Hurricanes don’t care if there’s a global pandemic causing chaos and disorder. No virus could slow down a storm brewing in the Atlantic Ocean. Like every hurricane season, Florida could see destructive tropical storms and hurricanes from now until November regardless of another possible wave of COVID-19 infections.
Locals are familiar with standard hurricane preparations after enduring storms throughout the years. But preparing for a hurricane during a pandemic is a new reality all South Floridians are facing.
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Here’s what to expect as you begin planning for a hurricane:
- Try to prepare ahead of time by gathering emergency food, water, and medical supplies. Delivery services are still a prime option for purchasing and acquiring essential goods while staying home.
- Make sure you have a way to access any prescription medications you might need before the hurricane makes landfall. Excessive debris or flooding could affect how you obtain refills.
- The CDC advises people to bring sanitizer, soap, and at least two face coverings for each person to prevent contracting COVID-19 at a shelter. It also states people should continue washing their hands and covering their faces when they return to their homes and while cleaning up debris.
- One main concern South Florida leaders are confronting is how to provide shelters while dealing with an easily-transmissible virus. Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Monroe counties are still making plans on what shelters and evacuation centers could like in the event of a hurricane. County officials have suggested testing people before they enter a shelter.
- The four counties might designate non-congregate and congregate shelters that would separate those infected with COVID-19 from those who aren’t sick.
- Miami-Dade County plans to open more shelters that will provide more space for people to accommodate social distancing guidelines, according to the Miami Herald. The county is looking into hotels in the north and west regions of Miami-Dade to arrange evacuation centers.
This post will be updated as more details become available.