This is what hurricane disaster sheltering could look like in a pandemic

CDC releases guidance protocols

People take shelter at the George R. Brown Convention Center after flood waters from Hurricane Harvey inundated the city on Aug. 29, 2017 in Houston.
People take shelter at the George R. Brown Convention Center after flood waters from Hurricane Harvey inundated the city on Aug. 29, 2017 in Houston. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

It’s here: Hurricane season seems to have snuck up on us. It’s not surprising, seeing as how we’ve been consumed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Considering that, it’s not hard to wonder how the pandemic might affect how we handle a hurricane — especially one that could wreak havoc like Harvey or Irma did just three years ago.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests giving yourself more time than usual to prepare your emergency food, water and medicine supplies.

  • You’ll want to pay attention ahead of time to local guidance about updated plans for evacuations and shelters, as well as potential shelters for your pets.
  • Prepare a “go kit.” Be sure you add items that will help protect you and others from COVID-19.

But should you find yourself in a situation in which a disaster shelter is your only option, what will the protocols be amid the coronavirus pandemic?

While the CDC is encouraging the prioritization of hotels or dormitories and small shelters over the larger ones, it recognizes that access to safe shelter from disasters is critical, even during the spread of COVID-19.

If you should need to go to a shelter during hurricane, the CDC has released guidance protocols for how things should be handled during the pandemic. Though it made the following points, it also recommended shelter managers look to state and local officials for area-specific information.

Here’s what you can expect inside a shelter:


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