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When Making Plans for Hurricane Season, Consider Impact of Pandemic

Hurricane season is officially here. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts a 60% chance for an above-normal hurricane season this year, which means severe storms are more likely to occur.  

The threat of hurricanes is particularly important to address this year considering the current COVID-19 pandemic. Certain health protocols set to prevent the spread of the disease may affect or change your typical storm response plans. Jackson EMC offers these tips on how to prepare for potential hurricanes this season, while also being mindful of the ongoing pandemic.  

Start planning now. If you haven’t already, make a written storm plan. This plan should include how you’ll keep up with essential information during a storm, like important documents and files. Share this plan with your family, so everyone knows how you’ll respond should a storm occur.  

Create an emergency storm kit. Create an easily accessible emergency kit, full of items you might need in a storm. Include items like water, food and medications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends preparing as soon as possible this year, as the COVID-19 pandemic may affect your ability to shop for some of the items you would typically have ready in case of a severe storm, such as nonperishable food. Visit jacksonemc.com/storm-center/storm-preparation for a complete list of items to include in your emergency storm kit.  

Take health precautions. Hurricanes may bring new health risks this year. As you prepare for storms, consider how you’ll protect yourself and your family from the spread of COVID-19. The CDC recommends adding items like facemasks, soap and hand sanitizer to your emergency kit. You can find a complete list of tips from the CDC on how to prepare for hurricanes at cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/covid-19/prepare-for-hurricane

Protect your home. Trim trees around your house and move loose items inside, like outdoor furniture. Strong winds can cause these items to produce significant damage to your home. You should also secure all doors, including garage doors, and plan for a safe location to move your car.  

Know your risk. Hurricanes often affect areas at different levels of intensity. Depending on your location and storm conditions, these storms can sometimes produce floods and tornadoes. Visit weather.gov for more resources on the potential storm threats for your area, as well as information on the different hurricane categories and what they mean.  

Stay updated. NOAA weather radios, weather apps, local TV stations and websites like weather.gov are all great resources for receiving weather alerts. In case of power outages, make sure you have extra batteries or portable chargers to keep these devices on. Get the MyJacksonEMC mobile app to easily report outages in your area.  

Plan now for the potential for an active storm season and keep in mind any changes that could come from the current pandemic.  

For more information on how to prepare for hurricane season, visit jacksonemc.com/storm.  

Jackson Electric Membership Corporation, the largest electric cooperative in Georgia and one of the largest in the nation, is headquartered 50 miles northeast of Atlanta in Jefferson, Ga. The cooperative serves more than 236,000 meters on 14,000 miles of energized wire. For more information, visit jacksonemc.com.