TAMPA (FOX 13) - For those of you riding out Hurricane Irma at home, there are a few last-minute things you may want to keep in mind.
When the wind starts howling and beating on your windows and doors, you need to know what to do and what not to do. We're going to dispel some myths.
Myth: Taping up windows prevents them from shattering.
FOX 13 Meteorologist Dave Osterberg says no, it does not. In fact, it can make matters worse.
When un-taped windows get hit with flying debris, they could shatter into a million tiny pieces. That sounds bad, but taped windows could be worse.
When taped windows are hit with debris, they still break, but into larger, more dangerous pieces. These shards could become weapons that could injure you.
John Wilding of FAS Windows and Doors says, "Your biggest risk factor is having your window break out and the house going into negative pressure with a hurricane. That's how you lose your roof."
Myth: Leaving an open crack under your windows will stabilize pressure.
Dave Osterberg confirms when you're in the middle of a hurricane, the last thing you want to do is open your windows. When violent wind gets in, it's going to look for a violent way out.
Don't crack your windows
Myth: You only need to protect the windows and doors facing the water.
Hurricanes are moving, rotating storms. Winds won't be coming from a single direction. It's things flying in the wind like yard debris and backyard patio items that pose the most danger to your windows.
Myth: Leaning against a door or window that's being blown in by wind pressure will stop it from bending or bowing.
If your doors or windows are bending to the pressure of the wind - and they might - don't try to fight the force of nature.
You may laugh and say, "I'd never do that," but your natural instinct may be to use your body as a barrier to the wind and protect your family.
But if the wind is strong enough to shatter your window or door, it can also hurt you or blow you into something that will break you.
If your windows and doors are bending, it's time to go into your safe room.
While you're there, take some time to write down your important contact numbers and info and put that paper in a safe dry place. Because if your phone dies, you can't get into your contacts - and how many of your member all your relatives numbers?
Close all of your interior doors to limit flying debris or wind flow should a window break, but remember, leave them unlocked.
If you lose power, use flashlights, not candles.
Unplug all the electronics you were charging and unplug any valuable electronics like your television, stereo, and desktop computer to protect them against a surge from lightning strikes.