Preparing for hurricane season during the COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 9:08 PM, May 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 08:04:57-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Tropical Storm Arthur made its way up the Atlantic two weeks before the official start of hurricane season.

“It's my least favorite time of the year,” Norfolk native Kenny Rossen said. “I don't want anybody to have one.”

For Rossen, when June is around the corner, it’s time to stock up and get prepared for hurricane season.

“[I] make sure the generator's working,” he said. “You want to have some bottled water.”

With the COVID-19 pandemic, he said items like sanitizer and face masks are essential for his preparedness kit.

“I think they're going to be a new staple,” he said.

The CDC is getting the word out for preparing for hurricanes during the pandemic.

Some tips include giving yourself more time than usual to prepare emergency food, water and medicine supplies. If you need to evacuate, the CDC said prepare a kit with personal items you can't do without during an emergency and have items to protect you and others from COVID-19. These items include hand sanitizer or bar or liquid soap, and two cloth face coverings for each person.

“Storms like Arthur just remind us that you never know when that's going to begin,” Meg Taylor with Taylor’s Do it Center said.

Taylor told News 3 a co-op has helped keep their stores stocked.

“That's really helped us to get supplies, especially like right now, to our neighbors and have them in our stores.”

Pasquotank-Camden Emergency Management Coordinator Christy Saunders said the pandemic has created new challenges for them, particularly when it comes to shelters and social distancing.

“It lessens our capacity in the shelters from what we have had in the past,” Saunders said. “In our planning, we're going to have to look and see are we going to have to have more shelters open, because we can't put as many people in the shelters due to the social distancing.”

For Taylor, they'll continue to stay stocked while Rossen hopes for the best.

“Whether that's during a global pandemic, or during hurricane season, our job has always been neighbors helping neighbors,” Taylor said.

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