How to prepare for a hurricane in a pandemic

Between the coronavirus pandemic and lessons learned from hurricane Florence, emergency officials say you should pack more in your prep kits this year.
Published: Jul. 31, 2020 at 8:17 PM EDT
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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - A storm brewing in the Atlantic, but one has been blowing around Eastern North Carolina since March.

“Because of COVID-19, we’re also recommending to come with masks, hand sanitizer your own wipes if necessary,” said Onslow County Emergency Services Director Norman Bryson.

Between the pandemic and lessons learned from Hurricane Florence in 2018, emergency officials are recommending you pack even more for your hurricane prep kits this year.

“After Florence, because of the duration, we started recommending having up to seven days of supplies. Water would be one gallon of person per day to have on hand,” said Bryson.

Storm preparation is something outdoor sports stores know like the back of their hand.

“We’ve all been in eastern North Carolina long enough, we know what we know what happens whenever a tropical storm or a hurricane comes through,” said Academy Sports Manager Serena Evans, who agrees that now is the time to prepare. “You definitely don’t want to try and come out after the storm and get those things because then it may be too late.”

Emergency officials say no matter what your plans are, to include pandemic safety supplies in with what you’ll need for a prolonged period of time.

“No matter where you go in the state of North Carolina, you’re going to be looking at masks, hand sanitizer, and other things that you’re going to be looking to carry with you and have on hand,” said Bryson.

Hurricane shelters are also operating at 50% capacity because of the pandemic. Officials say plan to use the shelters only as a last resort, so that they can save the space for people who really need them.

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