The National Hurricane Center is tracking three tropical waves, and the closest could impact the Gulf as a potential major hurricane in the coming days.

“The center of the depression will pass near or over the Cayman Islands tonight, the Isle of Youth and Western Cuba Friday, and move over the southeastern and central Gulf of Mexico Friday night and Saturday,” the National Hurricane Center said.

Storm preparedness, especially during the pandemic, is more crucial than ever.

Here are a few preparedness tips:

Know how to meet your basic needs.

Hurricanes can cause damage to power grids, block roads and highways, and cause businesses like grocery stores and pharmacies to close, and COVID-19 can add an extra layer of complexity to this. Consider assembling emergency supply kits containing things like prescription medicine, hygiene items, food and water, paper products, and so forth. The Red Cross has guidance on assembling a kit here.

Plan for shelter or evacuation.

Keep your eyes on emergency weather alerts and community notifications. Understand where in your household is the safest place to shelter during a storm and be ready to leave quickly if an evacuation notice is given. If evacuation is necessary, consider how you can leave, where you could stay, and how you can protect yourself from COVID-19 during evacuation

Plan your connections.

If communication networks fail, have a plan to connect with friends, relatives, or others in your support network. Have back-up power sources for your cell phone. Fill out a contact card for each member of your household and be sure they carry it with them. Designate out-of-town contacts and agree on meeting spots.

Have a plan in place for your business.

If your organization and property is in danger of storm damage, CTEH can help. “We stage people outside the path of the storm for a quick response,” said Paul Hart, CTEH’s director of health and safety services. “A storm can float tanks or shift objects or cause hazardous material spills. We can help with sampling and air monitoring, and we offer employee stabilization for people affected by the storms. Flooding can lead to moisture impacts, and we can also provide moisture mapping and industrial hygiene assessments. We also do COVID-19 testing and write health and safety plans related to COVID.”

For more than 20 years now, CTEH has specialized in disaster management, response, and recovery. Within hours of an incident, our crisis-tested team can be on the scene to help our neighbors in need. Whether they need us as soon as the storm strikes or in the weeks following, our experts are available 24/7/365 to assist with flood response, emergency logistics support, crisis management, resource tracking, and other essential services.

If you need help, call our 24-hour hotline at 1-866-869-2834.