Top 10 Hurricane Questions

Ten popular questions regarding hurricanes

TAMPA - 1. Will this be a busy hurricane season?

Federal forecasters are predicting yet another busy hurricane season for 2013.

Thursday's outlook calls for 13 to 20 named storms, 7 to 11 that strengthen into hurricanes and 3 to 6 that become major hurricanes.

The prediction by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is more than what's considered an average Atlantic season.

Last year was the third-busiest on record with 19 named storms. Ten became hurricanes and were two major storms, with winds over 111 mph.

2. Should I evacuate?

If you are in an evacuation zone when officials make the call to evacuate, you should evacuate.  You should have a plan ready now (see question #5 below)

3. What can I do with my propane tank?

Do NOT take it inside your home or garage.  Tie it to a tree or column outside, or bury it in your backyard for protection.

4. If glass breaks during a storm, should I crack open a window to equalize the pressure?

No. Every door and window should be protected with a hurricane shutter or hurricane glass. Do not open windows and doors, even a crack.

5. If there was one piece of advice who could give to prepare, what would it be?

Make a hurricane plan. Decide right now if you are going to stay or evacuate, and if you decide to leave, pick a place now where you will go. Preferably this is a place inland but in the same or neighboring count of where you live.

6. Should I tape my windows?

No, this is an old wife's tale that still sticks around today. Tape will not help protect your home or family.

7. Am I safe near the ocean if I'm high up in a condo?

No. Studies have shown the winds 10-15 stories up are 10% stronger. A 100mph wind at the surface would be much stronger in a high rise building. That's one reason windows tend to blow out in tall buildings.

8. Why don't we weaken hurricanes with chemicals?

The problem is that hurricanes can be nearly the size of Florida. It would take hundreds or airplanes flying 24 hours a day to have any impact at all, and that's not even guaranteed. The better solution is to build hurricane resistant homes.

9. I need to find a safe room in my home, but every room has a window. What should I do?

Pick the best room, with the smallest window as your safe room. Preferably a closet or bathroom on the lowest level of your home. Sometimes picking a safe room is about trade offs, especially in a smaller house.

10. Should I protect the outside attic vents with a hurricane shutter?

This is not essential, but it's not a bad idea. Many homes had water damage from the rains of Frances and Jeanne, as the wind blew the water sideways into the attic. That water then ruined ceilings and walls.

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