Monday started the Atlantic Hurricane Season, and now with the coronavirus pandemic still lingering, preparing for this season might be a bit different than previous years.
By the time the Category 3 Hurricane Dorian hit Florida’s East Coast in September of last year, it brought damage to the Daytona Beach Pier and caused powerful storm surges with wind damage throughout Florida’s East Coast.
And with hurricane season raping up again, the threat of another strong hurricane lingers.
FEMA is currently involved in the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic. Reports indicate that the agency is heading into this hurricane season confident regardless of the coronavirus pandemic.
Reports from FEMA show that the virus has interfered with training and preparations for all emergency responders in regards to being ready for hurricane season.
FEMA heads the National Fire Academy, the Emergency Management Institute and the Center for Domestic Preparedness, which are all currently shutdown.
The timeline of this pandemic and training times is difficult, but FEMA is actively preparing for hurricane season as severe weather and flooding can all happen this time of year.
Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30.
Our Florida Hurricane and Storm Damage Claims Attorneys at Whittel & Melton want to stress the importance of preparing safely this year for hurricane season. We know that planning is different this year because of COVID-19, but we are here to help you stay protected.
The main thing this season is being prepared while protecting yourself and others from COVID-19. You want to make sure you allot more time to gathering your supplies, which include food, water, and medical necessities. If you can get home delivery, that is the best option, but if you must go to the store yourself, make sure you are protecting your health and other’s when doing so. If you need to get your medical prescriptions, use drive-through windows or curbside pickup at your pharmacy so you are limiting in-person contact. You can even opt for mail delivery of all prescriptions.
You also want to map out your evacuation plans, which includes evacuation plans for your pets. You can lookup plans for your local community and stay updated in case a shelter is needed.
It is also recommended to prepare a “go kit” in case you have to evacuate during an emergency. You will want to include essentials that you cannot do without, which should include items like hand sanitizer, soap, adn face masks to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Face masks should not be used on children under 2 or those that have trouble breathing or cannot remove their mask without help.
In these uncertain times, it is still important to practice social distancing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), still recommends keeping a distance of 6 feet, or 2 arms’ length, from others. The CDC also outlines how you can protect yourself and others during the COVID-19 pandemic in the event that you must go to a disaster shelter.
Staying safe after a hurricane is important as well. You want to continue wearing a face mask or covering to stay protected and as always, wash your hands frequently.
Medical care may be more difficult to access after a hurricane due to the pandemic. If you are injured or fall ill, it is recommended to contact your medical provider for further instructions. Always try and keep any wounds clean to prevent infection of any kind. Anyone that has preexisting conditions should keep up with their current medical treatment plan and monitor for any worsening symptoms.
Disasters can certainly bring out a flood of emotions, from anxiety to panic and grief. This is especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic. We know it can be hard to deal with the stress of everything going on and urge you to get help when you need it – the CDC has some great resources for coping.
Hurricane Season 2020 is bringing about new fears for all Floridians and other residents of coastal states. Yes, the risks are more significant now than before, which is why being prepared ahead of time is so important. With that said, if you suffer property damage this season, dealing with the insurance companies involved could be even more difficult. Due to businesses being interrupted from coronavirus, insurance companies may be more inclined than before to deny, delay, or seriously underpay claims.
Our Florida Hurricane and Storm Damage Claims Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are here for you during these tumultuous times. We will continue offering our support and guidance, and urge you to reach out to us if you have any questions about claims related to hurricane or storm damage, coronavirus, or any other legal matters.