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Get Prepared

Hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean begins June 1 and runs until Nov. 30. Officials agree that the best way to avoid catastrophic damage is 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: • 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

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  • Detectives with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Sex Crimes Division are investigating a case where a man tried to lure a child from an apartment complex. It happened in the afternoon Wednesday, December 5, at the Buena Vista Place Apartments off Reams Road in Windermere. Over the weekend, the sheriff’s office released a composite sketch of the man wanted for questioning. The suspect is described as a white or Hispanic male, between 50 and 80 years of age, balding with gray hair and a mustache. He was last seen driving a green Ford pick-up truck. Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477).
  • About 200 firefighters worked Monday to extinguish a massive five-alarm blaze at a Philadelphia apartment building, WPVI reported early Monday. >> Read more trending news  Update 9 a.m. EST Dec. 10: Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel said the fire was contained Friday morning. “Under control doesn't mean that the fire is out, it just means the fire has been contained to the area in which it's burning,” he said. The blaze was contained six hours after firefighters were called to an apartment complex near the intersection of 63rd and Jefferson streets around 2:15 a.m. At least two firefighters suffered minor injuries while battling the blaze, KYW-TV reported. Original report: Officials said the fire broke out about 2:15 a.m. at the Overbrook Gardens apartments, according to KYW-TV. At least two firefighters suffered minor injuries, authorities said.  About 50 people have been displaced by the fire, WPVI reported. WPVI’s Jeannette Reyes tweeted just before 7 a.m. that fire officials said they are “nowhere near done” battling the blaze and can’t get inside the building because it may collapse.  Read more here or here.
  • Three days after federal prosecutors in New York said the President directed his former personal lawyer to pay off two women in an effort to keep them quiet before the 2016 election, President Donald Trump rejected the assertion that the thousands of dollars funneled through Michael Cohen could be construed in any way as a violation of federal campaign election laws, a matter which some experts believe could put the President in legal jeopardy. “Democrats can’t find a Smocking Gun,” the President tweeted before sunrise on Monday. “So now the Dems go to a simple private transaction, wrongly call it a campaign contribution.” But in a sentencing memo released Friday evening, federal prosecutors from the Southern District of New York argued that Cohen ‘played a central role’ – in a plan directed and coordinated by the President – to suppress the stories of two women who claimed they had affairs with Mr. Trump, and “thereby prevent them from influencing the election.” “Cohen acted with the intent to influence the 2016 presidential election,” the SDNY wrote in their sentencing memo. “Cohen coordinated his actions with one or more members of the campaign, including through meetings and phone calls, about the fact, nature, and timing of the payments.” On Fox News, legal analyst Andrew McCarty – often a sympathetic voice for the President on the Russia investigation – left the hosts of ‘Fox and Friends’ stunned by openly predicting that President Trump would be indicted on that charge. “It’s clear that Trump is the target, and that he’ll be indicted eventually,” McCarthy said. In his Monday tweet – as in past tweets – the President denied the payoffs orchestrated by Cohen to porn star Stormy Daniels, and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, had anything to do with his campaign. Back in May, the President characterized the payment going to Stormy Daniels as a non-disclosure agreement – a ‘private contract’ – similar to the language he used today, in calling it a ‘private transaction.’ But federal prosecutors allege it was all tied to the Trump Campaign, with the President fully involved in the decisions. “In particular, and as Cohen himself has now admitted, with respect to both payments, he acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1,” the SDNY wrote, using the legal moniker for President Trump in court documents. The President ridiculed that notion. “Democrats can’t find a Smocking Gun tying the Trump campaign to Russia after James Comey’s testimony. No Smocking Gun…No Collusion.” @FoxNews That’s because there was NO COLLUSION. So now the Dems go to a simple private transaction, wrongly call it a campaign contribution,… — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 10, 2018 ….which it was not (but even if it was, it is only a CIVIL CASE, like Obama’s – but it was done correctly by a lawyer and there would not even be a fine. Lawyer’s liability if he made a mistake, not me). Cohen just trying to get his sentence reduced. WITCH HUNT! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 10, 2018 The President has repeatedly said that Cohen is lying to prosecutors, in order to get his sentenced reduced. Some critics of the President have said the SDNY evidence – from Cohen’s own guilty plea – basically makes the President an unindicted co-conspirator at this point. “It looks like a pretty good case,” said George Conway, the fierce Trump critic – and husband of Trump aide Kellyanne Conway.
  • A 15-year-old Pennsylvania boy was killed in New Castle after a gun in the hand of a 19-year-old discharged, according to police.  >> Watch the news report here Police were dispatched to the 400 block of Liberty Street around 1:36 a.m. Saturday for an unresponsive male. When they arrived, officers saw Zach Mulford, 15, lying on the ground with an apparent gunshot wound. A friend of Mulford was still on scene and attempted CPR, but Mulford died from his injuries. Police said Mulford and his friend went to a residence to hang out with other friends. When they knocked on the door, 19-year-old Kyle Harris opened the door holding a gun.  >> Read more trending news  When Harris realized who was knocking, he lowered his gun and let them both in, police said. As Harris removed the magazine from the gun and began to clear the chamber, the weapon discharged and a bullet struck Mulford. Harris fled before officers arrived. Police said he subsequently turned himself in and provided a matching statement to a witness at the scene.  He also showed officers where the gun was. Police said it was stolen. Harris is being charged with involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault and receiving stolen property. Mulford's family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses. Zach’s mother, Stacy Mulford, held back tears as she spoke about him with Channel 11, saying she just wanted people to know that Zach was a good kid. “He’d get so excited and he’d just be so happy because he was getting to do something with his hands and build it. He just loved it,” she said. “This is hard. He had his future planned out and now he doesn’t have his future anymore.”
  • Five children are dead after a fire broke out at a home in Youngstown, Ohio, late Sunday, multiple news outlets are reporting. According to WFMJ, firefighters responded to 434 Parkcliffe Ave. after a neighbor reported the fire about 11:30 p.m. Sunday. The children’s mother, who jumped from a window to escape the blaze, said five children were trapped inside, authorities said.  >> Read more trending news  Three children were removed from the home but later died at a nearby hospital, rescuers said. The two other children died inside the house, WKBN reported. Fire officials said the children ranged from 1 to 9 years old. The two youngest were twins, according to WKBN. The mother and one firefighter were hospitalized for injuries, WKBN reported. Another firefighter was hurt and treated at the scene, officials said. Officials don’t know yet what caused the blaze but said foul play is unlikely, WKBN reported. Read more here or here.