Nassau County Emergency Management (NCEM) wants residents to be mindful of COVID-19 and infection control measures while preparing for the 2020 Hurricane Season which started Monday, June 1st, and lasts through November.
One of NCEM’s major planning issues each hurricane season is ensuring sufficient public shelter space for evacuees from within and outside of our county. Nassau officials have identified 12 locations throughout the county for emergency evacuation shelters and plans have been developed that include strategies and timelines for staffing, supplying, and opening sufficient space to safely house those needing shelter during a disaster.
This year, however, social distancing measures will reduce maximum capacities for public shelters and shelterees will be expected to wear cloth masks, have their own supplies, and assist with infection control measures. All shelter staff members and clients will be subject to health screenings with temperature checks at initial check-in and daily thereafter. Anyone with signs of illness or a fever will be isolated from others while in the shelter.
This hurricane season requires special planning considerations and different rules because of the pandemic. Residents who can travel out of an evacuation area and stay with family and friends or in other safe lodging, should plan to do so. An austere public evacuation shelter should be the choice of last resort.
Prepare now. Know your zone and how to safeguard your home. Plan for extended power outages and stock up on post-disaster supplies in case stores are closed. Make a go-kit with personal supplies and copies of documents (e.g., special foods, medications, veterinary records, insurance policies, preevent photos of property). Realize that evacuations don’t end as soon as the high winds and storm surge subside – residents will have to wait for the area to be declared safe to return and begin cleanup and recovery activities. Make sure you, your family, pets, and neighbors have a plan to stay safe and healthy this hurricane season.
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