Hurricanes and COVID-19

Know how the COVID-19 pandemic can affect hurricane preparedness and recovery, and what you can do to keep yourself and others safe.

The COVID-19 pandemic will add additional challenges and changes to the 2020 hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 30.

KNOW YOUR ZONE

PLANNING

  • Make a plan to stay with family or friends at a safe place inland, or at a hotel, if you need to evacuate. 
  • Staying at a storm shelter is not a good option during the COVID-19 pandemic and should only be considered as a last resort.
  • Staying with family, friends, or at a hotel will reduce the chances of you being exposed to, or transmitting the COVID-19 virus.

PREPARE FOR HURRICANE SEASON

  • Understand that your planning may be different this year because of the need to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
  • Give yourself more time than usual to prepare your emergency food, water, and medicine supplies. Home delivery is the safest choice for buying disaster supplies; however, that may not be an option for everyone. If in-person shopping is your only choice, take steps to protect your and others’ health when running essential errands.
  • Protect yourself and others when filling prescriptions by limiting in-person visits to the pharmacy. Sign up for mail order delivery or call in your prescription ahead of time and use drive-through windows or curbside pickup, if available.
  • Pay attention to local guidance about updated plans for evacuations and shelters, including shelters for your pets.
  • When you check on neighbors and friends, be sure to follow social distancing recommendations (staying at least 6 feet from others).

PREPARE TO EVACUATE

  • If you may need to evacuate, prepare a “go kit” with personal items you cannot do without during an emergency. Include items that can help protect you and others from COVID-19, such as hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, bar or liquid soap, disinfectant wipes (if available) and two cloth face coverings for each person. Face covers should not be used by children under the age of 2. They also should not be used by people having trouble breathing, or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • Know a safe place to shelter and have several ways to receive weather alerts.
  • Find out if your local public shelter is open, in case you need to evacuate your home and go there. Your shelter location may be different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • If you need to go to a disaster shelter, follow CDC recommendations for staying safe and healthy in a public disaster shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Follow guidance from your local public health or emergency management officials on when and where to shelter.
  • Make a plan and prepare a disaster kit for your pets. Find out if your disaster shelter will accept pets. Typically, when shelters accommodate pets, the pets are housed in a separate area from people.
  • Follow safety precautions when using transportation to evacuate. If you have to travel away from your community to evacuate, follow safety precautions for travelers to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

OCEAN CITY EVACUATION PHASES & ROUTES

If the Mayor of Ocean City decides it necessary to evacuate Ocean City the following phases will be used to assist in graduating the traffic exiting the beach:

Phase # 1

Anyone traveling to Ocean City is asked to delay their visit until the situation improves.
Mobile Home Residents and Residents of known flood prone areas should prepare secure your homes and prepare to evacuate.
Secure or move all watercraft.
All persons are asked to tune into their Government Access Channel for further detailed information or advisories.

Phase # 2

All non-resident property owners, vacationers, and vistors are asked to evacuate.
All mobile home and low lying area residents are asked to evacuate.
The Mayor closes the beach.
City buses will be used for transportation to shelters.
The Route 50 Draw Bridge will be closed to boat traffic.
All persons are asked to tune into their Government Access Channel for further detailed information or advisories.

Phase # 3

The Mayor declares a local State of Emergency.
The sale of alcohol is banned and all businesses are asked to close immediately in Ocean City.
Everyone other than emergency personnel are asked to evacuate.
Incoming traffic is limited to emergency personnel.
The municipal bus service is providing pick up service on Coastal Highway for evacuation shelters.
All persons are asked to tune into their Government Access Channel for further detailed information or advisories.

Phase # 4

The Mayor requests a complete evacuation of Ocean City as quickly as possible.
All public services and public transportation will be shut down, and all incoming routes to Ocean City will be closed.
Remaining city personnel are ordered to seek shelter immediately and button down.
All persons are asked to tune into their Government Access Channel for further detailed information or advisories.

OCEAN CITY EVACUATION ROUTES

From 62nd Street area South: South on Coastal Highway over the U.S. Route 50 Bridge.
From the Delaware Line South: South on Coastal Highway over the Md. Route 90 Bridge.
From South of North Division Street: North on Baltimore avenue, Left on 1st. Street South on Philadelphia avenue, over the U.S. Route 50 Bridge.
From 2nd Street to 33rd Street area: One block West, South on Philadelphia Ave, over the U.S. Route 50 Bridge.