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Lee Health shares tips for storm prep during a pandemic

Posted at 8:54 PM, Jul 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-31 22:15:41-04

FORT MYERS, FLA — With all eyes on Hurricane Isaias, now is the best time to make sure you have your hurricane plans and prep nailed down.

Greg Fisher, Coordinator of Lee Health's Emergency Management team, says a lot of this year's prep will look the same.

"Have supplies of non-perishable food, water, medications," he said.

But there's also a lot that won't, because of COVID-19.

Fisher says the best way to prep during a pandemic, is to start with this:

"Knowing your own home and know your zone," he said.

He says that will help you determine if you need to hunker down or head out.

If you've got to leave home, it's best to know where to go.

And right now, because of the pandemic shelters won't look quite the same.

"They're going to try to decrease capacity at individual shelters, but expand the amount of shelters," Fisher said.

And hospitals won't either.

"During Hurricane Irma, I believe we had almost 11,000 people in our hospitals during those storms. That will not be the same for future storms this year due to COVID-19," he said.

According to Fisher, Lee Health will be limiting the amount of staff and their family members that can ride out the storm in their buildings, to help accommodate patients and others who need shelter.

That being said, if you have a medical need and feel like a hospital would be the best place for you to weather a storm, here's what you should do.

"We do recommend and encourage people to go into the county's special needs registry and fill out an application, register and your application will be evaluated and screened," he said.

And no matter where you find yourself evacuating to, Fisher adds that it's a good idea to keep things like extra masks, gloves and hand sanitizer on you this year.

"It's always a good idea to be individually prepared because you don't know where you might end up."

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2020 STORM NAMES

ArthurLaura
BerthaMarco
CristobalNana
Dolly Omar
Edouard Paulette
FayRene
Gonzalo Sally
Hanna Teddy
Isaias Vickie
Josephine Wilfred
Kyle


HURRICANE 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.