How officials are preparing for hurricane season while fighting coronavirus

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Hurricane season is officially underway and as we continue to deal with the challenging demands of COVID-19, preparing for storms may look a bit different than it has in previous years.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts a busy Atlantic hurricane season with 13-19 named storms, 6-10 hurricanes and 3-6 major hurricanes. Arthur and Bertha gave us an early start to the season. Cristobol, the third named storm of the Atlantic season, could make landfall along the gulf coast this weekend as a tropical storm. The cyclone is expected to bring heavy rain and flooding from Texas to the Florida Panhandle.

Warmer Atlantic temperatures and conducive wind patterns coming off of Africa play a vital role in strengthening storms. In addition, there is no El Niño. The tropical Pacific climate phenomenon won’t bet there to stop storms from forming.

With those ingredients in place, the Red Cross said it’s ready to provide virtual support to those in need. There’s also a shelter in place plan that takes into account social distancing to ensure the safety of volunteers and evacuees in the event of a hurricane.

“We will be working with local health departments and health officials to do screening at those intake points so that we are able to see if someone has symptoms of COVID we’re going to put them in a separate area. Will continue to do temperature checks and health screenings every day,” Susan Rounds, interim CEO of the Red Cross Greater NY Region, said.

The Red Cross also recommends having a shelter in place disaster kit. You can find more information on how to prepare for the hurricane season on their website.

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