Tropical Storm Bertha and the Harsh Hurricane Season Ahead

Overhead+image+of+a+hurricane%2C+taken+from+a+satellite.

Photo By Wikilmages

Overhead image of a hurricane, taken from a satellite.

By Hannah Ashtari, Managing Editor

The six- month 2020 Atlantic Hurricane season, beginning on Monday, is expected to be more severe than previous years, especially due to the backdrop of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. The second named tropical storm of the year, Tropical Storm Bertha, made landfall in South Carolina on May 27, days before hurricane season had technically even begun. In their annual hurricane season forecast, both the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) and Colorado State University predicted “above-normal activity” for the year, anticipating at least eight hurricanes, four of them being at least a Category 3, the threshold for major hurricanes. 

“As Americans focus their attention on a safe and healthy reopening of our country, it remains critically important that we also remember to make the necessary preparations for the upcoming hurricane season,” Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, speaking to the NOAA, said.

State and federal officials are anticipating that it will be difficult to coordinate evacuations, emergency response services, and shelters for those displaced while still preventing the spread of the Coronavirus.  

“Emergency managers should anticipate the added complexities of conducting response and recovery operations while taking preventative measures to protect the health and safety of disaster survivors and the disaster workforce,” the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said in a report issued as guidance to those preparing for hurricane season amidst the virus. 

For more information, visit the NOAA website, or read the FEMA COVID-19 Pandemic Operational Guidance for the 2020 Hurricane Season.

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