When bad weather threatens, so do the rumors

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD, USA [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

By NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD, USA [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD, USA [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Brhia Cummings, Editor

Hurricane Florence was the buzz of the past month. Despite dire predictions, luckily in our area (Columbia, SC), there was some light flooding, lots of rain, winds but that was about it.

While the hurricane, while devastating for the eastern parts of North Carolina and our coastal areas, in some cases, the news over-exaggerated the real effects of this hurricane. One notable occurrence was when a reporter for the Weather Channel was in a live shot, appearing to struggle against the winds and rain while giving his report. He was caught out, however, when two young men easily walked up the street behind him. 

As with every hurricane that threatens, rumors get passed around and stirred up, encouraging the fear of the citizens. One rumor, which is probably the most ridiculous, is if you shoot at the hurricane, it will ‘scare it’ away. Not only can this result in injury from accidental shooting, it just isn’t a good idea.

Another rumor to discount is the one that encourages people in flood zones to store precious items in a dishwasher. Don’t store your valuables in the dishwasher. A dishwasher is made to seal water from the inside coming out, not the outside coming in. So, in case of a flood, storing your valuables in a dishwasher would most likely still result in damage to whatever you stored in there.

Lastly, there are no sharks in the water. A joke went around during the last major hurricane to hit the east coast where someone made a fake image with sharks in the water. Some people knew it was a joke, while some others didn’t.

It’s a fact that every time a big event like bad weather or flooding occur, there could be some fabrication on social media or in the news to keep the story alive. During a storm, people need to check reliable news sources to make sure they have the proper equipment and techniques to survive and protect themselves and what they consider to be important.