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American Red Cross prepares to respond to Isaias emergencies during coronavirus pandemic

Volunteers are stationed in the Bahamas and South Florida
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Posted at 3:31 PM, Jul 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-31 17:44:40-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — What do relief efforts after a storm look like in a pandemic?

The American Red Cross in West Palm Beach already has teams in the Bahamas and is mobilizing volunteers in South Florida to prepare for any impacts from Hurricane Isaias.

RELATED: Latest forecast for Hurricane Isaias

This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteers will be wearing masks and face shields if they are handing out supplies after a storm, but some of those relief efforts also may be by appointment only.

The Red Cross said it's working around the clock to make sure supplies are ready in South Florida, and teams are already in the Bahamas

"As we’ve seen already, disasters do not stop and will not stop for a global pandemic, so we have to be prepared no matter what," said Holly Baker with the Red Cross. "In terms of response, we’ve just really had to adapt a lot of our response operations. It slowed things down, but we just really had to change things from in-person. Can it be done virtually or over the phone? We’re definitely encouraging everyone to do social distancing within our own offices."

The Red Cross said it's also moved to more virtual responses in situations where they need to offer individual assistance.

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2020 STORM NAMES

Arthur

Bertha

Cristobal

Dolly

Edouard

Fay

Gonzalo

Hanna

Isaias

Josephine

Kyle

Laura

Marco

Nana

Omar

Paulette

Rene

Sally

Teddy

Vicky

Wilfred

TERMS TO KNOW

TROPICAL STORM WATCH: An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible within the specified coastal area within 48 hours.

TROPICAL STORM WARNING: An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected within the specified coastal area within 36 hours.

HURRICANE WATCH: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible somewhere within the specified coastal area. A hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

HURRICANE WARNING: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within the specified coastal area. A hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.