It has already been an unprecedented year, shattering records and affecting every aspect of our lives. Hurricane preparation during COVID-19 presents another layer of complexity. Rest assured that we are here to help.
Though there has already been some activity with this year’s hurricane season, we hope that the coming months will pass without a major storm making landfall. Preparing for hurricane season is a must—especially since we’re still dealing with COVID-19.
What’s different about preparing for the 2020 hurricane season versus previous years? Here are 4 critical factors to add to your hurricane checklist.
1: Update Preparation Items
Make sure the necessary supplies in your evacuation and stay-at-home kits are stocked and not expired. In addition to the usual bottled water and flashlights, be sure to include:
- Hand sanitizer
- Anything needed for remote learning/work
- Non-perishable food items
FEMA suggests that you “add two cloth face coverings per family member and cleaning items to your kit, like soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, or general household cleaning supplies to disinfect surfaces.”
Keep in mind that stores may be closed due to COVID-19 in your area (or the area where you evacuate). This year, hurricane preparedness also includes COVID-19 preparedness.
2: Consider Evacuation Locations
A typical year, having a friend or family’s home in a safe area was enough of an evacuation plan. But with many households quarantining, you should have a few other options if your usual location cannot accept visitors. For some families, a hotel may be an ideal location. Think ahead about what you might want to ensure you feel comfortable with the cleanliness of the room. You might consider bringing your own cleaning supplies to keep your temporary space sanitary and prevent others from having to enter and clean.
Also note that not all evacuation shelters may be open this year due to COVID-19, so do your research ahead of time.
3: If You’re Injured or Ill
If you’re injured or ill, contact your medical provider for treatment recommendations. Remember, accessing medical care might be more complicated than usual during the pandemic. Know how to reach your doctor remotely and what steps to take to seek medical attention.
Ensure you have all your prescriptions filled ahead of the storm. If possible, keep more important ones filled ahead of time if you need to be away from home for a while.
4: Taking Care of Yourself and Others
When you check on neighbors and friends, be sure to follow social distancing recommendations. Stay at least 6 feet away (about two arms’ length) from others and follow other CDC recommendations to protect yourself and others.
If you’re entering a storm shelter or a hotel, social distancing is critical. However, if you’re staying with another family, plan and know how they would like to handle your family moving into their residence. For example, are there any safety precautions they would like you to take upon arrival?
Prepare for Hurricane Season Today
Considering the current state of our nation, hurricane preparation during COVID-19 is more important than ever. Use our list above to make sure you have everything you need to protect your loved ones.
Are you looking for more tips and advice for hurricane season? Download our free in-depth guide.