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Tropical Weather

Emergency Officials Urge People To Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19 As Part Of Hurricane Prep

Men put up shutters to prepare a house for Hurricane Irma on Wednesday in Miami.
Men put up shutters to prepare a house for Hurricane Irma on Wednesday in Miami.

Make sure you have food and water for several days, medications, batteries for flashlights ... and your filled-out COVID-19 vaccination card.

These are just some of the things emergency officials are encouraging people to have on hand to prepare for the start of the 2021 hurricane season on Tuesday, June 1.

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz brought emergency agencies together, virtually, on Friday for her annual briefing ahead of Hurricane Season.

During the briefing, the South Florida Democrat underscored that getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is a form of hurricane preparedness:

"If you are possibly going to need to evacuate — making sure that you are vaccinated so that you are even more protected is going to be essential," Wasserman Schultz said.

This year the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts an "above average" storm season with 13-20 named storms, 6-10 hurricanes, and 3-5 major hurricanes.

The Broward County Director of Regional Emergency Services & Communications, Tracy Jackson, also encouraged people to think about getting vaccinated. He said that pandemic safety will still be required at any county shelters that may open this storm season.

"This policy's being formulated, but you need to know that at this point that we're going to require masks," Jackson said. "There will be some temperature checks. We've already loaded up PPE for as many shelters as we could possibly open."

Before then, Floridians can shop for hurricane supplies tax-free for a week, starting Friday.
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