Hurricane season and evacuation shelters, what you need to know

Posted at 3:01 PM, May 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-25 15:01:38-04

We’re a week away from the start of hurricane season and with the coronavirus pandemic still underway, there are concerns… especially with evacuation shelters. I have more on what to expect and how to prepare for the storm season.

The NOAA announcing it’s initial outlook for the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season last week.. Saying it’s an “above normal” season.

"Last year we experienced a record-breaking 30-named storms, including six major hurricanes," said Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody.

The good news is, experts say they don’t anticipate the historic level of storm activity seen in 2020. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare for the worst.

"As Floridians we’ve all seen the damage tropical storms and hurricanes can cause," said Moody.

Director of Emergency Management in Miami-Dade County, Frank Rollason, said everyone’s focus should be on advanced preparations, including stocking up on non-perishable foods and water.

"You need to have a plan," added Rollason.

Rollason said the ongoing pandemic is a concern for those who live in evacuation zones. To avoid the spread of the virus, Rollason said they’re separating people into groups, as well as using classrooms in the schools.

"We assume we’re going to have people that come that say I have COVID right now or I've been exposed to somebody with COVID. Those who tell us that, we’ll separate from the general population," he said.

Masks at the shelters will be highly recommended, but not enforced.

"All the people that don’t wear a mask will all be together and the people who that want to wear a mask, we’ll have them in another area," said Rollason.

Overall, to avoid a covid super-spreader, rollason encourages people to get vaccinated. In Broward, Mayor Steve Geller agrees.

"Get vaccinated! We’ve been urging everybody to get vaccinated," said Geller.

Hurricane season starts June 1st and runs through November 30th. Evacuation shelters in Miami-Dade and Broward will be posted closer to the storm date. You can find more tips on how to prepare, here.