Experts from Duke University shared advice on Wednesday on how to prepare for the possibility of facing a hurricane during a pandemic.
Dr. Cameron Wolfe, associate professor of medicine at Duke Division of Infectious Diseases and an infectious disease specialist at Duke Health, said that when it comes to storm preparedness, communities should be “thinking about ways of incorporating Covid-specific level care and planning for the logistics of that.”
That includes thinking about things like personal protective equipment and mobile testing capacity for places like storm shelters.
One thing that could be easy to overlook, is the mental health and emotional impact of living in a hurricane-prone place, according to Lisa Campbell, a professor of marine affairs and policy at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment.
“I think the layering of Covid on top of this has really got people, pretty much, you know at their wits’ ends in terms of trying to anticipate uncertainty and consequence,” she said.
She said that places like schools and employers should be attentive to the levels of stress that people are dealing with because of this double layer.
Dr. Andrew Godfrey, an emergency medicine specialist at Duke Health and a medical instructor in the Department of Surgery at Duke University School of Health, said that people should take the time while things are calmer to make plans for hurricanes and storms.
“What their plan would be if they were ordered to evacuate or if they needed to leave, and to try to pre-plan a little bit, as much as possible, given the constraints of Covid,” he said.