Hurricane season is fast approaching our area, but did you know that many of the things we've all been taught about how best to prepare for a storm are not completely true?  Read on for the 5 most common myths regarding hurricane preparedness, and make sure your beautiful Florida home is protected from whatever Mother Nature throws our way!

1.  We've all heard that taping up the windows before a storm is a way to prevent them from shattering, but this is actually false.  Hurricane force winds can cause debris to fly through the air, and a layer of duct tape is not going to stop a tree limb from coming into the house.  Instead, go for full coverage of the glass, either with plywood or approved hurricane shutters.  As an added bonus, you may get a discount on your homeowners insurance for installing a wind-rated shutter system!

2.  Living in Florida, many of us tend to brush off the more "minor" tropical storms or Category 1 hurricanes.  While it's tempting to just hunker down and try to ride it out, remember that even a tropical depression is capable of dropping 6 inches or more of rain!  

3.  Water is a hot commodity in the days leading up to a storm, and many people believe that filling the bathtub or sink will provide their families with potable drinking water.  While it's not a bad idea to do this so you have water to use for washing clothes or bathing, the water held in a tub or sink is not considered drinkable.  Make sure to keep bottled water stocked at all times to avoid the rush before a storm!

4.  We've all seen the disaster footage on television, and it seems there is always at least one shot of rescue workers or homeowners stacking sandbags around their area.  While sandbags are useful for diverting water away from your home, they are only truly effective when used properly.  Make sure your sandbags are only about half full, and keep your stacks under 3 bags tall to ensure maximum efficiency!

5.  Finally, the age old myth that we should crack open our windows to "equalize the pressure" while riding out a storm.  This is probably the most dangerous myth of all!  If we open the windows and allow the wind to get inside, that powerful force is going to need a way out.  Many times this practice leads to the windows shattering outwards!. Buildings are not airtight structures, so there are plenty of small openings that allow wind to flow through the home, keeping you safe!

With careful preparation and advanced planning, you and your family, as well as your home here in paradise, can survive the storms Mother Nature throws our way!