From the Brainroom: Hurricane Survival Guide

FOX News Channel is tracking Hurricane Dennis all weekend long. Tune in for live reports and up-to-the-minute information as the dangerous storm makes landfall.

Preparing for Hurricanes
(from the Red Cross)

Prepare a personal evacuation plan:

• Identify ahead of time a place to seek safety: a friend’s house in a nearby town, motel, shelter, etc. Be sure to keep their telephone numbers handy.

• Take a map -- In case of flooding or downed trees, you may need to take unfamiliar roads.

• Tune to local television or radio news stations for emergency information.

• If told to evacuate, bring your kit of prepared items. (SEE BELOW)

Put together a disaster supplies kit:

• First aid kit and essential medications

• Canned food and can opener

• At least three gallons of water per person

• Protective clothing, rainwear, and bedding or sleeping bags

• Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries

• Special items for infants, elderly, or disabled family members

• Important documents, including: driver's license, Social Security card, proof of residence, insurance policies, wills, deeds, birth and marriage certificates, tax records, etc.

• Written instructions on how to turn off electricity, gas and water if authorities advise you to do so (Remember, you'll need a professional to turn them back on)

Prepare for high winds:

• Install hurricane shutters or purchase precut 1/2" outdoor plywood boards for each window of your home. Install anchors for the plywood and pre-drill holes in the plywood so that you can put it up quickly

• Make trees more wind resistant by removing diseased and damaged limbs, then strategically removing branches so that wind can blow through.

Hurricane WATCH vs. Hurricane WARNING

WATCH: Hurricane conditions are possible in the specified area of the WATCH, usually within 36 hours.

• What to do: Listen to local radio for up-to-date information. Bring inside any lawn furniture, trash cans, and anything else that the wind can pick up. Be prepared to place 1/2" precut plywood pieces over windows (taping is not recommended). Fill your car's gas tank and stock up on bottled water, canned foods, medical supplies, etc.

WARNING: Hurricane conditions are expected in the specified area of the WARNING, usually within 24 hours.

• What to do: Listen to local officials and evacuate if told to do so. Otherwise, stay indoors away from windows. Be aware that the calm "eye" of the storm is deceptive; the worst part of the storm is yet to come. Be aware of tornadoes that may occur during or after the hurricane passes -- stay in the center of the house in a closet or bathroom without windows. Avoid flooded areas, especially with your car and seek higher ground.


• The term hurricane is from Huracan, the West Indian God of Storms

• There have been only two category 5 hurricanes in the 20th century

• First person to give names was Clement Wragge, Australian weatherman, who used biblical names

• During WWII, storms were named after women of the Army Meteorological Service, usually after wives and girlfriends back home

• In 1953, the National Weather Service began naming storms after women

• In 1978/1979, the names were alternated with men's names

• Atlantic and Pacific Hurricanes use separate lists

• The most intense hurricane, as measured by atmospheric pressure, was an unnamed storm that hit the Florida Keys in 1935 with winds in excess of 155 mph

Naming Hurricanes
Hurricane names are recycled every six years
• The list of names for 2005 will be used again in 2011
• The names of famous hurricanes are usually dropped and replaced with something else. Luis has been replaced by Lorenzo and Andrew by Alex
• Names beginning with Q, U, X, Y and Z are not used because there are so few
Names of the 2005 Season Storms
Atlantic/Gulf of Mexico/Caribbean Storms

• Arlene
• Bret
• Cindy
• Dennis
• Franklin
• Gert
• Harvey
• Irene
• Jose
• Katrina
• Lee
• Maria
• Nate
• Ophelia
• Philippe
• Rita
• Rita
• Rita
• Vince
• Wilma

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Intensity Scale

Category One- A Minimal Hurricane

• Winds: 74-95 mph
• Minimum surface pressure: higher than 980 mbar
• Storm surge: 3-5 ft
• Example: Hurricane Jerry (1989)

Category Two- A Moderate Hurricane

• Winds: 96-110 mph
• Minimum surface pressure: 979-965 mbar
• Storm surge: 6-8 ft.
• Example: Hurricane Bob (1991)

Category Three- An Extensive Hurricane

• Winds: 111-130 mph
• Minimum surface pressure: 964-945 mbar
• Storm surge: 9-12 ft
• Example: Hurricane Gloria (1985)

Category Four- An Extreme Hurricane

• Winds 131-155 mph
• Minimum surface pressure: 944-920 mbar
• Storm surge: 13-18 ft.
• Example: Hurricane Andrew (1992)

Category Five- A Catastrophic Hurricane

• Winds: greater than 155 mph
• Minimum surface pressure: lower than 920 mbar
• Storm surge: higher than 18 ft.
• Example: Hurricane Camille (1969)