Everything you need to know to prepare for hurricane season

Published: Wednesday, May 31, 2017 @ 12:21 AM

9 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Hurricane Season

Hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean begins June 1 and runs until Nov. 30, but officials agree that the best way to avoid catastrophic damage is through to be proactive.

"Advance planning and preparation are essential for protecting property, reducing risk and ultimately saving lives," National Weather Service officials said in the introduction the NWS hurricane guide for the Southeast.

Charley English, former director of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security said in a news release from 2014: "Learn your flood risk, create a ready kit for your home and car, and develop an evacuation and family communications plan."

GEMA said in that release that research shows "69 percent of Georgians do not know designated evacuation routes from their community, and 67 percent have not arranged a family meeting place or reconnection plan."

Ready Georgia provides a host of tools and information at its website.

It recommends evacuation when:

• If you are directed by local authorities to do so. Be sure to follow their instructions.

• If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure – such shelters are particularly hazardous during a hurricane no matter how well fastened to the ground.

• If you live in a high-rise building – hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations.

• If you live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on an island waterway.

• You should be able to move your valuables within 15 minutes. 

Here are more tips to help you prep for the storms, from the NWS guide.

• Elevation matters: Are you in a flood or evacuation zone?

• Mobile homes: Check tie-downs and prepare to evacuate.

• Landscaping: Always trim trees, shrubbery and dead limbs, especially close to your home.

• Roofing: Inspect it for loose tiles, etc., and clear loose or clogged gutters and drainspouts.

• Doors: Reinforce garage doors and tracks or replace with a hurricane-tested door; and reinforce double-entry doors with heavy-duty foot and head bolts. Use security dead bolts with a minimum 1-inch bolt length.

• Windows: If possible, install hurricane shutters. Alternatively, use five-eighths inch (or greater) grade exterior plywood secured by 2 1/2 inch screws and/or special clips. 

• Renters need to prepare, too: Review your renter's and flood insurance; prepare to relocate to a lower floor

• For pets: Update their vaccinations and have proof; have a current photo; have properly sized pet carriers; pack enough food and water for the duration of the evacuation; and be sure to have proper ID collars. Read more.

The NWS also recommends preparing emergency evacuation kits for functional and medical needs clients, those clients who either require support to maintain their independence or support of trained medical professionals.

• Contact information, including doctor's contact

• Special equipment, if needed; and a list with style and serial numbers of included medical devices

Can you find the camouflaged soldier hidden in this viral photo?

Published: Monday, December 11, 2017 @ 2:53 AM

Can you find the camouflaged soldier hidden in this viral photo? (Photo credit: British Army / Twitter)
British Army / Twitter
Can you find the camouflaged soldier hidden in this viral photo? (Photo credit: British Army / Twitter)(British Army / Twitter)

The British Army wants you to test its woodland camouflage. Do you see a soldier in this image?

>> See the tweet here

The British Army asked Twitter users to scan the photo — which reportedly was shot in Wales on the Section Commander’s Battle Course — to find the soldier in the scene.

>> Read more trending news 

A hint, in case you’re having any difficulty: The soldier is not standing up.

To make things a bit difficult, the soldier is wearing a woodland camouflage pattern designed to blend in with the misty forest terrain.

>> This coffee riddle has baffled the internet – can you solve it?

Is the British uniform good enough for you? If you haven’t found the answer yet, it’s here — the soldier lying prone, enveloped in mist, with just the perfectly round helmet giving any indication that it’s not all forest floor.

>> Click here or scroll down to see the answer
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Bedbugs love your dirty laundry, new study says

Published: Thursday, September 28, 2017 @ 6:31 PM

(Getty File Photo)
Meg Igarashi / EyeEm/Getty Images/EyeEm
(Getty File Photo)(Meg Igarashi / EyeEm/Getty Images/EyeEm)

If you think bed bugs only crawl through your sheets, think again. Those critters are fond of your dirty laundry, too, according to a new report. 

