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What's The Difference Between A Tropical Storm And A Tropical Depression?

What's The Difference Between A Tropical Storm And A Tropical Depression?

How some car owners are putting themselves at risk after storm

Some of the major property damage from Saturday’s storm around Memphis are crushed cars.

The destroyed vehicles are now popping up in salvage yards.

If your vehicle was destroyed, you may be opening up yourself to thieves and not even know it.

Mid-Town Auto Parts and Salvage has nearly 1500 cars on its lot.

On average the company gets about 15 cars a day including cars from accidents, breakdowns, and even storm damage.

Owner Larry Walker said he expects to get more cars that were damaged in Saturday night’s storm.

“Yea we’ll get a few of them, a lot of people have insurance so the insurance companies will take care of that,” Walker said.

>> Read more trending news 

Car parts aren’t the only things that can be found on the lot. Walker said as crews clean out cars, they run across documents with personal information.

“More often than you believe,” Walker said.

“We’ve had ID’s that have been left in cars that we take out or mail back or put in our box to wait form them to show back up to pick it up.”

But some things can get overlooked. Crumbled pieces of paper like bills and receipts can fall in-between and under seats.

FOX13 looked through six cars and found a parking ticket that listed a person’s date of birth, driver’s license number, and address.

Walker said something as simple as this could put someone at risk.

Nancy Crawford with the Better Business Bureau said car owners should make sure cars are completely cleaned out before going to a lot.

“They can then use that one piece of information to go somewhere else and masquerade it as you even online to open new accounts maybe get lights turned on,” Crawford said.

She said personal information obtained in this way can be more dangerous.

“People who have identity offline from physical pieces of information actually don’t realize that they’ve been the victim of identity theft as quickly as someone who had it happen online,” Crawford explained.

Crawford said drivers should not leave documents like social security cards in their car and to only carry them when needed.

Walker also said it’s important to remove license plates that are still up to date in order to avoid someone using it for themselves. 

How a man wearing a trash bag saved his dog in a killer hurricane

On August 23, 1992, the day before Hurricane Andrew was expected to come ashore, former Palm Beach Post reporter Siobhan Morrisey and I boarded a chartered plane to Key West. While we were in the air, the path of Andrew changed, and we decided to land in Marathon instead. We talked an airport employee into renting us a condo for the night, then settled in to wait for the storm.

>> Read more trending news

We woke to birds singing and clear skies — the storm had shifted north overnight. Piling my gear into a rented Cadillac – a heavy car to drive in high winds – we headed north.

Hurricane Andrew photos: See our gallery.

It got darker as we drove north. Around Key Largo we began seeing downed power lines and poles across the road. There was just enough room to squeeze through the northbound lane of U.S. 1.

It wasn’t until we arrived in Florida City that we realized how bad it was. Devastation was everywhere. Homes on the main road were piles of rubble. No one was on the street yet. Journalists coming south from Miami were still contending with debris-blocked roads and had plenty of damage to keep them busy farther north. We were alone when we walked into what had been the Goldcoaster Mobile Home Park.

Strips of aluminum and insulation covered the ground and some shattered trees, with a few only partially destroyed trailers rising above the rubble.

We didn’t see anyone so I climbed a few feet into a tree to look around, and spotted some movement in the distance. We kept going deeper into the park where we ran into house painter Gary Davis. He was wearing a trash bag and holding his chihuahua Boo-Boo.

He told us he and the dog rode out the storm in Davis’ trailer as it was being blown apart, then scrambled to his truck during the hurricane’s eye. He said he was praying on the passenger seat floorboard as wind tugged the pick-up three quarters of mile, burning rubber, until friction burst the tires.

When we found him, his home, vehicle and painting equipment were all gone. His other chihuahua, Little Bit, was missing and presumed dead (but was found later hiding under debris).

Keep up with Post weather reporter Kimberly Miller’s latest updates

The photo ran not only in The Post, but also in Time magazine and newspapers around the country. We caught up with Gary a month later, when he was living in Homestead, had just gotten his truck replaced by insurance, and was doing restoration work. When Davis went to bid on a job the previous week, residents asked him to autograph copies of the picture. “I got famous for being stupid,” Davis said.

Even better, later, letters with checks, some for $50 or $100, reached him from strangers in other states. It was nice to find out that one of my photo subjects had benefited from my work.

“I lost just about everything I owned in a couple of hours, and I almost lost my life,” Davis said in an interview a year later. “I’ll never put myself in that situation again.”

Fifteen sensational sunrise photos

How dangerous is a hurricane? Understanding hurricane categories

Hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30, and residents in a storm's path should become familiar with hurricane categories in order to better protect themselves.

The National Hurricane Center uses the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale to measure a storm's strength and potential destruction. The scale analyzes a hurricane's wind speed and assigns it a 1 to 5 rating.

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale

The categories for the hurricanes listed below are determined by the storm's strength when it made landfall in the U.S., according to the National Hurricane Center.

Tropical Storm — Winds 39-73 mph 

Category 1 Hurricane — winds 74-95 mph (64-82 kt) 

Well-constructed frame homes could have damage to roof, shingles, vinyl siding and gutters. Large branches of trees will snap and shallowly rooted trees may be toppled. Extensive damage to power lines and poles likely will result in power outages that could last a few to several days. 

