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As they say, “When it rains, it pours.” Citizens around the country are still dealing with the health and financial concerns of the novel coronavirus health crisis. Now, the hurricane season is upon us, which means residents of Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and the Southeast need to make sure they have proper supplies if they shelter at home or have a safe place to go if a hurricane requires evacuation.

Hurricane season began on June 1, so it’s critical that residents and businesses plan now. To help residents plan for the hurricane/COVID-19 crisis, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has drafted the following suggestions. FEMA has also updated its general hurricane guidelines to respond to the pandemic.

Know your evacuation route

Review with local officials what evacuation shelters are available to you. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, your normal shelters may not be open. When you do travel to an open shelter, FEMA suggests following the latest COVID-19 guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A few of the items to bring with you are face coverings/masks, hand sanitizers, gloves, and other cleaning materials. Wash your hands regularly and be sure to keep at least six feet of social distance between you and other people who aren’t in your household. Masks may not be suitable for children under two and anyone with breathing difficulties. Check with a physician about safety guidelines for your young children.

What supplies you’ll need

Individuals should take enough food, water and emergency supplies as possible to last each family member for at least three days. Examples of hurricane emergency supplies include:

  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Whistles
  • Can openers
  • Medicines
  • Sleeping bags or warm blankets
  • Eyeglasses
  • Cash or traveler’s checks
  • Many other essential items

The supplies are in addition to masks, disinfectants, and other cleaning supplies.

It’s best to prepare a kit ahead of time and to be considerate of others by making purchases well in advance so there’s enough supplies to go around.

Do you have an emergency plan?

Every family member should be aware of and understand the joint hurricane and CDC COVID-19 plans. In addition to family plans, businesses should also have a posted hurricane/COVID plan for their office.

Your family plan should consider how to send out a warning, and how family members will communicate with each other – in addition to the evacuation/shelter/preparedness kit plans. Family plans need to consider seniors, disabilities, pets, cultural and religious factors, and other needs.

Businesses need to identify their business’ risks and have a plan they can readily implement. The business plan will need to address the physical structure, the information technology platform, the employees, customer relations, and many other concerns.

FEMA also suggest that you download their FEMA mobile app for disaster resources, weather alerts, and safety tips. The app is available in English and Spanish and has a checklist of emergency supplies, maps of open shelters and recovery centers, disaster survival tips, and weather alerts from the National Weather Service.

At Warhurst Law, attorney Gene Warhurst understands the trauma of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and other natural disasters. His background as an honored insurance claims adjuster gives him a unique perspective as a highly respected insurance disputes attorney. Since 1995, he’s helped many clients obtain just settlements and strong trial awards. He’ll calmly guide you through each phase of the insurance claims process.

To speak with a distinguished insurance rights lawyer, call Warhurst Law at 251.207.1296 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment. Our hurricane insurance lawyers represent home and business owners throughout the Southeast including Alabama, the Florida panhandle, and Louisiana.

* Warhurst Law cannot and does not guarantee an outcome to any case.