Preparing for Hurricane Season in West Palm Beach During a Pandemic
As many in West Palm Beach are already aware of, this year’s hurricane season will be extremely active. Weather forecasters are calling the number of storms and activity above average, naming a total of 19. Five days into the 2020 storm season, this is highly evident as there has already been three tropical storms, Arthur, Bertha, and Cristobal.
Though the number of hurricanes still range from three to six, making preparations now is vital for West Palm Beach residents. Having an emergency plan this season will be different even for the most experienced of Floridians. As we are still facing a pandemic, hurricane preparations may be challenging, requiring additional planning and considerations.
Include Personal Safety Items in Your Supply Kit
Aside from typical supply and safety items that should be in your hurricane kit including batteries, non-perishables, flashlights, water and more , be sure to include items that can protect yourself and your family. This includes face coverings, hand sanitizers, and bar or liquid soap, for each person. The limited supplies and resources in some areas is the perfect example as to why preparing for a hurricane with ample time is imperative.
Have an Evacuation Plan that Fits Within Social Distancing Guidelines
Hurricanes force people to flee their homes, gathering closely in local shelters or hotels. Due to the current pandemic, doing so would not be abiding by CDC guidelines to maintain social distancing. Local officials are revising their response efforts to provide basic needs, including shelter, while keeping communities safe and healthy. In previous years residents can seek refuge in hotels, however, due to the economic effects of COVID-19, local hotels may not be available either. West Palm Beach residents should consider having an evacuation plan with multiple shelter options.
Planning to leave upon the first signs of a hurricane, regardless of category, may be a solution. If possible, check in with family members or friends not in the hurricane’s path, who are healthy, have been social distancing and are comfortable with your stay.
The pandemic and its future effects are still uncertain, unfortunately. The potential of a major hurricane this season is pretty clear however. There is no wrong or right time to prepare, though doing so way in advance of any storm may ease worry and ensures your family is set should a hurricane come our way.