Safe and Sound: Preparing for a hurricane during the COVID-19 pandemic

Updated: Jun. 4, 2020 at 1:38 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Just days into the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season, and we already have three named storms.

In the midst of a pandemic there are some extra preparations you should make, especially with social distancing guidelines in place.

Albany Fire Chief and Dougherty County EMA Director, Cedric Scott says you should focus on three things: preparing for the storm, weathering the storm, and recovering from the storm.

Cedric Scott was sworn in as the new fire chief today. (Source: WALB)
Cedric Scott was sworn in as the new fire chief today. (Source: WALB)

First: Prepare

"I think one should be prepared to be self-sufficient and able to live without running water, electricity, and or gas, and telephones for at least three days while in a major emergency, " Chief Scott said.

You want to make sure you have an emergency supply kit.

It should have non-perishable food, and an electric can opener, water, first aid kit, flashlight medication, hygiene items, and a battery-operated radio.

You want to also have some cash on hand and to charge your cell phone.

Losing signal is common after a storm and Chief Scott told us you should have important numbers and information written down.

Second: Weather the Storm

Stay indoors and away from windows.

But for those in mobile homes who typically evacuate, remember some shelters may or may not open because of the pandemic.

Chief Scott says to pre-plan now of where you would go if shelters don’t open.

"During COVID-19 social distancing concern. Some of you have normal places that you may go to seek shelter may not be available to you, " he said.

Third: Recovering from the Storm

Be sure to check on your family, friends, and neighbors and stay away from downed power lines.

Chief Scott said one of the main things they learned from Hurricane Michael was to quickly come together and find ways to provide food for those who need it in the community after the power goes out and food spoils.

“We want to try and be very proactive and make sure that we’re here as quickly as we possibly can out the storm about. Think about how do we keep our community fed," Chief Scott said.

Be sure to tune into the WALB special “Ahead of the Storm” on Tuesday, June 23 at 5:30 p.m. for more tips on keeping your family safe before a major storm.

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