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Hotels may act as shelters during hurricane season

200 hotels in Florida say they could provide shelter during hurricane season.

TAMPA, Fla. — We are officially in hurricane season. How our state responds to a possible storm is changing because of the pandemic. That includes where people go if they have to evacuate. 

The Florida Division of Emergency Management has teamed up with the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association and sent out a statewide survey to hotels.

It was given to gauge how many would be interested in providing shelter if a hurricane threatens a community. 

This is an interactive map of the 200 hotels that responded. 

They are not actively sheltering people, they have simply expressed interest in providing shelter during hurricane season. There are about 30 that have said yes in our area, those are the green markers, five that are possible, the brown markers. 

The division has been working with the CDC, FEMA and the Red Cross on shelter standards. 

Director of Florida Division of Emergency Management, Jared Moskowitz, discussed this at a news conference on Friday. 

"We want to make sure they have the tools available. Whether they decide to use those tools, those non-congregate shelters for COVID positive people only, for seniors only or for people with underlying conditions or just general use, the folks behind me will make those decisions. But we want to give folks options."

Again, all decision regarding sheltering during a storm will be decided by local county emergency management. 

The state is still looking to expand the list of hotels interested in providing shelter. Click here to see the survey here. 

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