Life, Accident, Health, and HMO. He is a graduate of the North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Leadership Lab and in 2008 was named as one of the San Antonio Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” Rising Stars. Prior to joining SWBC in 2005, Tyreo played professional football for the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers.

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