The six-month season, which has proven to be more suggestion than law as two (potentially three) named storms have formed ahead of the official start date this year, is expected to be an active one.
If one of those storms tilts toward
Sheltering in the COVID era
In a virtual round table earlier this month,
This week, he walked that back. In an email, he said the county plans to screen evacuees for symptoms, not test them.
That aligns with the state's recommendations.
He said the state has 10 million masks, 5 million gloves, a million face shields, 5,000 thermometers, 200 negative-pressure machines and a deal cut with Honeywell for 12 million more masks.
Traditionally, evacuees are given 20 square feet of space inside a shelter. To aid in social distancing,
To accommodate the new space demands,
In a press conference on Monday,
"If we need to open more sites, we will," he said.
More than 200 hotels have signed up to be part of the program, and more will be signing up in the coming weeks, Moskowitz told the
"That's a county-by-county decision on how they want to do that," he said. "My job is to make sure that they have the tools to do it. We'll make sure money doesn't become an issue to keeping people safe."
It's up to the counties to decide how early to open shelters, Moskowitz said, but in places like
Rollason said last week there are only 34 hotels within
"We are checking them out," Rollason said.
At a press conference Friday kicking off the hurricane sales-tax holiday, Gov.
The virus "may not be as prevalent then," he said.
Forecasting with social distancing
"Our plan is to do everything it takes so that we're here to fulfill our mission," said NHC Director
Inside the hurricane center, that means masks, spaced out desks, one-way hallways and a stepped-up cleaning regimen. Administrative staff largely work from home, but forecasters still track storms from the building, including the first couple of the season -- Arthur and Bertha.
"We're going to be there to do the job we do every hurricane season," said
Storm watchers will notice some new features to the
The first is maps showing storm surge risks along the coast and waterways. This information is normally provided in the text updates, but after experimenting with an "on the fly" map format last year,
Anything that can explain storm surge is helpful, Brennan said, because it's the deadliest impact of a storm. Storm surge and flooding-related deaths account for 88 percent of the death toll of hurricanes and tropical storms in the
"If you're asked to leave your home it's generally because of storm surge," he said.
The other update is a new time added to the standard forecast for a storm. Usually, the
But Graham cautions that the time to prepare for a hurricane is now, not when a storm is close enough for the
A hurricane kit should include the usual suspects -- at least a three-day supply of perishable food, a gallon of water per person per day, medications, flashlights and a first aid kid -- as well as extra coronavirus supplies. Graham said the kits should now include masks, hand sanitizer and soap.
He suggests adding a few things for your hurricane kit onto upcoming grocery store runs or deliveries. It's a way to start stocking up slowly and be prepared before officials call for evacuations.
"Start early. Don't be part of that mad rush for supplies," he said. "We always say that, but it's more important than ever."
Floridians can purchase hurricane supplies tax free from
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