FEMA head urges hurricane prep in midst of coronavirus pandemic

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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Monday marks the official start of the 2020 hurricane season. But this year is different, with communities preparing for a potential hit during a global pandemic.

Never in our history have we had to deal with both disasters at the same time. But the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Washington, D.C. is planning for both and says staff is ready to respond.

“We pride ourselves at FEMA at being ready every day,” FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor said. “We’ve been preparing and responding to COVID-19 and preparing for the hurricane season together.”

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Gaynor says FEMA set up the “National Coordination and Response Center” as well as a second separate location allowing staff to respond to either disaster instantly.

FEMA has also put together a guide for state, local and tribal emergency managers on how to confront both challenges so they can be as prepared as possible for the 2020 hurricane season, Gaynor tells us.

“They can modify their plans when it comes to responding to, preparing for a hurricane or other natural disasters,” he said.

Gaynor stresses that it only takes one hurricane to do decades of damage and is urging everyone to take precautions.

Be prepared for that one hurricane, no matter the forecast,” he said.

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