TAMPA, Fla. – Tape your windows before a hurricane.
That advice echoes across Florida every storm season. And every year, it’s wrong.
“That does not help nothing,” said Pasco County Emergency Management Director Andrew Fossa. “The only thing that is going to do is hold bigger pieces of glass together as it flies through the air.”
Taping up windows may be the most common misconception about getting ready for a hurricane in Florida. It’s hardly the only one.
Such myths have long clouded the judgement of Floridians in the face of the the Sunshine State’s greatest danger: hurricane season. Those myths may have even foretold this era of conspiracy theories and misinformation that has infected the public’s understanding of the pandemic, vaccines and elections.
To help bay area residents get ready for the 2021 hurricane season, the Tampa Bay Times asked the state and region’s top emergency management officials to list the hurricane myths and misconceptions they wish Floridians would forget about already.
Myth 1: We’re (probably) covered
The most important protection every Florida homeowner needs before hurricane season isn’t storm shutters or a portable generator or an evacuation plan.
It’s making sure they have the right insurance.
“I think that’s the first step,” said Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie.