Check Out Our Hurricane Season During COVID FAQs

WHEN DOES HURRICANE SEASON START?

Hurricane season started on May 15 in the North Pacific and June 1 in the Atlantic and the Caribbean. It ends on November 30.


HOW SHOULD I BEST PREPARE FOR A DISASTER DURING A PANDEMIC?

With the chance of power outages and road closures, the response of emergency services may become disrupted. It is best to prepare now so that basic needs are met during critical moments. Learning life-saving skills and assembling vital emergency supply kits can prove essential, especially if one is quarantining. 


WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A HURRICANE “WATCH” AND “WARNING”?

A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 miles per hour or higher) are possible in a stated area.


HOW CAN I QUICKLY ACCESS INFORMATION ABOUT A HURRICANE EVENT?

Have access to weather alerts and community notifications. Download helpful apps such as the Red Cross Emergency App. Be sure that you can receive official notifications even during a power outage. Make sure to follow the directions of your state and local authorities. 


WHAT SHOULD BE IN MY EMERGENCY SUPPLY KITS?

A general emergency kit should include water (one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for quarantine), non-perishable food, N95 or surgical masks, disinfectant/sanitation products, hygiene items (soap and hand sanitizer, latex gloves, flashlight, fire extinguisher, battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra batteries, deluxe family first aid kit, prescription and over-the-counter medications (minimum one-month supply) and other medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, bottles, formula, baby food, diapers etc.), multi-purpose tool, copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies), cell phone with chargers, family and emergency contact information, extra cash, emergency blanket, maps (map of the area, evacuation routes, hospitals, shelters), pet supplies, extra set of car keys and house keys, manual can opener, whistle, matches, rain gear, towels, extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes, plastic sheeting, duct tape, scissors, and sleeping bags.

Your second kit should be a lightweight, smaller version that you can take with you if you must leave your property quickly. Keep these items together in a separate container so you can take them with you if you have to evacuate. 


HOW CAN I DO MY PART TO FLATTEN THE CURVE?

It is advised to obey community practices, such as social distancing, wearing face masks, closures, and canceling large gatherings. Listen to and follow the directions of your state and local authorities. Stay home if you can and avoid any non-essential travel. Avoid using any kind of public transportation, ridesharing or taxis, if possible. Avoid close contact with people who do not share your home. Take precautions if you are at higher risk for severe illness. If you or someone in your household becomes sick, call a health care provider for medical advice and follow it.


HOW SHOULD I PLAN FOR TRANSPORTATION AND ALTERNATIVE LODGING?

Plan now if you will need help leaving or if you need to share transportation. Ask friends or relatives outside your area if you would be able to stay with them. Check and see if they have symptoms of COVID-19 or have people in their home at higher risk for serious illness. If they have symptoms or people at higher risk in their home, make other arrangements. Check with hotels, motels, and campgrounds to see if they are open. Find out if your local emergency management agency has adapted its sheltering plans. If you have to evacuate, have a plan for where you’ll go (relatives, friends) and know what sheltering resources are available in your community through emergency apps or messaging from local emergency management officials. 


WHAT CRITICAL DOCUMENTS DO I NEED TO RECOVER QUICKLY?

Having important documents will help you to start recovering right away after a disaster. Safeguard personal, financial, insurance, medical and other records. Important documents include:

  • Birth certificates, passports, Social Security cards
  • Insurance policies, deed, mortgage, lease, and loan papers
  • Photos of valuable belongings you may want to include in an insurance claim
  • List of medications, allergies, and medical equipment
  • Current digital photos of loved ones updated every six months, especially for children

HOW DO I CLEAN AND DISINFECT?

If there is a COVID-19 positive case in the facility please contact your restoration contractor to perform complete decontamination.

For preventative measures, wear disposable gloves to clean and disinfect surfaces using an EPA-approved solution that holds emerging viral pathogens claims. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfectant products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).


HOW CAN I BEST MANAGE MY STRESS FROM HURRICANE SEASON DURING THE PANDEMIC?

These feelings are normal and expected; most people bounce back after difficult times. Children and teens may respond more strongly to the stress and anxiety. Take time to talk calmly and reassure children about what is happening in a way that they can understand. The following information can help you to cope with stress during emergencies.

Coping strategies:

  • Connecting with loved ones through video calls, phone calls, texts, or social media. 
  • Stay informed with accurate, reliable information from trusted sources. 
  • Maintain optimal health by eating healthy, drinking plenty of water, getting enough rest and exercise, and practicing social distancing. 
  • Relax your body often by doing things that work for you - take deep breaths, stretch or meditate, or engage in activities you enjoy. 
  • If you are religious or spiritual, follow practices that provide you with comfort and emotional strength.
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