York U disaster management and emergency response expert available for comment on hurricane season during COVID-19


TORONTO, May 22, 2020 – The 2020 hurricane season will have above-average activity levels, according to the Canadian Hurricane Centre. The Environment and Climate Change Canada agency provided the seasonal outlook this morning.

“The late May outlook for this year’s hurricane season reminds us that despite our disaster attention span being consumed by COVID-19, like clockwork, seasons change and the risk for typical seasonal disasters remains,” says Professor Jack L. Rozdilsky, an expert in disaster management and emergency response.

Rozdilsky is available to comment on related topics, including how emergency preparedness, response and management need to change.

For example, individuals should adapt by adding hand sanitizer and masks to their 72-hour disaster preparedness kits, Rozdilsky says. Authorities are planning to rearrange public hurricane shelters to accommodate for social distancing by increasing the available floor space from 20 sq. feet to 100 sq. feet per person. As category 4 and 5 hurricanes are deadly, the predominate objective would be to get people out of dangerous coastal surge and wind zones, he says, and then secondly, deal with COVID-19.

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Media Contact: Gloria Suhasini, York University Media Relations, 647-463-4354, suhasini@yorku.ca