BHB regular commenter/voice of reason “Hoppy” notes in our Hurricane Irene Open Thread that taping your windows to prevent breakage seems silly. Well according to the premiere urban fable busting site Snopes.com, he’s right. It’s total bull.
Contrary to popular belief (and a frantic rise in the sales of these items before a hurricane hits), taping a home’s windows with masking or duct tape does nothing to protect them. The windows will still break, with the tape doing nothing to impede the process. It’s questionable that either sealant will even keep broken glass from dispersing, says the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH).
They add that plywood is pretty useless too.
And as far as lighting candles instead of cursing the darkness:
One last caution: If you stay in your home during a hurricane and the power goes out, do not light candles or gas or oil lanterns because of the potential for gas leaks from storm-damaged lines. Instead, use only flashlights or battery-powered lanterns during and after a storm until power is safely restored and all gas lines are checked.
NOAA’s Hurricane preparedness site agrees. Check it out here.