Amica Insurance is spreading the word to debunk common myths about hurricanes.
Many people believe only coastal areas are at risk of damage from hurricanes. But strong winds, heavy rain and flooding can spread inland hundreds of miles from the coast. Consider, for instance, the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
Another common myth is that by opening the windows slightly during a hurricane equalizes the pressure in the home, preventing the roof from collapsing. But no home is airtight, so pressure equalizes on its own, Amica says. Opening windows only allows rain and debris to get in.
Some homeowners believe taping windows with duct tape will prevent them from breaking. But tape only makes the glass fall in large pieces, instead of shattering in small shards. The best way to protect windows it to board them up or install hurricane shutters.
Yet another myth is that residents don't need to evacuate until the storm hits. But experts advise residents to leave immediately if they're told to evacuate -- even if the current weather is calm. By waiting for the storm to arrive, people run the risk of getting stranded.
Disaster preparedness experts advise to have an evacuation plan in place and follow it right away when alerted.
The Atlantic hurricane season began June 1 and runs through Nov. 30.