PASCO COUNTY, Fla. -- The developer of the app Disaster Hawk, meant to help users plan for a range of emergencies, tells Spectrum Bay News 9 now is the time for individuals, families, and businesses to start preparing for a possible second wave of COVID-19.

What You Need To Know

  • App developer recommends families and businesses look at what worked and what didn't during first wave

  • Households should gradually stock up on two weeks' worth of necessities

  • Find out if favorite hobbies can be done virtually

"I think this was a great lesson for everybody that COVID needs to be treated like any other disaster," Disaster Hawk developer Patrick Hardy said of the first months of the pandemic.

Hardy, a certified emergency and risk manager and FEMA Master of Exercise Practitioner, said the first step is to look at what worked and what didn't for your household or business during the first wave and figure out how you can be better prepared.

"What are you going to do in the fall if there is no school? What are you going to do if work isn't available?" Hardy said of questions people should ask themselves.

He also recommends gradually stocking up on two weeks' worth of necessities to help communities avoid a situation like that seen earlier this year.

"People were being too reactive, and they weren't being proactive," Hardy said. "One of the obvious signs of that -- you saw that the stores simply didn't have the basic supplies. We didn't have toilet paper. We didn't have a lot of the things we'd normally have."

One thing Hardy said people seemed to forget to plan for the first time around: the psychological component of the pandemic.

"I don't think people realized what it was like to stay with their family members for 30-60 days at a time without anybody going out," he said.

Hardy suggests looking into whether you can take part in your favorite hobbies, clubs, and activities virtually.