CDC Urges Vaccination and Masks as Part of Hurricane Emergency Plan

A nurse holds a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine at La Bonne Maison de Bouzanton care home in Mons, Belgium, Monday, Dec. 28, 2020. The vaccine, developed by BioNTech and Pfizer, was transported from a hospital in Leuven to the residential care home on Monday, as Belgium begins its vaccination …
AP Photo/Francisco Seco, Pool

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging Americans to get “every family member over 12” vaccinated “as soon as you can” as part of their hurricane season emergency plan. It also recommends preppers include masks for everyone two and older in their emergency “go” kits.

The federal health agency includes getting vaccinated as a crucial part of 2021 hurricane season preparation, weaving in Chinese coronavirus precautions throughout its guidance:

The CDC’s list includes (emphasis added):

  • Understand that your planning may be different this year because of the need to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
  • Get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can. COVID-19 vaccines help protect you from getting sick or severely ill with COVID-19 and may also help protect people around you.
  • Give yourself more time than usual to prepare your emergency food, water, and medicine supplies. Home delivery is the safest choice for buying disaster supplies; however, that may not be an option for everyone. If in-person shopping is your only choice, take steps to protect your and others’ health when running essential errands.
  • Protect yourself and others when filling prescriptions by limiting in-person visits to the pharmacy. Sign up for mail order delivery or call in your prescription ahead of time and use drive-through windows or curbside pickup, if available.
  • Pay attention to local guidance about updated plans for evacuations and shelters, including shelters for your pets.
  •  When you check on neighbors and friends, be sure to follow physical distancing recommendations (staying at least 6 feet from others) and other CDC recommendations to protect yourself and others.

The federal health agency also includes tips for compiling a “go kit” for emergencies and opted to include “clean masks for everyone age 2 or older.”

“Masks should have two or more layers and fit snugly against your face,” the CDC adds.

In a section on evacuating from a storm, the CDC recommends people carefully think before staying with another household and “consider if either of your households has someone who is at higher risk of developing severe illness from COVID-19, including older adults or people of any age who have underlying medical conditions.”

In tips on staying safe after a hurricane, the CDC uses the first bullet point to urge Americans to “continue to follow preventive actions to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, like washing your hands and wearing a mask during cleanup or when returning home.”

The guidance comes as Florida braces for Tropical Storm Elsa, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) declaring a state of emergency on Saturday for 15 counties in anticipation of the storm, which is expected to hit the Sunshine State’s West Coast this week:

“This morning, I signed an Executive Order issuing a State of Emergency due to the threat of Tropical Storm Elsa,” the governor said in a statement.

“While we continue to provide resources to support the response at Surfside, impacts from Elsa will begin affecting the Florida Keys and portions of southern Florida as early as Monday,” he continued.

“All Floridians in the potential path of this storm need to prepare for the risk of isolated tornadoes, storm surge, heavy rainfall and flash flooding,” DeSantis added.


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