>> Read more trending news

Researchers from the University of Sheffield in England conducted an experiment, recently published in Science Reports, to determine possible causes of the spread of bed bugs. 

To do so, they placed four tote bags of clothing - two with dirty clothes and two with clean clothes - across two identical temperature-controlled rooms that contained bed bugs. They also pumped carbon dioxide into one room to simulate human breathing and examined both rooms over the course of four days. 

After analyzing the results, scientists found that bed bugs were twice as likely to latch onto the dirty laundry than the clean laundry in the room with the CO2. In the room without COS, bedbugs “were more likely to leave their refuge and initiate host-seeking behaviour,” scientists said in an article about the study. 

Scientists believe when bedbugs cling to clothing, the critters can easily travel from place to place, which causes them to spread. To prevent an infestation, they think travelers should carefully store their clothing, keeping them away from beds. 

“Our study suggests that keeping dirty laundry in a sealed bag, particularly when staying in a hotel, could reduce the chances of people taking bed bugs home with them, which may reduce the spread of infestations,” lead author William Hentley said in a statement.

Such prevention tactics can also help reduce extermination costs as bedbugs can be extremely difficult to get rid of. 

Teen trying to kill bed bug starts fire, causes $300,000 in damage, firefighters say

Published: Thursday, November 30, 2017 @ 12:27 PM

Teen Starts Fire, Causes $300,000 In Damage Trying To Kill Bed Bug

A Cincinnati teen trying to kill a bed bug is accused of starting a fire in his apartment complex that caused $300,000 in damage and displaced eight residents. 

WCPO in Cincinnati reported that the 13-year-old boy tried to kill the pest by lighting it on fire. His mattress burst into flames, and the fire spread to the building’s attic.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze, but one apartment was destroyed. Two other units had fire damage, and two others were damaged by smoke and water.

Three adults and five children were displaced by the incident, the news station reported. Firefighters said the American Red Cross was assisting the residents. 

>> Read more trending news

Bed bugs are flat, reddish-brown insects that feed on the blood of humans or animals. According to pest control company Orkin, they are usually found in cracks and crevices, including mattress seams, sheets and furniture. They also hide behind baseboards and in electrical plate outlets. 

They are often found in hotels because they can travel easily in luggage, purses and briefcases, the company’s website said

Signs of an infestation include not only the bugs, which are about the size of an apple seed, but also the empty skins that young bed bugs shed as they grow. They also leave behind their droppings. 

Homeowners may also discover bites on their bodies when they wake up. Bed bugs prefer to be active at night, when their hosts are asleep, Orkin said

Pregnant woman fatally shot by boyfriend trying to end relationship, police say

Published: Sunday, December 10, 2017 @ 11:39 PM

A man fatally shot his pregnant girlfriend in an attempt to end the relationship, police say. (Photo: Fox13Memphis.com)
A man fatally shot his pregnant girlfriend in an attempt to end the relationship, police say. (Photo: Fox13Memphis.com)

A man fatally shot his pregnant girlfriend Saturday in an attempt to end the relationship, police said.

>> Read more trending news

Keosha Miller, 22, was shot around around 6:59 p.m. in the Faronia Square Townhomes, Memphis police said. 

Brandon Freeman was seen by witnesses, fleeing the residence at a high rate of speed, police said. The witnesses called Freeman to check and see if he was OK. He told them "some random guys tried to shoot he and his girlfriend."

Freeman later returned to the scene and moved evidence there, police said. 

Freeman later admitted to police that he shot and killed Miller because he was unsure if she was pregnant with his baby and it was the easiest way he could think of to get out of the relationship.

“There are a number of things you could’ve done to get out of that relationship. You got abortion and a number of things other than taking a baby’s life,” a neighbor said. 

Memphis police told FOX13 that Miller was three months pregnant when she was shot and killed by Freeman. The fetus did not survive the shooting.

Freeman was arrested and charged with first-degree murder; he is scheduled to appear in court on Monday morning.