By Sherry Robinson – President & CEO, ACTN Strategies LLC
In an effort to help everyone prepare for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, ACTN Strategies is providing a free printable resource. Please be sure to share it with your employees, friends, family and loved ones. By helping us keep this conversation going, you could be saving lives.
June 1st marked the beginning of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted it will be an extremely active year. Whether you are new to hurricane preparation or have been doing it for years, it is important that you are aware of the changes the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first thing you need to do when preparing for a hurricane is create an emergency kit. Along with the supplies traditionally collected(flashlight, water, food, etc.), you must also consider supplies such as mask, gloves, hand sanitizer and other COVID-19 specific items when formulating your emergency kit. You must also alter your routine and incorporate any additional pandemic-related items necessary to adhere to public health guidelines.
Access to many supplies became limited after the pandemic hit. Stores are beginning to replenish their stock, but this does not mean they have recovered entirely. Make it a priority to stock your emergency kit now. It will be more difficult than usual to get the things you need if you wait until the last minute.
As always, evacuation is a real possibility during a hurricane. An evacuation order in the middle of pandemic presents new challenges. Most shelters have unavoidably close quarters. With that in mind, it is crucial that you identify evacuation routes and locations in advance as well follow best practices (frequent hand washing, avoid touching surfaces and sharing food, etc.).. Be sure to stay abreast of changes to local evacuation procedures and shelter protocols.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a unique and evolving situation. Incorporating a quick search of local, state, and federal guidelines into your daily routine can give you a significant advantage in the event of a hurricane.