Preparing for the hurricane season amidst a pandemic
The whole world is in the grip of a deadly virus. COVID 19 has turned out to be a major pandemic. The United States now has more cases of coronavirus than any other country and with the death toll amounting to more than 50000 people, the nation is in a crisis mode.
What happens when a nation already dealing with such a dangerous virus also has to prepare for the annual deadly hurricane season? For decades, the USA has witnessed catastrophic hurricanes and tropical storms that have wreaked havoc in major cities across the country, especially those which lie near the coastal regions. Right now, an intersection between the hurricane season and COVID 19 seems to be imminent and with the precautionary procedures that are already in place to battle the virus, the new requirements due to the hurricane situation would only complicate and possible worsen things more.
The hurricane season calls for a coming together of communities to strive against tropical storms and hurricanes. However, with social distancing and enforced isolation in place, the very idea of consolidation poses as the greatest threat to the lives of the citizens of the USA. The Atlantic hurricane season will begin from June 1 and every state that lies near the Atlantic coast is vulnerable. With the pandemic factoring in, concerned authorities need to strategize and formulate a new approach to dealing with this double emergency situation which is at odds with itself.
What authorities need to figure out is to find a means to tackle a hurricane+COVID 19 scenario. Let’s see what are the different issues and challenges that may arise:
Exhausted response systems:
The annual hurricane season, each year demands a highly alert response system across the country to respond to emergencies and cater to the affected population as efficiently and swiftly as it can. This year, with COVID 19 already putting a lot of logistical and financial pressure on state as well as the federal government, emergency respondents are overloaded with countless cases all across the country. Hospitals and institutions are struggling with an increased number of patients to care for and as the hurricane season approaches, lack of resources makes it extremely difficult to assimilate those affected with the damages caused by the hurricane season.
Evacuation and sheltering:
In a situation where quarantine is being enforced over the population in order to eradicate the virus, evacuation strategies will be needed to be reassessed since the very idea of evacuation becomes counterproductive as it runs the risk of exposing a large part of the population to the virus. Sheltering from the hurricane season is another problem as it would lead to countless people being incorporated in shared space which defeats the purpose of maintaining social distancing.
Evacuees and people sharing shelters would need to be examined for the symptoms of the virus and they would have to be extra careful when it comes to interacting and residing in such an environment. A crowded shelter place would need to be thoroughly sanitized to stop it from becoming a breeding ground for the virus.
Shortage of supplies:
The pandemic has already caused a steep decline in the availability of basic supplies and food items which is causing an alarm across the country. As swarms of panic buyers have already depleted stores and the marketplace for essential items, the hurricane season is likely to witness an extreme shortage in supplies. With production units coming to a halt and the hurricane season delaying it even further, providing citizens with resources to sustain lives becomes a major issue for the government.
Availability of personnel:
Each year, thousands of government employees working in emergency services are available to cater to the needs of people across the country who have suffered from the hurricane season. This year, with more than a million people in the grip of a deadly virus, the availability of personnel in various sectors is going to become a major problem in the efforts required to tackle the hurricane situation across the country.
Each year, the hurricane season inflicts millions of dollars’ worth of physical damage that causes massive ruptures on the economy of the country. This time around, COVID 19-as it rips through American cities-has already caused a massive meltdown in the economy. According to a report by Mckinsey and Company, it could take three years for the USA to recover from the financial ramifications caused by a coronavirus. In times such as these, the added financial burdens brought on by the hurricane season is only going to make things worse.
These are some of the major issues that are going to inflict a lot of damage to the financial and societal structure of the USA. We hope to see the government implementing actionable solutions to tackle this ordeal.