As the USA USA fights coronavirus, officials said they must prepare for hurricanes and tornadoes “People need to know that this will not be a normal season,” said an AccuWeather specialist. Tornadoes are phenomena that can occur at any time, but are generally most active in April, May and June
Experts warn that now is the right time for Americans to prepare for the hurricane and tornado season even as the country is going through the coronavirus pandemic crisis, Newsweek reported.
“There is a lot of uncertainty right now, and I think we will see many good stories, but also great challenges,” said Becky DePodwin, meteorologist and emergency management specialist at AccuWeather. “I think people need to recognize that this is not going to be an easy or normal season,” he added.
The United States is grappling with the world’s largest coronavirus outbreak, where more than 338,000 people tested positive on Monday.
According to projections, the outbreak will begin to decrease in August if social distancing measures are maintained until May, which could complicate evacuation plans for people who have to flee a natural disaster.
Viruses can spread rapidly among large groups of people, so mitigation measures have focused on reducing the number of people in a space.
That is why the public shelters used when a tornado or hurricane occurs would not be the most viable option since a large number of people would be indoors.
Tornadoes are phenomena that can occur at any time, but are generally most active in April, May, and June.
Several states, including Tennessee, Iowa, and Arkansas, have already been affected. In Jonesboro, Arkansas, a tornado ripped through buildings and left 22 people on March 28.
DePodwin noted that having fewer people on the roads when a tornado occurs is beneficial in preventing injury and death.
People are also more familiar with safe places to shelter at home, so telling them to stay home due to the coronavirus outbreak could lead to fewer injuries and deaths from natural phenomena.
But problems arise when people, including those in mobile homes, are not safe in their homes.
Some states, such as Kansas and Alabama, advise residents to prioritize protecting themselves from a tornado from the virus, but noted that shelters may not be open, since that decision rests with local officials.
Residents in Newcastle, Oklahoma, where a shelter-in-place order is in place, will be able to shelter in the community shelter only in “very specific emergency situations” as it would put them at risk of exposure to infected people.
Ruth McDermott-Levy, director of the Center for Public and Global Health at Villanova University, told Newsweek that natural disasters that compromise social distancing measures are a “real concern.” Before any catastrophe begins there must be special consideration to keep people separate in shelters.