Hurricane Preparation: To Tape Up Windows or Not?

Winds, water, and all-round disaster, hurricanes are a form of nature’s fury unleashed.

It’s important to engage in a few vital steps of hurricane preparedness to keep yourself and your belongings safe.

As this dangerous season makes a comeback, people will start boarding up their houses, closing those hurricane shutters, and getting all the gear they need.

Before you begin taping up those large glass windows, it’s time to let you know the truth.
.

One of the most common myths associated with the hurricane is that taping windows is actually a great way of keeping them intact.

Since hurricane shutters are hard to find and boarding up all the windows might be difficult, taping them up was often used as an alternative.

hurricane damage
Image: flickr

Even so, here is the dire reality about this age old practice:

1. Newer Windows Don’t Require It – and neither do the older ones

Modern windows are usually encased in a sheet of plastic or acrylic so that even if they shatter, it happens within this protective casing.

This ensures that homeowners don’t have to walk through piles of shattered glass, presenting less danger for all!

On the other hand, older windows are going to shatter either way.

2. Newer Windows Break Nicely:

To decrease the risk posed by shattered glass, many of the newer windows will break into tiny circles. These won’t be sharp, allowing residents to walk through without them getting bloody cuts in the process.

What’s more terrifying is that taping up your windows would give rise to grimmer consequences.

Believe it or not, but putting that duct tape or masking tape all over the large pane of glass is just another way of increasing your risk of injury.

Here are a couple of problems it poses:

1. Increased Danger:

If your windows are going to shatter into a million pieces, tape will just hold many of these together, leaving larger more dangerous pieces lying around.

Unlike the popular myth, taping up doesn’t keep the whole glass intact, but rather simply keeps some large, terrifying broken pieces stuck together even as they scatter across the floor.

hurricane windows
Image: flickr

2. False Security:

What happens when you think you’re safe (but truly aren’t?) It gives rise to a false sense of security because of which many homeowners may not take all the necessary precautions.

Unfortunately, feeling safe in a home that has virtually no protection against nature’s wrath is a sure way to increase injuries and accidents.

It’s best to keep yourself safe and take the tough way out – board up your house instead.
.

Taping up windows hasn’t been promoted as a legitimate measure of hurricane preparedness since around the 1980s.

Even so, people continue to indulge in this anyway, believing in old school ideas more than new ones.

When many consider boarding up those windows too much trouble and attempt to cut corners, they inadvertently set themselves up for greater trouble.

Here’s the thing:

1. Windows Break:

Since the primary danger presented during the hurricane isn’t the water or wind itself, but rather the things flying around in it, taping does little to help.

If an object is hurled at your window with intense force, tape is going to offer little resistance, ensuring that your window now lies scattered across the room.

So the reality about taping is – windows break with and without it.

2. It’s Always A Mess:

With glass scattered everywhere, many claim taping is a good idea because it keeps the pieces large, making them easier to spot.

In reality, this makes no difference.

With larger pieces to handle, you will have more dangerous edges to beware of. So since you’ll be stuck with clean up duty either way, why indulge in this extra useless measure in the first place?

Since the 2000s have rolled in there have been plenty of innovations.

Here’s the thing:

It’s time to invest in hurricane shutters.

While these may be too expensive for many, boarding them up is a legitimate alternative (so long as you secure the wood in place).

While the government stopped advertising taping as a legitimate means of preparedness more than 3 decades ago, many people still haven’t gotten the memo.

So now that you know, you can finally begin saving up those rolls of tape for some more useful activities around the house!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.