Upon entering the third month of this changed, unknown new life, I find myself tired…my brain has had so much information poured into it in a short time that it is sometimes overwhelming! Everything has changed—from how and where I work, to how to make groceries, to visiting with friends, to having to evaluate if a particular item is really needed from the store, to having to wait to see what unexpected turn will happen next.
And now, hurricane season is here, with all of its implications and potential threats.
Preparing for hurricane season this year is, in some ways, a continuation of what we’ve been doing for the last three months…getting in supplies, yet with the addition of masks, washing hands, using hand sanitizer, keeping social distance. FEMA offers this information on how to prepare with COVID-19 in mind:
Know Your Evacuation Route:
Check with local officials about updated evacuation shelters for this year. You should note that your regular shelter may not be open this year due to COVID-19. If you evacuate to a community shelter, follow the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
If you are able, bring items that can help protect you and others in the shelter from COVID-19, such as hand sanitizer, cleaning materials, and two cloth face coverings per person. Children under 2 years old and people who have trouble breathing should not wear cloth face coverings. While at the shelter, be sure to wash your hands regularly. If possible, be sure to maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet of space between you and people who aren’t members of your household.
Have enough food, water, and other supplies for every member of your family to last at least 72 hours. Consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for pets or seniors and prescription medications. In addition, it is recommended 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. After a hurricane, you may not have access to these supplies for days or even weeks. Preparing now ensures that you are well-equipped to stay safe if you need to quickly grab your go kit and evacuate to a community shelter.
As you prepare, be mindful that not everyone can afford to respond by stocking up on necessities. For those who can afford it, making essential purchases in advance will allow for longer time periods between shopping trips and help to protect those who are unable to procure essentials in advance and must shop more frequently.
Make an Emergency Plan
Make sure everyone in your household knows and understands your hurricane plan. Discuss the latest CDC guidance on COVID-19 and how it may affect your hurricane planning. Don’t forget a plan for the office, kids’ daycare, and anywhere you frequent.
Download the FEMA mobile app
Download the FEMA mobile app for disaster resources, weather alerts, and safety tips. Available in English and Spanish, the app provides a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, maps of open shelters and recovery centers, disaster survival tips, and weather alerts from the National Weather Service.
Visit Ready.gov for more tips. Disasters won’t wait. Neither should you.
Please also be sure your information is current with St. Luke’s. The parish callers have done an outstanding job in contacting everyone and finding phone numbers that aren’t being used any more, finding out about people who have moved away, etc. And if you need a mask, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I do hope that we will all be spared this hurricane season as we continue carefully through this new life.
Article material sourced from https://www.fema.gov/blog/2020-05-08/preparing-hurricane-season-during-covid-pandemic