The United States is just six weeks away from the start of hurricane season, and this year could be the most challenging of all as the destructive power of hurricanes collides with the debilitating COVID-19 pandemic. The Weather Channel television network is committed to helping viewers prepare for this once-in-a-lifetime scenario by guiding them through the preparations they need to be making now to ensure their safety. The more we prepare, the safer we will all be from both hurricanes and the virus, so that responders and health care workers can continue to focus on those who are ill during the pandemic.
One of The Weather Channel experts leading this coverage is Dr. Rick Knabb, who formerly served as the director of the National Hurricane Center from 2012-2017. Dr. Knabb, along with The Weather Channel’s full team of scientists and meteorologists, will be sharing expert advice with the public on the cross-section of hurricanes and COVID-19. A sampling of recommendations include:
Friends and families need to work together on evacuation plans for people in hurricane-prone areas that involve sheltering in one another’s homes outside of evacuation zones, so they are safe from the storm while lessening large crowds at shelters, limiting the spread of the virus, and lessening the chance of them needing help during a time when responders and healthcare workers are already overwhelmed.
We must especially help the elderly plan for hurricane evacuations if necessary. Older citizens have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus, and in many recent hurricanes, they have been disproportionately among the fatalities from storms. Loved ones need to help them get the food, medicine, supplies, and care they need during the coronavirus emergency and during any hurricane evacuation, which will be critical for their health and safety.
While most of the country is sheltering in place and staying at home due to COVID-19, take this extra time to do everything possible to strengthen your home from storms. Even simple and inexpensive changes can lessen the chance of costly damages to your home. Some examples include repairing loose or missing roof shingles, trimming trees and removing other potential flying debris, clearing gutters and soffits, having your garage door reinforced, and having your outdoor AC units elevated to avoid floods.
The public is encouraged to tune in to this coverage on The Weather Channel, called “Hurricanes 2020: Preparing in a Pandemic,” which will air in segments now through hurricane season. In addition to coverage from The Weather Channel scientists, viewers will see interviews with experts such as Dr. Fauci from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Pete Gaynor, FEMA Administrator, and other leaders from government, NGOs, emergency management agencies, healthcare agencies and more. The network will also be revealing a data-driven map, showing the hurricane-prone states and counties in the U.S. that also have the highest COVID-19 diagnoses.
The Weather Channel has been the leader in covering severe weather events since 1982. The network’s experts go beyond the forecast, explaining the science and physics behind the dangerous storms to educate viewers and keep them safe. With trusted scientists and meteorologists who analyze, forecast and report the weather - The Weather Channel’s expertise is unrivaled.