Hurricanes and COVID-19

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Alabama is now preparing for two emergencies: the coronavirus pandemic and hurricane season.

With an active hurricane season approaching, there is some concern that resources will be stretched thin. 

Back in March, the state created a unified command center to handle logistical challenges in the fight against coronavirus. As the state moves into a hurricane so does the responsibilities of the command center.

“We will have activation and an incident command that will be focused on that hurricane, that tornado that flood,” Alabama Emergency Management Agency Director Brian Hastings said.

Hastings says resources will be stretched thin.

“And if you’re waiting for the state or the federal government to come to your assistance to manage your own risks, and manage your own disasters, you’re going to be disappointed,” he said.

This room is usually packed with different state agency coordinating during weather events, now things will look different.

“We cannot gather 125 people here, it’s going to have to be a hybrid model,” he said.

Meanwhile, State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris is reminding people to be “COVID-19 Aware” during severe weather.

“We do want people to be aware of what’s going on with regards to COVID-19 as well. so try to take those precautions that you reasonably can,” Dr. Harris said.

Dr. Harris says protecting yourself from serve weather should come first.

“The severe weather event really is seen primarily as the most serious risk of immediate injury and immediate loss of life,” he said.

At the beginning of the pandemic, certain food products were as scares as toilet paper. Alabama’s Agriculture Commissioner Rick Pate says the state’s food supply is stable.

“I keep telling people, ‘we’ve got plenty of food is safe as abundant it’s sustainable.’ We keep replacing it, we just need people to just buy normal,” Pate said.


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