With an above-average hurricane season forecasted for 2020, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Florida officials are planning for the challenges that will arise from combining the COVID-19 pandemic and standard operating procedures for hurricane evacuations, sheltering plans, and safety precautions.
Prepare Your Home & Family for Possibly Sheltering In Place This Hurricane Season
Like most U.S. residents, Floridians received a crash course in observing a mandatory stay-at-home order that closed schools, restaurants, businesses, and public spaces for several weeks while our health and safety officials outlined the impact of social interactions and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Again, like most of the country’s residents, we were not quite prepared for what quarantine meant to our personal lives, our family’s well-being, or even if our homes were equipped to house everyone safely during an emergency.
Since, our residents have worked out the details regarding how to prepare their homes for potentially sheltering-in-place long term to keep their families safe. That ideology could become a reality during this hurricane season, as your home may be — if structurally sound — the safest place to avoid possibly exposing yourself and your loved ones to the COVID-19 virus as the result of hurricane damage.
Florida residents have long practiced being informed, planning ahead, and remaining safe during hurricane season. This year, the landscape of preparing and purchasing checklist necessities has changed.
First, consider the spotty availability of cleaning supplies and basic household products — including bottled water and non-perishable foods — when preparing for hurricane season. While there may be limits to how much of each product one person can buy, planning ahead may allow you to stockpile the necessities for the balance of the season.
Next, be sure to add gloves, face coverings, and hand sanitizer to the list.
Next, be prepared for power outages to last longer than before. If you do not have a generator, consider purchasing one or stocking up on batteries for flashlights and candles or lanterns that will safely light a room or a walkway.
Finally, if your home, condo, business, or other property is damaged, you may struggle to have an adjuster physically review the damage, as in-person adjustments have been paused or delayed because of the pandemic. Sending your insurance company photos of the damage may not produce the financial recovery results you deserve. If not, our Florida Insurance Claims Attorneys can help assess your insurance claim needs, so you are not left paying for covered damage out of pocket.
What Is the Florida Government Doing To Prepare for Hurricane Season as the COVID-19 Pandemic Remains an Imminent Health Threat?
As Florida begins to reopen the economy, relaxing the restrictions that were in place, we are faced with another challenge: Preparing for June 1, 2020; the start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season.
The State of Florida has years of hurricane experience behind us. The question becomes, how will the state modify its hurricane approach to take COVID-19 and the challenges that poses into account when ordering evacuations and organizing safety shelters?
Jared Moskowitz, the Division of Emergency Management Director, says his agency is redeveloping plans that may include:
- Starting evacuations earlier, to give people more time to leave their homes safely
- Creating additional spacing and shelters, to form more physical distancing
- Adding facemasks to the state’s stockpile of storm supplies
- Implementing safety plans for evacuee temperature and health screenings before admitting them to designated shelters
With no sign of COVID-19 vanishing over the summer, changes to our emergency responses will continue to evolve with the hurricane season.
In the meantime, if you would like to review your insurance coverage with our experienced The Morgan Law Group Orlando Florida hurricane insurance claims attorneys contact us today to learn how we can help you prepare for a very different type of hurricane season in the State of Florida this year.