Myth #3: During a big storm, open your windows a little to equalize the pressure.
Reality: Whether you’re in a tornado, a hurricane, or a big thunderstorm, opening the windows is a bad idea. Being by the window is one of the most dangerous places to be during a violent storm. Don’t waste time messing with the windows. Take shelter in your basement or in a small, interior room like a bathroom or closet.
Myth #4: During an earthquake, stand in a doorway.
Reality: Most doorways are lightly constructed – if something is going to give way in your home, a doorway is a likely candidate. If you’re standing in the doorway when it collapses, it could very well kill you. When an earthquake strikes, if you’re indoors, get beneath the nearest table. If you’re outside, move to the nearest open space as quick as you can. Often – if you can’t move to a safe spot very quickly – the safest bet during an earthquake is to stay put unless you are near something that is likely to fall on you.
Myth #5: After a disaster, if you’re trapped under fallen debris, shout as much as possible.
Reality: This myth is almost true. If you’re trapped, you want to make as much noise as possible, but shouting could cause you to inhale dust or toxins that may make you sick. Bang on pipes or whistle instead. If you feel you have to shout to get the attention of your would-be rescuers, try to cover your mouth with a piece of clothing to help filter out dust and debris.
Myth #6: If you don’t live in a flood zone, a flood can’t happen to you.
Reality: Plenty of floods happen to people living outside of designated flood areas. Even if you think a flood is unlikely, make sure you know where the nearest high ground is, and have a plan to escape there should a flood ever strike.
Myth #7: Government agencies are well equipped to respond to a chemical or biological attack.
Reality: The truth is that there are so many possible biological or chemical agents that government responders will be hard-pressed to identify what is making people sick, and that means that they won’t be able to offer the kind of help you might expect. The best thing you can do is take steps now to prepare so that you can remain in your home indefinitely should such an attack occur.