PAHO urges countries to prepare for “dual threat” of hurricane season and COVID-19

PAHO urges countries to prepare for “dual threat” of hurricane season and COVID-19

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8 Jun 2021

PAHO to hold June 10 preparedness meeting with key agencies and disaster officials throughout the Americas.

Washington, D.C., June 8, 2021 (PAHO) Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director Carissa F. Etienne today called on national and local authorities in countries at risk for hurricanes to prepare for the 2021 hurricane season. She warned that COVID-19 and the potential devastation of high winds and flooding make preparation even more critical than usual.

“We must safeguard our countries and territories against the dual threat of COVID-19 and the hurricane season,” Dr. Etienne said. “We must ensure that health services are fully operational to save lives and protect the well-being of populations before, during and after hurricanes. We must also make sure that emergency care, hospitalization, ICU beds, laboratories, and quarantine and isolation centers are protected and functional.”

June 1 marked the start of the Atlantic hurricane season, which is forecasted to have a 60% chance of above-normal activity, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The forecast is for 13 to 20 named storms, including 6 to 10 hurricanes and 3 to 5 major hurricanes.

PAHO is working to provide emergency supplies and assist in securing critical facilities in countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

On June 10 PAHO will hold a preparedness meeting with representatives from the disaster coordination agencies of all countries in the Americas. The online meeting to identify resources and adjust preparedness and readiness plans will include panelists from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Read more…