From taping your windows to buying insurance, we set out to VERIFY some common hurricane advice.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in June 2018 and has been updated in September 2022.
You hear a lot of advice during hurricane season, but not all of it is good advice. We set out to VERIFY some of the most common hurricane advice to sort the fact from the fiction.
TAPE WILL PROTECT YOUR WINDOWS
Let’s start with one that’s probably as old as the tape itself: Taping your windows will protect them from flying objects. We called the folks at New South Window for this one. They tell us is FALSE.
In their words, “Tape is for sealing boxes when you’re moving,” not protecting your windows.
Your best bet, they said, is having hurricane-rated windows, boarding them up or using hurricane shutters.
PROPERTY INSURANCE WILL COVER ALL YOUR DAMAGE
Next up: I’ve got property insurance, so I’m covered for any hurricane damage. Full disclosure: 10News reporter Grady Trimble called his aunt for this one. She’s been selling insurance at Bay Area Insurance Shop for more than 20 years. She says this one is FALSE too.
Property insurance will protect you from damage from rain or wind, she explained but not storm surge or any other type of flooding. For that, you’ll need flood insurance.
And be careful: It takes 30 days before most flood insurance policies kick in.
A WALKIE TALKIE APP WILL KEEP YOU IN TOUCH
This next one has to do with communicating during the storm. You might’ve seen posts before Irma that said you can use the walkie talkie app Zello to talk with family or friends, even if WiFi or cell service goes out.
For this one, we went straight to the app’s maker. Zello tells us that’s FALSE. You need WiFi or cell service to use the app. However, Zello can work on a bad connection, so it could be smart to download anyway.
LANDLINES STAY UP WHEN THE POWER GOES DOWN
Speaking of communicating, you might’ve heard your home phone will work if your power goes out. Finally, something we can VERIFY as TRUE. Frontier tells us some of their old, copper landlines work even if your home’s power is out.
If you have FiOs, the fiber optics center at your house has a battery pack that can run the phone for 8-12 hours without power.
Every provider’s different, so check with yours about this.