Five myths about riding out a hurricane

Contact: Jennifer Bowen
(334) 269-3550


Hurricane season reaches its peak in September and Alabamians know first-hand the destruction wrought by powerful storms like Sally and Zeta, which brought high winds and flooding to the Alabama Gulf Coast in the fall of 2020. 

While 2022 has been a quiet year for hurricanes so far, The Alabama Department of Insurance and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners urge you to make plans now in case another strong storm targets our coast.

In the aftermath of a hurricane, it can be difficult for rescuers to reach you if you need help. Electricity may be out. You may be unable to access basic services. That’s why it’s important to evacuate if your local and state emergency officials order an evacuation for your area. It's also important to know where you’ll go ahead of time. Do not attempt to ride out a storm when an evacuation order is in place. 

Let’s bust a few myths about riding out a storm.

Myth: I don’t need to evacuate because the sandbags outside my home will keep it, and me, dry and safe.
Reality: Sandbags can fail, and sometimes waters rise so high that they overtop DIY flood barriers. Also, you may be entirely cut off from emergency help even if your house stays dry. Downed trees and debris can make roads inaccessible to responders.

Myth: I don’t need an evacuation plan or need to study evacuation routes because officials will tell me where to go and when.
Reality: Evacuation orders are important to heed. But you may not have much time to find emergency shelter and it can be difficult to nail down details in the chaos. Knowing where you’ll go and evacuating ahead of a mandatory evacuation order can better guarantee your safety in a storm.

Myth: Even if something goes wrong, help is just a phone call away.
Reality: In many cases, emergency services are completely cut off. Phone lines may be down and summoning help may become impossible.

Myth: I need to stay behind to guard my belongings.
Reality: It’s very difficult to keep anything dry once floodwaters from high rains or a surging tide start rushing into your home. The only sure way to protect your possessions is to keep documentation of your valuables, buy a flood insurance policy, and evacuate to higher ground.

Myth: I’ve ridden out storms before. This one will be no different.
Reality: Every storm or flood event is unique and catastrophic weather events have grown more common in recent years. Your life is your most important asset. Protect yourself and your family by going to higher ground, away from danger.

For a list of items to include in your emergency kit, click here.

For more information about flood insurance, click here