Hurricane Season Coming: Corona Virus will be a Threat Multiplier

April 4, 2020

CBS:

As the world battles the coronavirus crisis, researchers are warning of a potentially active Atlantic Ocean hurricane season, which kicks off June 1 through the end of November.

For the 37th year in a row, Colorado State University (CSU) issued its hurricane season forecast Thursday — and the numbers appear significantly above normal.

Specifically, the team forecasts 16 named tropical systems; 12 is the average. Eight of those named systems are forecast to reach hurricane status, with winds greater than 74 mph; Six is the usual amount per year. CSU is also forecasting more major hurricanes than is typical per year: four as opposed to the average of 2.7.

DelMarva Now:

Still, there are the mechanics of hurricane preparedness to deal with. Would the infected or potentially sick be sent to separate facilities?

“It does throw a unique spin on it,” said Steven Still, emergency management director for coastal New Hanover County, N.C., which has suffered near direct blows from multiple hurricanes in recent years. “It’s a major challenge, no doubt.”

Still said social distancing requirements would limit how many people could seek refuge in shelters. That means local governments would need to open more of them.

Evacuees, including special-needs cases, would require more buses to keep folks a safe distance apart. And moving coronavirus victims on ventilators could become a major endeavor that would require action well before a storm approaches the coast – assuming there’s hospital space inland to take them.

And then there are the personal mental and financial barriers. People may be hesitant to evacuate for fear of going to a shelter with the infected. With record unemployment, people may not have gas money or a way to pay for a hotel.

Much of what we use as baseline assumptions for emergencies will not work right now,” said Bryan Koon, a former director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management who is now a disaster consultant. “We can’t open shelters like we used to under current social distancing guidelines.”

During 2017’s Hurricane Irma, which made landfall in the Florida Keys as a Category 4 storm, nearly 7 million people evacuated, with 300,000 going to shelters, Koon said. 

Peak hurricane season runs August through October, but that doesn’t mean a damaging storm can’t form earlier. In 2005, Hurricane Dennis made landfall as a Cat 3 near Navarre Beach, Florida, on July 10. Last summer, Hurricane Barry hit Louisiana – one of the country’s coronavirus hotspots – on July 13.

“Natural disasters don’t care what is going on with human health issues,” Koon said.

5 Responses to “Hurricane Season Coming: Corona Virus will be a Threat Multiplier”

  1. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    Tropical Storm Imelda in 2019 was a massive flooding event in Texas. Not wind, not storm surge, but rain and rain and rain and rain.

    From The Geography of Risk (the one DOG recommended), I learned that the original motive for the National Flood Insurance Program was as an alternative to FEMA. It has come to the point where NFIP, besides being a money-suck itself, has made FEMA response more difficult by subsidizing building in flood-prone areas.

  2. redskylite Says:

    Fortunately no registered Covid-19 cases on Vanuatu yet. .

    Stay safe Islanders..

    The latest tracking map is indicating the tropical system will soon become a monster category five storm.

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/tropical-cyclone-harold-rapidly-intensifies-while-track-hit-vanuatu

  3. Surrey Kent Says:

    A key component of Covid-19 era preparedness for hurricane season is availability of rapid testing for the infection. If people could have infection-negative status quickly ascertained, they could safely be sheltered in more usual manner, ride together in buses, etc. Hurricane-prone regions should be those given priority for ramping up testing capability.


  4. […] Something I’m not looking forward to, some religious death cult news, and an impressive show of stupidity… […]


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