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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

A Storm During a Pandemic? How to Be Safe (Part 2: Evacuating Your Home)

9/21/2020 (Permalink)

A house is surrounded by floodwaters Evacuating your home after a storm disaster is hard enough. In a pandemic, you'll need to take some extra steps to stay safe.

This year, if you need to evacuate your home during a hurricane or other natural disaster, you’ll need to take extra precautions to protect you and your family from a viral pathogen. Leaving your home in the midst of a storm and accompanying power outage puts you at greater risk of exposure to illness, so you’ll need to take extra care. SERVPRO of Manchester/Mansfield recommends you review your existing plans for evacuating safely and modify them to include protection against a pathogen.

(Read Part 1 of this article for ways to stay safe at home when a powerful storm hits during a pandemic.)

According to the American Red Cross, you should have on hand two kits of emergency supplies, one for sheltering at home and another for evacuating.

Prepare a Three-Day Evacuation Kit

Your pandemic-era evacuation supply kit should be a smaller, portable version of your stay-at-home kit—you’ll want to be able to grab it quickly as you leave your home. Include three days worth of the supplies you and your family will need:

  • shelf-stable food and snacks
  • water (1 gallon per person per day)
  • personal hygiene items
  • prescription and over-the-counter medications (up to a two-week supply stored separately in an easy-to-carry bag)
  • cleaning and disinfectant supplies, such as tissues, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes
  • at least 3 face masks for everyone in your household

Find Safe Harbor in a Pandemic

Finding a safe place to shelter in a pandemic is more complicated than at other times. Start by learning if your local emergency management agency has revised its sheltering guidance to reflect pandemic-related executive orders.

To maintain a safe distance from other evacuees, large group shelters like school gymnasiums are no longer the first option, although a large-scale evacuation may require their use. The Red Cross recommends that you stay in individual hotel or dormitory-style rooms instead. It’s a good idea, if you know a storm is on the way, to call hotels, motels or even campgrounds to determine availability.

Another option is to contact family and friends outside the storm-affected area to see if you can stay with them. Of course, you and your family or friends must take appropriate precautions. You’ll have to quarantine in a separate room if you or the people you are staying with have been recently exposed to a virus or are showing symptoms.

If you and your family do take shelter at a larger group shelter, be prepared for:

  • a health screening
  • wellness checks, including self-monitoring and temperature checks
  • an isolation area for anyone who shows symptoms of infection
  • required face masks
  • staggered meal times
  • extra space between cots, chairs and tables
  • requirements for frequent hand washing
  • more frequent and thorough cleaning and disinfecting 

If your home or business suffers damage from a windstorm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of Manchester/Mansfield today at 860.649.0836

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of Manchester/Mansfield has specialized training and experience in natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage remediation, fire restoration services and chemical cleanup. Call SERVPRO of Manchester/Mansfield (860.649.0836) any time.

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If your home or business suffers damage from a windstorm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of Manchester/Mansfield today at 860.649.0836

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