The Atlantic Hurricane Season officially began on June 1st, and we’ve already seen one tropical system, Cristobal, trek from the Gulf Coast to Canada. It was the third named storm of the season and may actually go down on record as being the first tropical low pressure system to hit the State of Iowa in 120 years! As if that’s not interesting (and worrisome) enough, the country is still combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s complicated to say the least. And, unfortunately, it may get even more complicated as forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service, are predicting an above-normal 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season. In fact, they’re suggesting a likely range of 13 to 19 named storms, of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes. Out of those, 3 to 6 could become major hurricanes, packing winds of 111 mph or higher.
All that said, now is the time to prepare, and prepare safely, for what may be to come between now and the end of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which is November 30th.
To help emergency managers and public health officials best prepare for disasters, namely hurricanes, while continuing to respond to and recover from the COVID-19, FEMA recently released important operational guidance entitled, “COVID-19 Pandemic Operational Guidance for the 2020 Hurricane Season.”
The guidance, according to FEMA, provides actions emergency managers and public officials can take to prepare for response and recovery operations during ongoing COVID-19 response efforts. Specifically, it:
- Describes anticipated challenges to disaster operations posed by COVID-19.
- Highlights planning considerations for emergency managers based on current challenges.
- Outlines how FEMA plans to adapt response and recovery operations.
- Creates a shared understanding of expectations between FEMA and emergency managers.
- Includes guidance, checklists and resources to support emergency managers’ response and recovery planning.
Private sector and non-governmental organizations can (and should) use the guidance to gain an understanding of the government’s posture, planning and readiness efforts.
In the meantime, stay safe and stay strong. We will get through this, ALL OF THIS, the pandemic and the Atlantic Hurricane Season, together!