Tropical Storm Isaias is an important reminder that disasters don’t wait. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic remains a threat, even in the face of the strong winds and flooding that Isaias is bringing to the East Coast this week. It is vital that you are prepared for both. The best way to do this is to stay informed, know how to deal with all types of weather and always keep your personal safety in mind.
To stay informed, you will need to listen for emergency information and alerts. If told to evacuate by local officials, do so immediately. Pay attention to the wireless emergency alerts sent to your phone or that play on the radio. On the FEMA website, you can find out how to receive these types of weather alerts. You can also follow your local National Weather Service office and your FEMA regional office on social media.
When faced with tropical storms or hurricanes, it is important to determine how to best protect yourself from high winds and flooding.
- For high winds, take refuge in a designated storm shelter or an interior room.
- For flooding inside of a building, go to the highest level of the building. Do not climb into a closed attic as you may become trapped by rising flood water.
- Avoid walking, swimming or driving through flood waters. Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock you down. One foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
- Stay off bridges spanning over fast-moving water.
While tropical storms and hurricanes present immediate threats, it is important to still take precautions against COVID-19 when possible. Following these guidelines can help protect you from COVID-19 and hurricanes:
- If you must go to a community or group shelter remember to follow the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for protecting yourself and family from COVID-19.
- Add cleaning and disinfectant items to your disaster supplies kit. This includes items such as soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes or general household cleaning supplies to disinfect surfaces you may need to touch regularly.
- Maintain at least six feet of distance between you and persons not part of your immediate family while at a shelter, and avoid crowds or gathering in groups as much as possible.
- Anyone over two years old should use a cloth face covering while at shelters.
For more information on preparing for disasters, visit the Ready website.