As the temperatures rise, severe storms start to make headlines nationwide. When I was growing up, I remember the weather myth that you should keep your windows cracked if a tornado is in your area to equalize the pressure. Is this true or a myth?
Here are some of the common weather myths you should be aware of.
1. Tornadoes and hurricanes cause the most injuries and damage.
While these storms are horrific, technological advancements allow meteorologists to predict and track them before they arrive. This helps people seek shelter quickly. In reality, droughts, floods, and wildfires cause more yearly injuries and deaths.
2. Lightning never strikes the same place twice.
While I’ve never been struck by lightning, I have had a few close encounters. Multiple lightning strikes can occur depending on an object’s size and location. If lightning is in your area, it’s best to seek shelter inside your home or another building.
3. Seeking shelter under a tree will keep me safe.
While standing underneath a tree will help keep you dry from the rain or provide some protection against small hail, it won’t protect you from lightning. Being struck by lightning while underneath a tree is the second leading cause of lightning-related deaths.
4. Doorways are the safest spots to be during earthquakes.
For this to be true, it depends on when your home was built. In older homes, this may be a true statement. However, now, when homes are built, they must follow local building codes or ordinances. So, if you live in an area prone to earthquakes, your home is built to help withstand the quake, no matter which part of the home you’re in.
5. You can safely drive your vehicle through floodwaters.
No matter how big your car or truck is, driving through floodwaters is never wise. First, you can’t see what’s lurking in the water or how deep it is. Second, if there’s a strong current, your vehicle can easily be swept away with you trapped inside. It’s estimated that two feet of water can float your vehicle.
6. It’s a good idea to open windows in your home to equalize pressure and prevent tornado damage.
Tornadoes are powerful storms that can damage your home whether your windows are open or not. It’s best to take shelter immediately to stay safe.
7. When driving, seek shelter under an overpass if a tornado is coming your way.
While it’s true that overpasses are strong and can sustain high winds, exposure to flying debris could be deadly. The best strategy is to take cover in a low-lying spot, such as a ditch.
8. A tornado can’t cross rivers or lakes.
Honestly, tornadoes can cross just about anything in their path. And I’m sure you’ve seen video footage of waterspouts forming on an ocean or lake. Tornadoes on water or land are created the same way. The only thing that’s different is what gets sucked up, i.e., water, dirt, and debris. Again, seek shelter immediately.
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