MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - There are some dangerous myths surrounding hurricane season, including some unique to the Grand Strand.
Some are more obvious than others, but you may be guilty of falling for a few.
“There are certain myths kind of tied into Horry County that people, I don't know if they believe them or not, but I've heard them,” said Horry County Emergency Management Director Randy Webster.
The peak of hurricane season is less than a month away, so now is the perfect time to debunk these myths.
"Hurricanes tend to stay away from Horry County." "Hurricanes won't cross the Intracostal Waterway." "You'll see the big X's on the big panes of windows.”
These are few Webster has heard.
The first two are clearly not true. The Grand Strand has seen its fair share of hurricanes over the years and the damage a land-falling hurricane causes can spread hundreds of miles inland. Just look back to Hugo; it sent hurricane-force winds all the way to Charlotte.
What about the taped X on windows? Far more people believe this protects their windows from damage.
“It'll make it worse because most windows will break into smaller pieces and if you do have duct tape on there, they may hold them into larger chunks or shards,” Webster said.
Another commonly spread myth is the need to crack windows open before a hurricane approaches. The thinking is the cracked windows will allow the pressure inside the house to equalize to the dropped pressure outside the home due to the storm.
Webster said this simply is not true; it just opens the inside of a home up to the damaging winds.
“And that's when you start seeing the destruction of the roofs coming off and walls falling out," Webster said. "So there is not enough significant change in pressure to warrant opening your home to that.”
Webster also emphasized the importance of prepping for hurricanes, no matter whether you live in an evacuation zone or not. This is especially important if you live in a mobile home.
“We ask folks to leave because tie downs just aren't secure enough,” Webster said. “We have a lot of sandy soil here in Horry County so you got to understand what it's tied into.”
Webster said if you are are not comfortable with the structure you're living in, don't stay there. There will be plenty of shelters open across the county.