After 14 seasons and more than 2,950 experiments, Discovery Channel’s MythBusters has come to an end. The show explored wacky and common myths, using ingenious (and sometimes dangerous) experiments to confirm or bust them all. While the experiments were clearly designed with entertainment in mind, many of them include helpful takeaways for emergency preparedness.
So with a hat-tip to Adam, Jamie and the entire MythBusters gang, here’s a look back at some of the emergency preparedness lessons we’ve learned from them over the years:
Myth: Wearing metal-cleated shoes such as golf shoes makes you more susceptible to a lightning strike.
The presence of metal has no effect on whether you’ll be struck by lightning. Do you know what does make a difference when it comes to lightning strikes? Taking shelter. If a thunderstorm is in your area, quickly go inside. Once indoors, stay away from electrical appliances, computers and other items that may conduct electricity during a storm. Since lightning is the second leading weather-related killer in Georgia, we’ve debunked a few more myths to help you get prepared.
Myth: You can escape a car that has fallen into the water as soon as the water inside the car is up to your waist.
Knowing how to escape a car in the water is important, but it’s even better to avoid that situation entirely. Our best tip on that: NEVER drive through standing water. What may look like just a few inches could be much more; it could also be hiding a washed-out roadway. Remember, just two feet of water can cause your car to float away. Nearly half of all flood-related deaths occur when people drive into floodwaters.
Myth: You can use duct tape on a deserted island to find food, build a shelter, build a fire and make clothing.
As the show proved, duct tape is a great tool for a variety of survival situations. Although it isn’t on the official list of recommended items to keep in your Ready kit, you may want to keep a roll or two on hand. (MythBusters fun fact: The team used 83 miles of duct tape throughout the show’s 14-year run!)
Myth: A house will suffer significantly less damage in a major storm if the windows are left open.
You will not be able to escape damage to your home in a storm if you leave your windows open. In fact, it’s advised to do the opposite – before a major storm like a hurricane, you should close and cover your windows with hurricane shutters or plywood to help minimize damage. Severe thunderstorms call for similar preparation – always close your windows and blinds.
So long, MythBusters. Thanks for putting some preparedness myths to the test and finding fun along the way. Preparedness fun? CONFIRMED.