What types of impacts will coronavirus have on the upcoming hurricane season?

Published: Apr. 6, 2020 at 5:53 PM EDT
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The coronavirus outbreak has already changed the lives of millions across the country, but for those in emergency management, it’s changing the way they prepare for hurricane season.

This year, researchers at Colorado State University are predicting another above average season for tropical activity.

And with coronavirus already affecting so many lives, it's making life even more challenging for emergency management.

John Macdonald, Director of Levy County Emergency Management, says, “we have had incidents within incidents you know, but not of this magnitude, of this type. Some of the things we are doing going forward, like I said, are shelter stuff that we’re doing is one big component we are looking at going into hurricane season so trying to manage how we’re going to do the sheltering.“

Predictions have 16 named storms, 8 hurricanes and 4 major hurricanes forming in the atlantic this year, but Macdonald says it only takes one.

“10, 15, 20... It doesn’t matter, it only takes one. So we prep the same way we do everything. Some of the things, some of the lessons learned that we did like Michael and different things. I mean we learn every time one makes landfall, we learn something new.”

And if you're at home with nothing to do, it is the perfect time to prepare your hurricane kit for the upcoming season.

Macdonald says, “right now with all the stay at home orders right now is the time to get your emergency preparedness kits and all that stuff ready. That certain things you can do. Instead of going and buying up all the toilet paper and things like that, go buy flashlight batteries, things of that nature, stuff you are going to need in case we have power outages.”

The predictions from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will be released sometime in May. Hurricane season officially begins on June 1st and lasts through November 30.