June 27, 2020 – When living in coastal Georgia, it’s imperative
to prepare medical and emergency plans during hurricane season, which
began June 1 and lasts until the end of November. Preparation is the best
way to remain safe before, during and after a storm. With COVID-19 continuing
to be a health threat during the hurricane season, this year’s planning
requires extra attention. With that in mind, Southeast Georgia Health
System urges everyone to begin planning now.
It’s important to be prepared for a hurricane while also remaining
vigilant in your efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus. If you
must evacuate, the CDC is recommending you have additional items on hand,
such as cloth face coverings, hand sanitizers and cleaning products to
help prevent the spread of the virus at a shelter or while traveling to
escape the path of a storm.
To prepare for hurricane season during the pandemic, follow these guidelines:
- Obtain prescriptions and update disaster kits early (now) because items
may be harder to get and slower to ship.
- Keep COVID-19 safety measures in mind while shopping—maintain social
distancing, wear face coverings and use hand sanitizers.
- Add face coverings and hand sanitizers to your disaster kits.
- Check on friends and family to make sure your loved ones are getting ready
in advance and taking COVID-19 precautions.
During an impending hurricane:
- Sheltering in place, if possible, is the safest way to prevent the spread
of COVID-19. But if sheltering in place is not possible or recommended,
it is essential to seek safe shelter against a hurricane.
- Shelters can be crowded, but don’t “not shelter” because
of COVID-19 fears. The threat of a hurricane is the more immediate danger.
To minimize exposure while sheltering, wear face masks and stay six feet
apart as much as possible.
- Shelter locations for both pets and people may be different this year due
to COVID-19. Keep an eye out for those changes.
During recovery efforts:
- Be aware that it may take longer for effected areas to recover after a
hurricane because of COVID-19. Be patient while city and county officials
prepare the city for reentry following an evacuation.
- Cleaning a house from mold damage may be more difficult due to possible
PPE and cleaning supply shortages, so as much as possible, take preventative
measures to protect your home.
It’s natural to feel anxious about a hurricane during “normal”
circumstances, but add the complications presented due to COVID-19 and
many people may be feeling more anxious than usual. This is normal. Consider
your mental health as much as your physical health and seek professional
help if necessary.
For additional information on preparing for hurricane season, visit