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Four Common Hurricane Myths Dispelled

By Joe Taylor on September 4th, 2010

A recent report by Travelers and the Institute for Business & Home Safety warns that severe weather can hit just about anyone at any time. For instance, some damaging hurricanes from the past decade emerged as early as April and as late as December. Residents of inland areas still feel powerful wind, even as home owners downstream from hurricane landfalls cope with flood waters. Whether you live in or near a hurricane-prone region, avoid falling victim to these four disaster readiness myths:

Myth #1: Tape big X's on the windows facing the ocean and leave them cracked, so your glass won't shatter.

According to DIY expert Danny Liford, listening to this advice can wreck your home. Tape won't keep glass intact, and open windows may cause your belongings to get wet. In fact, failing to adequately protect your home may void your homeowners insurance policy. Instead, you should board up your windows with thick, solid plywood and strong nails.

Myth #2: It's safe to go outside when the eye of the storm is passing through your area.

Even when the rain stops and the clouds part, nearby high winds could have tossed debris on your front lawn. Downed power lines and other wreckage can cause other kinds of injuries. Wait until news reports confirm that the storm has left your vicinity before you leave your home.

Myth #3: If the hurricane really gets bad, rescue teams will get you to safety.

According to the National Hurricane Center, many victims of severe weather emergencies failed to heed early warnings from local law enforcement officials. Think of safety first and evacuate your family and some essential belongings long before roads become impassible.

Myth #4: Your homeowners insurance will replace your destroyed or damaged home after a hurricane or other natural disaster.

Be sure to review your home insurance policy to ensure that you have adequate coverage in the event of a natural disaster. You'll want to have enough coverage to rebuild your home and replace your personal belongings. You may also want to check into a guaranteed or extended replacement policy for the structure of your home, which pays to rebuild your home regardless of cost.

You should also be sure that you have the right amount of flood insurance. According to Travelers, many home owners believe that their home insurance policy covers flood damage; however, a separate flood insurance policy is needed to cover hurricane-related flood damage.

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