Florida preparing for hurricane season during coronavirus pandemic, governor says

Hotels may be used as 'non-congregate' emergency shelters
Gov. Ron DeSantis at hurricane season news conference, June 8, 2020
Posted at 3:03 PM, Jun 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-08 16:50:59-04

MIAMI — Florida officials are taking extra precautions to keep residents safe from the dual threat of hurricane season and the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Ron DeSantis says.

Speaking at the Miami-Dade County Emergency Operations Center on Monday, the governor said the state has set aside more than 10 million masks that can be given out to people at emergency shelters this year, as well as those working at the shelters.

In addition, Florida is working with FEMA to possibly create "non-congregate shelters" at places like hotels to allow for more physical distancing.

"We're also, at the state level, recommending that shelters use temperature checks and other screening criteria to identify individuals who have COVID-19 and isolate them from the rest of the population," DeSantis said.


Gov. Ron DeSantis talks about hurricane season preparations

Florida has purchased 50 massive generators to spread out across the state and get power back on more quickly if areas are hard hit by severe weather.

"This is the most generators that the state has ever owned," DeSantis said.

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Hurricane Survival Guide

The governor said you shouldn't wait to stock your hurricane survival kit, and make sure you have enough food, water, and medicine to last seven days without power.

"If you're out getting a two-week supply of groceries, consider adding some items to your list that would be good to have on hand for hurricane season like canned goods and extra batteries," DeSantis said.

Officials are also urging people to add plenty of masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfectants to your hurricane kit to limit the spread of germs.

"Take one action today, because the clock is ticking," FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor said.

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season started on June 1 and ends on Nov. 30.