Hurricane season is upon us, and this season will be particularly challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As always, communities in the path of a hurricane have to be mindful of the impact a major storm might have on lives and property. This year, there’s a new added dimension. Those who are responding to hurricanes now also need to adhere to safety restrictions such as social distancing and wearing masks, due to the COVID-19 virus.
To help officials prepare for the 2020 hurricane season amid the COVID–19 pandemic, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released COVID–19 Pandemic Operational Guidance for the 2020 Hurricane Season.
This official guide, now available at the U.S. Government Online Bookstore, brings into focus essential services that help Federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial emergency managers as well as health officials. It offers guidance for how these managers might respond to incidents during the 2020 hurricane season amid the COVID–19 pandemic. It anticipates the unique challenges of disaster operations impacted by COVID–19 and offers planning guidelines for emergency managers. For example the publication outlines prioritization for life safety, life sustainment, and workforce protection. It also explains the delivery of FEMA’s programs to help solve complex problems by maximizing whole-of-community disaster assistance. It also provides guidance, checklists, and other resources to enable emergency managers to best adapt their response and recovery plans.
Also available, Guidance On Preparing Workplaces For COVID–19 features information directly related to workplaces. It focuses on the need for employers of all types of businesses and workplaces to implement safe work practice controls and personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as how to do so.
We can’t control nature’s forces such as hurricanes, nor the emergence of diseases like COVID–19. However, if we make personal commitments to follow professional disaster guidelines and health practices, we can be better prepared.
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About the author: Blogger contributor Ed Kessler is a Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office.