2020 Hurricane Season Could Pack a Punch Amid Pandemic
Updated: Feb 18
With the 2020 hurricane season imminent, now is the ideal time for business owners and homeowners should consider how they are prepared. Last year’s season was another damaging one, with Hurricane Dorian responsible for approximately $1.2 billion in damages, and Tropical Storm Imelda causing at least $2 billion in damages due to its extensive flooding.
Researchers at Colorado State University are expecting the 2020 hurricane season to feature above average activity, with 16 named tropical storms. Of those 16 tropical storms, eight are expected to form hurricanes and four are forecasted to become major hurricanes. Pennsylvania State University’s Earth System Science Center released their best estimate at 20 storms, which could create one of the most active seasons on record. In addition to a busy hurricane season, hoemowners and business owners face compounded challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aside from the personal and financial toll it’s taken on homeowners and business owners, the pandemic has stretched both FEMA and local municipalities thin, limiting their resources for hurricane preparedness. At the same time, shelters also are working to find ways to effectively host thousands of potential evacuees while following social distancing regulations.
That said, with nationwide hurricane preparedness efforts slowed due to COVID-19, and most people quarantined to the home, business owners and homeowners should consider how they’re preparing for the coming storms.
There are several steps homeowners and business owners can take to protect themselves. These include:
1. Create an evacuation plan: If possible, people should make arrangements with their families or friends to temporarily move in with them during any upcoming hurricanes. This way, they can avoid the storm while lessening the stress on their local shelters.
2. Prepare emergency supplies: Whether you plan on staying at a shelter or not, having emergency supplies ready is crucial during a disaster. Medication, food, water, blankets, and flashlights will help your family stay safe throughout the disaster.
3. Clean up around the property: Take the time to clean the yard, removing any furniture outside the house and anything else that could blow away during a storm. Cut down any trees or branches that could fall and damage the property.
4. Seal any openings to the structure and install storm shutters: Seal any vents to limit the chance of water flooding the house and causing damage. Storm shutters can protect windows, so they don’t shatter and cause personal and property damage.
Unfortunately, hurricane season will come, pandemic or not. While resources and preparedness efforts may have been limited by the COVID-19 pandemic, homeowners and business owners can and should take action on their own to promote safety and protect their property.