Emergency Mgmt Official: COVID-19 Brings Only Subtle Changes To Prep

A state emergency management official says the COVID-19 pandemic doesn't make a big difference in how we prepare this hurricane season.

"Have a plan, they should build a kit, they should stay informed and they should get involved. I don't think those principles change."

Palm Beach County Emergency Management Director Bill Johnson says that while a busier-than-usual season is forecast, Johnson, a former resident of Miami-Dade, says that shouldn't affect how you prepare, because it only takes one.

"My home was destroyed in Hurricane Andrew in 1992, which was a very very slow season. There was only seven storms that season."

Johnson's tips came during a Hurricane Season Q & A with U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel.

Johnson says those impacted by the coronavirus who are told to evacuate should consider staying at a hotel and when you're building your hurricane kit, be sure to include masks, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. Emergency management officials around the state will also be making adjustments.

"We will probably be making some modifications to our shelters and to make them as safe as possible during this pandemic.

Johnson says screenings will be done at shelters, along with temperature checks. And those with fevers won't be turned away.

"We may sequester you in another area of the shelter...those that are not feeling well."

Also, families will be separated by six feet from other families.

While shelters are a last resort, Johnson says he doesn't want anyone to be concerned if they need to evacuate and those are their only option.

Photo: Getty Images

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