FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- With hurricane season officially under way, the Fayetteville Fire Department is encouraging the community to make sure they are vaccinated.
If everybody is vaccinated, the fire department said it will help rescue and shelter efforts in the event of a major storm.
"We kind of learned last year that our mask care and sheltering got turned on its head because the traditional shelter concepts wouldn't work," Fayetteville Fire Department Emergency Operations Manager Scott Bullard said.
Bullard said preparing for a hurricane is an ever changing challenge. He feels emergency teams in the Sandhills got lucky during the pandemic last year with only Hurricane Isaias affecting the area.
Bullard said you should always have a plan way before a storm hits, so you're not caught off guard.
Despite vaccines rolling out and many regulations being rolled back, many response groups are still keeping COVID-19 protocols in place to make sure everyone is safe.
With the Sandhills having been hit by two major storms in the last 5 years, it's not a matter of if but when the next storm will strike.
Bullard said those who prepare early and get vaccinated are helping emergency responders do their jobs more efficiently.
"Please if you haven't been vaccinated get vaccinated, because in the grand scheme of things that helps us a lot, because you don't need illness and infection problems in a storm like that.," Bullard said.
Getting vaccinated helps emergency crews responding to a major hurricane, Fayetteville FD says
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