Hurricane 2020: The CDC’s tips for this pandemic-hurricane season

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers some strategies for dealing with COVID-19 during storm season.
For the latest updates from the Tampa Bay Times this hurricane season, go to
For the latest updates from the Tampa Bay Times this hurricane season, go to [ RON BORRESEN | Times ]
Published June 1, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been sharing strategies with the public to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency also has advice for those affected by hurricane season.

Whether you have to evacuate or plan to hunker down at home, here are some tips to help keep your household safe this hurricane season:

Related: Hurricane 2020: Seven things to know about a hurricane season like no other

Before the storm

  • Understand that your planning may be different this year because of the need to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
  • Give yourself more time than usual to prepare your emergency food, water, and medical supplies. Home delivery is the safest choice for buying disaster supplies. If in-person shopping is your only choice, take steps to protect your and others’ health when running essential errands.
  • Protect yourself and others when filling prescriptions by limiting in-person visits to the pharmacy. Sign up for mail-order delivery or call in your prescription ahead of time and use drive-through windows or curbside pickup, if available.
  • Pay attention to local guidance about updated plans for evacuations and shelters, including potential shelters for your pets.
  • If you need to evacuate, prepare a “go kit” with personal items you cannot do without during an emergency. Include items that can help protect you and others from COVID-19, such as hand sanitizer, or bar or liquid soap if not available, and two cloth face coverings for each person. Face covers should not be used by children under the age of 2. They also should not be used by people having trouble breathing, or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • When you check on neighbors and friends, be sure to follow social distancing recommendations (staying at least 6 feet, about 2 arms’ length, from others) and other CDC recommendations to protect yourself and others.
  • If you need to go to a disaster shelter, follow the Centers for Disease Control’s recommendations for staying safe and healthy in a public disaster shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Related: A hurricane during the pandemic would be bad. The economic crisis will make things worse.

After the storm

The risks don’t end after a hurricane passes by:

2020 Tampa Bay Times Hurricane Guide

HURRICANE SEASON IS HERE: Get ready and stay informed at

PREPARE YOUR STUFF: Protect your home, business, documents and photos

BUILD YOUR KIT: The gear you need to stay safe from the storm — and COVID-19

PROTECT YOUR PETS: Your pets can’t get ready for a storm. That’s your job

NEED TO KNOW: Click here to find your evacuation zone and shelter

Lessons from Hurricane Michael

What the Panhandle’s top emergency officials learned from Michael

‘We’re not going to give up.’ What a school superintendent learned from Michael

What Tampa Bay school leaders fear most from a storm

Tampa Bay’s top cops fear for those who stay behind