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St. Lucie County Adds COVID-19 Precautions Into Hurricane Planning

Post Date:05/26/2020 11:20 AM

St. Lucie County’s Public Safety staff will implement changes to its hurricane season preparations and shelter plans and reminds residents that they should begin to consider how the COVID-19 pandemic might impact their personal hurricane plans.

Hurricanes season officially begins June 1. While forecasters are predicting an above average storm season, it only takes one storm to cause significant damage to a community. Over the past two hurricane seasons, St. Lucie County narrowly missed being directly impacted by major storms.

With the COVID-19 pandemic expecting to still be in our community through most, if not all, of the hurricane season, St. Lucie County will make changes to its sheltering and emergency management plans.  Some of these changes might include temperature checks and health screenings before entering a shelter; wearing masks inside shelters; opening additional shelters to comply with social distancing guidelines and other changes that will be communicated prior to opening facilities.

Residents should remember that public shelters are a place of last resort. If you live in a home that is not in a mandatory evacuation area or in a low-lying area that’s prone to flooding – you may consider sheltering in place; evacuating the county or staying with a friend or family member in a more secure structure.

However, most protective measures for hurricane season still apply. Be sure to have enough food, water and medicines to last three to five days. If you have medical special needs or would need to seek shelter at the county’s pet-friendly shelter, be sure to pre-register at www.stlucieco.gov/eoc.

Additionally, now is the time to make sure you trim the vegetation in your yard and around your home. Please do not wait until a storm is threatening our area as waste management crews may not pick up debris in time, causing this refuse to block drains and cause additional flooding.

Florida’s 2020 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday begins Friday, May 29 and runs through Thursday, June 4, so that is a good time to stock up on supplies.

For more information about Hurricane Preparedness visit: https://www.stlucieco.gov/departments-services/a-z/public-safety/disaster-preparedness.

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