Hurricane Season Begins Today. Going To A Shelter Should Be A Last Resort Due To COVID-19.

June 1, 2020

Monday is the first day of hurricane season, and COVID-19 concerns are a bigpart of this year’s local planning.

Shelters will open in the event a named storm threatens Escambia County, but county officials say public shelters might not be the best first choice.

“This year with COVID-19, we really want to stress that residents have a plan rather than go to a shelter,” said Escambia County Emergency Manager Eric Gilmore. “The county will provide shelters and will do everything possible to sanitize them, but we know that the likelihood of COVID-19 spreading increases when people are in close living conditions.”

“A shelter should be a last resort. We are asking residents to know their evacuation zone, and if they aren’t in an evacuation zone, it may be safer to stay at home and prepare accordingly. Better yet, please reach out to family and friends now to develop a plan to stay somewhere safe if you need to evacuate,” Gilmore said.

While June 1 marks the official start to the hurricane season, there have already been two named storms. And forecasters are calling for an above normal season.

Pictured: Hurricane Michael makes landfall in 2019.

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