Emergency Preparedness for Prescription Medications

Apr 14, 2015

Be sure to consider prescription medications in your severe weather emergency planning.

Tornado season is here and hurricane season is right around the corner. Remembering the destruction of recent natural disasters, it's important to review your emergency preparedness plans.

While people make their plans, they sometimes forget about their prescription medications. Lost or damaged medication can be a life-threatening situation for storm victims.

We don’t know when disaster may strike, so it’s important to be prepared for any emergency, remembering to include your prescription medications in your plans.

Here are tips to be prepared:

Make a medication list: Keep an updated list of all medications, dosages and phone numbers for your doctors and pharmacies in a waterproof bag or container.

Carry your prescription card: Keep your health insurance or prescription-drug benefit card with you at all times, as your pharmacy benefit provider or health plan can help you obtain an emergency supply of any lost or damaged medication.

Order early: Reorder as soon as you are able and consider ordering a 90-day supply of medication through your plan’s home-delivery pharmacy to ensure a full stock.

Keep your medications together: Keep medications in original containers with original labels and place prescription bottles in a waterproof bag or container.

Prepare for special needs: If your medication requires refrigeration or electronic equipment, have a plan for temporary storage and administration.

Make a plan: Discuss your medication disaster plan with your doctor, especially if your medication has special shipping or electronic equipment requirements. Also discuss plans for your child’s medication with your child’s daycare provider or school.

Maintain an emergency healthcare kit: Stock a supply kit with any nonprescription medications you may need such as pain relievers, cold medications and antacids.

If you experience an emergency situation, it’s important to consider the following:

Medication safety: Inspect your medication to see if the look or smell of it has changed, as excessive moisture or heat can contaminate the drugs. If you are unsure about its safety, contact a local pharmacist or healthcare provider.

Skipping doses: If you haven’t been able to take your medication, contact a pharmacist or doctor as soon as possible even if you’re not experiencing any negative health effects. Never take additional doses to make up for those you’ve missed before talking to a healthcare practitioner.

While we hope we never have to enact our emergency plan, being prepared will help keep us safe, whichever way the wind blows.

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Lab Staff
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