Hurricane season is HERE, so Florida is getting prepared.
The Sunshine State, ironically, is no stranger to nasty storms. Residents and tourists alike have been weathering hurricanes for years, and a few of these storms have even led to closures of Disney World! This year, though, the same old protocols that have been in use for years just aren’t going to cut it. Florida is rewriting its hurricane policy right now. Here’s why AND what YOU need to know.
Why does Florida need a new hurricane policy?
The 2020 hurricane season is expected to be different from past years in a few ways. For one, the season is expected to be super active according to analysts. For reference, 2019 was very active as well with six hurricanes forming throughout the season including the Category 5 storm, Hurricane Dorian.
According to ABC Action News, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis acknowledged the risk saying, “Hopefully, we don’t have to deal with a hurricane, but I think we have to assume we’re going to have one.”
This year is also differentiated by the fact that hurricane season will overlap with the current global health crisis. Health and safety measures may have to change when it comes to evacuating and sheltering citizens in high-risk areas — like Central Florida and, by extension, Disney World.
What does the new plan take into account?
The new plan, though not fully developed, seeks to keep people safe in the extreme conditions of the health crisis AND a hurricane. According to ABC Action News, the state isn’t in the best shape to handle a storm. Hospitals and medical supplies are stretched thin, the economy is in recession, unemployment is growing, and physical distancing requirements are still in effect.
The new hurricane plan seeks to provide a solution to some of these constraints. State Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz took the following into account, “How do I evacuate people that might be COVID-19 positive? What do we do with our hospitals? Are we using schools for shelters? How are we doing that? How are we separating populations?”
The new protocols seek to address these concerns, and Florida teams aren’t undergoing this redrafting process on their own. The state is also signing with national consulting firms to help determine policies that are aimed at protecting people while preventing illness.
Some ideas that have been determined so far include testing for illness at storm shelters, setting up specific sites for those that are infected, and providing hotel space to those who are unable to afford a safe place. Again, the plan is still in development, but the goal is to balance storm AND health concerns.
What do you need to know?
Keeping up with the hurricane policy is, of course, important for Florida Residents; but if you’re planning a trip to Disney World, you need to be aware too! If you end up in Disney World during a hurricane, having a backup plan will be critical for you and your family!
The way that Florida has handled hurricanes for years is going to see some changes to help keep people safe from a double threat. Disney’s hurricane policy may change to follow government guidance if needed. If you live in Florida, be sure to have a plan in place for if a hurricane comes your way — and make sure to keep the global health crisis in mind!
If you’re traveling to Disney during hurricane season, you can read up on Disney World’s hurricane policy HERE to know what to expect. And remember, even if a storm doesn’t make landfall in Florida, weather can be especially volatile this time of year. Make sure that you’re prepared to see rainy or stormy days in the theme parks!
It’s always important to be aware of plans and protocols in the event of a hurricane, but with the potential changes in light of the global health crisis, those may be critical to revisit. Stick with DFB and we’ll give you all of the latest news on how hurricane season will affect Disney World and what YOU can do to be prepared.
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Traveling to Florida during hurricane season? Ask any questions and share your thoughts in the comments!