Will Florida Use Ubers & Lyfts to Evacuate during Hurricane Season?
A story in USA Today discusses how the Florida Division of Emergency Management is planning for the upcoming hurricane season. Although we all hope that it is a quiet season, odds are not good. Instead, there is ample evidence that Florida could be seeing above-average hurricane and tropical storm activity, especially early in the season. Ocean temperatures are above normal, which facilitates the formation of hurricanes early in the season. Although we typically don’t see a major (Category 3 or higher) hurricane in June, we might in 2020.
More Creative Solutions for Dealing with a Hurricane
Our state is getting creative with its preparations thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have written before about how hotels might be used to shelter people instead of schools. Many hotels, which have seen their business volume collapse, would probably welcome the chance to shelter people and get paid by the government.
The USA Today story, however, had interesting details we haven’t seen reported in the media before. For example, the state is considering paying Uber & Lyft drivers to transport people out of harm’s way instead of loading everybody onto a bus. The state is also considering issuing gas cards to help people pay to drive themselves out of the state when a hurricane strikes.
Should You Just Shelter in Place?
Generally, we don’t recommend sheltering in place. Instead, it is typically safer to simply go somewhere else until the storm subsides. But according to state officials, they might begin recommending that people stay in place if a Category 1 or Category 2 storm is predicted to land and your home was constructed after Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992.
Sheltering carries risks. For one, the utility companies are warning that social distancing will probably slow down their ability to restore power after a storm. If you choose to stay home, then you should probably consider buying a generator and learn how to use it safely.
Homes built after Andrew are more hurricane-resistant and can withstand at least a lower-level storm. But if a Category 3 or stronger storm hits, it might be best to simply leave anyway, since your home might suffer damage.
A Lack of Volunteers
Another area of concern is the lack of volunteers coming from out of state. Usually, we rely on volunteers to help during a hurricane, but the ongoing pandemic could give people pause before volunteering.
As a result, the state is considering paying the unemployed to help during hurricane season. This is actually a good idea and could help many unemployed Floridians earn some money while they assist their neighbors during a storm. Of course, if the novel coronavirus is still circulating (and it probably will be), then you should not work if you are suffering from health problems.
Let Us Help You this Hurricane Season
Every large storm brings with it the challenge of obtaining insurance proceeds. Many Floridian religiously pay their home insurance and flood insurance premiums only to be denied payment when they need it most. Please contact the Daytona Beach hurricane insurance claims lawyers at Bundza & Rodriguez, P.A., today for a free consultation.