Growing up in south Louisiana you probably heard your parents or grandparents talk about leaving a crack in the window during a bad storm or hurricane. Whether folks stayed home and rode it out or evacuated, even to this day, many Louisiana residence will leave a crack in a window or two during bad storms.

Of course, that advice was shared with good intentions, but it's outdated antiquated advice. Advice that could put your home, property and your family's safety at risk.

Never leave windows cracked during severe storms or hurricanes. Hurricane winds are strong, violent and blow from all directions. Leaving a crack in a window allows strong air pressure to enter your home. That pressure has to escape.

Imagine a balloon being overfilled with air, that air has to escape once the balloon can't hold the pressure. Same with your house. Even the smallest crack in a window can allow enough pressure into your home to cause major damage.

Leaving windows and doors closed tightly can actually help your home sustain higher wind pressure. The pressure inside your house tends to fight against the outside air pushing against it. Just like a bike tire for instance, when inflated, it's firm. Without air, you can push it in using just one finger.

Another reason you should never leave a window cracked during bad storms is because of the amount of debris severe storms and hurricanes carry with them. Flying debris can enter your home causing major damage to what's inside. You and your loved ones could be injured as well. Water can also enter your home through cracked windows causing your home to flood, literally, from the inside out.

The National Weather Service suggests you never leave cracks in windows during storms and hurricanes. Closing shutters and boarding up windows during major storms and hurricanes is the best protection for life and property.

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