Hurricane Preparedness during the COVID-19 Pandemic
As you review your 2020 hurricane preparedness plans, it is important to consider the impact the COVID-19 pandemic may have on emergency weather situations. Planning may be different this year because of the need to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19. Consider the following tips from the Centers of Disease Control:
- Allow yourself more time than typically needed to collect emergency food, water, and medical supplies. Choose home delivery for supplies if you can, but remember that shipping times from online retailers might be delayed. If in-person shopping is your only choice, take steps to protect your and others’ health while running essential errands.
- Try to limit in-person visits to the pharmacy. Sign up for mail order delivery or call in your prescription ahead of time and use drive-through windows or curbside pickup, if available.
- Pay attention to local guidance about updated plans for evacuations and shelters, including potential shelters for your pets.
- For each household member, assemble a Go Bag — a collection of hurricane preparedness items you may need in the event of an evacuation. The CDC recommends including items that can help protect you and others from COVID-19, including hand sanitizer and two cloth face coverings for each person over the age of two.
- When you check on neighbors, be sure to follow social distancing recommendations and other CDC recommendations.
- If you need to go to a public disaster shelter, follow CDC recommendations for staying safe and healthy in a shelter.
After a Hurricane
In addition to following guidance from your local emergency response professionals for staying safe and healthy after a hurricane, the CDC recommends the following:
- Continue to take preventive actions like washing your hands and wearing a face covering during cleanup and when returning home.
- If you are without power, take steps for safe generator use to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
- If you are injured or ill, contact your medical provider for treatment recommendations. Keep wounds clean to prevent infection. Keep in mind that accessing medical care may be more difficult than usual during the pandemic.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention