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
Atlantic/Gulf of Mexico/Caribbean Storms
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)