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Pitt County emergency officials say hurricane shelters could be different

Social distancing guidelines could change capacity, if shelters are necessary.
Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 9:51 AM EDT
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PITT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - Before we get to the peak of hurricane season, it is time to do some extra planning.

First plan for a hurricane like you would any year, but now you have the added issue of a pandemic.

Social distancing and staying six feet apart could change how shelters operate, if they become necessary. Often times shelters can get crowded, which means that could change in the middle of a pandemic. Pitt County Emergency Management Director Randy Gentry says capacity at these shelters could decrease because of social distancing guidelines.

Gentry added health care workers would screen anybody seeking to get into a shelter. On the topic of people with symptoms, there’s the possibility of a more specific health shelter or isolation shelter. He once again stressed the importance of starting to get your shelter and action plan in place. Gentry added the importance of having food and water ready, medications, cash. He says with COVID-19 being a current issue, to also have cleaning supplies and necessary PPE ready.

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