- Examples: Irene 1999 and Allison 1995

Category 2 Hurricane — winds 96-110 mph (83-95 kt) 

Well-constructed frame homes could receive major roof and siding damage. Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads. Near-total power loss is expected, with outages that could last from several days to weeks. 

- Examples: Bonnie 1998, Georges (FL & LA) 1998 and Gloria 1985

Category 3 Hurricane — winds 111-129 mph (96-112 kt) 

Well-built frame homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes.

- Examples: Katrina (LA) 2005, Keith 2000, Fran 1996, Opal 1995, Alicia 1983 and Betsy 1965

Category 4 Hurricane — winds 130-156 mph (113-136 kt) 

Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

- Examples: Andrew (FL) 1992, Hugo 1989 and Donna 1960

Category 5 Hurricane — winds 157 mph and up (137+ kt) 

A high percentage of frame homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

- Examples: Camille 1969 and Labor Day storm 1935

2017 Atlantic hurricane season starts Thursday

Thursday marks the official start of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. 

Hurricane season typically runs from June through November. The 2016 season was more active than average, with 15 named storms. Three of those were major hurricanes, including Hurricane Matthew, which brought devastating flooding to inland portions of North Carolina.

>> Read more trending news

NOAA released its outlook in late May for the 2017 hurricane season. The latest forecast calls for a slightly above average season, with 11 to 17 named storms. Of those, 5 to 9 hitting hurricane strength, and 2 to 4 classified as major hurricanes. A major hurricane is defined as a Category 3 hurricane or stronger.

The 2017 season has technically already started, with Tropical Storm Arlene in late April. Arlene stayed over open waters of the Atlantic and did not make landfall.

To get ready for upcoming storms, the National Hurricane Center recommends knowing risks that could affect your home.

To make sure your family is ready, know the evacuation routes in your area. Have a bag full of supplies ready, including copies of important documents, a first-aid kit, food and water. It is also important to get an insurance checkup on your home.

Everything you need to know to prepare 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

Here's how to keep your pets safe during a hurricane

Hurricane season begins every year on June 1. Here are some simple tips to keep your pets safe if you are in the path of a storm.

Prepare ahead for safety and comfort of your pet

Do not leave pets at home, especially if you live in an evacuation area. Even if they survive the storm, they might flee a damaged home and be lost in the chaos.

It might be difficult, if not impossible, to find shelter for your animals in the midst of a disaster, so plan ahead. Here are some options:

Hotels: Contact hotels and motels outside your area in advance to check policies on accepting pets and restrictions on number, size and species. Ask whether “no pet” policies could be waived. Keep a list of “pet-friendly” places, including phone numbers, with other disaster information. For an impending storm, call ahead for reservations. The Humane Society of the United States recommends the following websites to find pet-friendly lodgings.

Friends and relatives: Ask friends, relatives or others outside the area if they can shelter your animals. Make arrangements with neighbors to help evacuate pets in the event you can’t get home.

Pet-friendly shelters: Find out if pets will be permitted at an evacuation shelter.

If you haven’t already done so, get those shots now. Infectious diseases can become a big threat after a disaster.

If a pet becomes lost or escapes during the confusion of an evacuation, proper identification will increase the chances of a safe return home. Tag should include your cell number and, if space allows, the number of an out-of-town contact. Consider having your pet tattooed or having an ID microchip implanted.

You will need a pet carrier or cage for each dog, cat, bird or small animal. Make sure it is large enough for each pet to stand up and turn around comfortably.

Take clear, color photos (frontal, left and right sides) of you with your pet, and store these with your pet’s license, medical records and ownership papers in a waterproof carrier to take with you. Include pictures of the pet with you to help with any challenge to your ownership. Take photos with your cellphone so they’re stored there as well.

Set up a pet disaster kit

Put together a pet disaster kit with medications and medical records in a waterproof container, a leash and collar or harness for each pet, non-spill food and water dishes, a 14-day supply of food, water in non-breakable containers, a manual can opener, grooming supplies, your pet’s blanket and a favorite toy, cleanser and disinfectant to handle waste, newspapers or litter, paper towels and plastic bags.

Devastating Hurricanes in U.S. History

Devastating Hurricanes in U.S. History

9 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Hurricane Season

9 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Hurricane Season

What You Need To Know: La Niña

What You Need To Know: La Niña

What You Need To Know: La Niña

What You Need To Know: La Niña

Get Ahead of the Storm - 5 Severe Weather Hacks

Get Ahead of the Storm - 5 Severe Weather Hacks

WATCH: Hurricane Matthew Slams Florida

WATCH: Hurricane Matthew Slams Florida

Hurricane Matthew - Jacksonville Up Close

Hurricane Matthew - Jacksonville Up Close

Radar Shows Birds Caught Flying in the Eye of Hurricane Matthew

Radar Shows Birds Caught Flying in the Eye of Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew Jacksonville Up Close

Friday - The Latest on Hurricane Matthew

Friday - The Latest on Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew 3D Model

WATCH: Hurricane Matthew Arrives in Florida

WATCH: Hurricane Matthew Arrives in Florida
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