true_falseIf you’re relying on taped-up windows instead of flood insurance to protect your home from a hurricane, you probably have fallen prey to one or more of these common myths.

Myth: It’s never flooded at my house before, so it won’t flood this time.

Fact: That’s such a common refrain among local flood victims for each successive hurricane that it has become a cliche. Every single home in Terrebonne and Lafourche is threatened by wind, flood, rain or all three, more so as coastal marshes, wetlands and barrier islands that once buffered inland communities continue to erode.

Public officials have constantly urged every home and business owner to have flood insurance, which in many cases only costs a few hundred dollars a year compared with the tens of thousands it will cost to replace your building and its contents.

Myth: You can’t buy flood insurance if you are in a high-flood-risk area.

Fact: You can buy federal flood insurance no matter where you live if your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, as Terrebonne, Lafourche and all surrounding parishes do.

Myth: You can’t buy flood insurance immediately before or during a flood.

Fact: You can purchase flood coverage any time. There is a 30-day waiting period after you’ve applied and paid the premium before the policy is effective, with few exceptions. Visit floodsmart. gov for details.

Myth: Homeowners-insurance policies cover flooding.

Fact: Unfortunately, many homeowners do not find out until it is too late that their homeowners policies do not cover flood damage. Only flood insurance does.

Myth: Open the windows so air pressure doesn’t explode the house.

Fact: This would not only be unsafe for you and your home, but it would also allow winddriven rain to stream through your house and ruin belongings. Normal leakage of air around windows and doors will tend to keep the pressure in your house slightly lower than the atmospheric pressure caused by the storm outside. The greatest danger comes when a large window or door fails on a wall facing the wind. The key is keeping all wind and water out

with proper opening protection.

Myth: You only need to protect the openings facing the ocean or gulf.

Fact: Because hurricanes are a moving, rotating storm, winds can come from any direction, which can change rapidly if you are near the eye. Your best bet is to protect windows and doors on all sides of your home.

Myth: You should tape windows with a big “X.”

Fact: Taping glass does nothing to address the main point of protection — keeping the glass in its frame and securely attached to the home.

Never lean or push against a window or door that is being blown inward by wind pressure. And no matter what kind of glass you have, stay away from all windows during a severe storm.