hurricane season

State, Local Officials Prepare for Hurricane Season Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf toured National Hurricane Center in Miami Monday

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Florida is continuing preparations for what could be a busy hurricane season amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Ron DeSantis joined Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf Monday on a visit to the National Hurricane Center in Miami to discuss the department's preparedness for the hurricane season.

"The department has stockpiled supplies at eight distribution centers in the US, Puerto Rico and Guam which includes everything from bottled water to baby formula. These distribution centers will make sure those impacted by any natural disaster will have the supplies they need as soon as they need them," Wolf said. "In addition to commodities, we have teams in search and rescue, communication, and logistic support pre-positioned around the country."

DeSantis said the state has been stockpiling a PPE reserve for hurricane season, which includes millions of masks that can be distributed to people working at and forced to evacuate to shelters.

He added that the state has purchased 50 generators, and has developed guidelines for social distancing in shelters and is recommending shelters conduct temperature checks.

Forecasters are predicting an above-average 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which officially began on June 1 and has already seen three named storms.

The latest, Tropical Storm Cristobal, made landfall Sunday in Louisiana with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph.

Speaking at Monday's news conference, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said the county has expanded capacity at evacuation shelters while also working to maintain social distancing measures. He said the county has 80 evacuation centers ready with a capacity of 112,000.

The county is also looking at using alternative facilities, including hotels, as evacuation centers.

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