More unprecedented still is the prospect of responding to hurricane amid a pandemic.
Dr Etienne expressed concern that as storms ravage towns and communities they decimate sanitation systems, contaminate water supplies and fracture the delivery of health care.
These are three lifelines that are critical to containing the spread of COVID-19.
PAHO has already issued guidelines to manage emergency shelters including precautions to minimise the spread of COVID-19 by designating distinct zones to allow for social distancing
It also includes regularly disinfecting high traffic areas and swiftly isolating individuals who show signs of illness.
She said PAHO is working to provide emergency response supplies throughout the region as well as to secure critical facilities like laboratories, quarantine and isolation centres.
This will ensure diagnosis and treatment for COVID-19 can continue even under difficult circumstances.