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Busting Hurricane Myths

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Presentation on theme: "Busting Hurricane Myths"— Presentation transcript:

1 Busting Hurricane Myths
Becoming Storm Savvy Busting Hurricane Myths

2 Basic Hurricane Information.
Pinellas County’s Hurricane Guide Emergency Management: (727) Front of your telephone white pages

3 What is a myth? myth–noun Origin: Gk mŷthos story
a traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some hero or event, and explains some practice, rite, or phenomenon of nature. Any fictitious story or unscientific account, theory, belief, etc.

4 Why are myths dangerous?
They waste your time They cost you money They make you believe you are safer

5 The dirty dozen. Window taping It costs too much Pressure differences
Total destruction Vertical evacuation High winds Mobile home safety Countywide evacuation Public shelters Evacuation order timing Government will provide everything It can’t happen here

6 Myth: My windows are protected. I have them taped.
“Taping my windows is cheap and easy. Besides, everyone I see on TV is taping their windows. It must be a good idea.”

7 Fact: Shuttering your windows is the safe thing to do.
Tape does nothing to protect windows. Shutter options: Plywood (min. 7/16” required – FL Code) Commercial systems Large missile impact rated windows.

8 Myth: Hurricane preparation costs too much.
“News stories claim assembling a supply kit for a family of four costs more than $500. Who can afford that?”

9 Fact: Build your kit without busting your budget.
Inventory supplies already in your home. Buy a little bit each week. Buy only what you will use.

10 Myth: I’ll open my window to equalize pressure.
“If I don’t open the windows on the opposite side of my home during a hurricane, the air pressure difference can cause all of the glass in my windows to break.”

11 Fact: Keeping wind out of your home is top priority.
It’s not a difference atmospheric pressure that causes failure – it’s debris impact. Wind entering through an opening can pressurize air in the home, exiting through the weakest point.

12 Myth: Everything will be destroyed after the ‘Big One’.
“No doubt, a hurricane’s massive winds will tear everything apart. Protection is pointless. Besides, I’ll build a new house when I get my insurance check.”

13 Fact: Hardening your home can help save it.
Repairs are much easier than total rebuilds. You may be able to live in your home if repairs are minor.

14 Myth: When the storm comes, I’m evacuating up.
“My unit is on the sixth floor of the building and it has shutters. There’s no way storm surge or wind can get me. I’ll be safe.”

15 Fact: Vertical evacuation leaves you stranded.
Wind speed increases the higher you go. Storm surge can wash out lower levels of your building, preventing access after the storm passes.

16 Myth: Hurricane winds can’t be worse than thunderstorms.
“We have bad thunderstorms here. Hurricanes aren’t much worse. And, my house was built in 1960, so it must have survived lots of big storms.”

17 Fact: Hurricane winds are more powerful than you expect.
F = m x v2 Example: 120 mph wind is nine times stronger than a 40 mph wind (3 x 3). High winds can do serious damage, throwing large missiles. Last hurricane to hit Pinellas County was in 1921.

18 Myth: My mobile home is a safe place to ride out a storm.
“I have new tie-downs on my mobile home. It was also built after 1994 to tougher standards.”

19 Fact: NEVER ride out a storm in a mobile home.
Older homes not built to withstand high winds. Newer homes rely on tie-downs to resist forces – they can fail. Evacuate when ordered to!

20 Myth: There’s no safe place when the ‘Big One’ comes.
“Surely, there is a plan to evacuate everyone from Pinellas County when a Category 5 storm is coming.”

21 Fact: There are many safe places to shelter from a storm.
“Run from water, hide from wind.” Seek shelter in a well-built structure out of the evacuation zones. Some areas are less than one mile from the beach to a non-evacuation zone.

22 Myth: Why have an evacuation plan? I’m going to a shelter.
“I’ve been told that public shelters provide cots, food and generators. Why not use them? I can also bring my pet with me to a shelter, right?”

23 Fact: Public shelters are safer, but they are a last resort.
Shelters do not provide bedding, can be crowded and dark. Pets are only allowed at certain shelters. Stay with a friend or relative instead.

24 Myth: I’ll evacuate when the weather starts to get bad.
“The sun is shining. It’s a beautiful beach day. Why evacuate now? Besides, I have weather radar on my computer – I’ll evacuate when I’m sure we’ll get hit.”

25 Fact: Evacuate when ordered.
Evacuation orders are issued to protect you when the threat of storm surge exists. Enough time must be provided to clear residents from affected areas. Move quickly but safely.

26 Myth: The government will provide everything I need.
“I don’t need all those things in my survival kit. When the ‘Big One’ hits, the government will set up relief stations and give me exactly what I need.”

27 Fact: Get supplies to last AT LEAST 72 HOURS.
First priorities are search and rescue, opening hospitals and restarting basic infrastructure. Field aid stations will open, but it will take time to get supplies here on damaged roadways and bridges.

28 Myth: It can’t happen here.
“In Pinellas, we’re protected by an ancient Indian blessing/our geography/weather patterns. The storms will never come here.”

29 Fact: It’s only a matter of time.
Major storms form in the Gulf Wilma (882 mb), Camille (902 mb) Tampa Bay area is not immune 1835, 1848, 1852, 1872, 1873, 1887, 1892, 1894, 1899, 1921 Close brushes since 1950 Easy (1950), Donna (1960), Gladys (1968), Elena (1985), Georges (1998), Charley (2004), Wilma (2005)

30 Be prepared! Know your evacuation level and evacuate when ordered
Build your hurricane survival kit Prepare your home to withstand high winds Monitor the weather daily during the hurricane season

31 Stay in the know Weather Alert Radios
Fast warning from the local weather office Local Media (Radio, TV, Newspaper) Community Notification System (888) from a cell phone Citizen Information Center (727) E-Lert - Sign up today

32 It’s Everyone’s Responsibility
Surviving the Storm: It’s Everyone’s Responsibility (727)

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