WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 8, 2017) —– As residents of Florida and the Southeast face one of the most powerful hurricanes ever recorded in the Atlantic, Healthcare Ready, a non-profit organization meeting urgent health needs of people struck by disaster, are strongly encouraging urges those in the storm’s path to prepare for their health needs during the storm and through its aftermath.
“Residents are hurrying to batten down their homes and evacuate, but now is a critical window of opportunity to prepare the supplies they need to maintain their health during a prolonged evacuation,” said Nicolette Louissaint, executive director of Healthcare Ready. “Taking the time to assess and pack the vital medications and health care supplies you or your loved ones will need could make the difference between life and death.”
As residents prepare to evacuate areas in the path of Hurricane Irma, Healthcare Ready issued these urgent tips:
GET READY: Make sure you can ride out the storm or an evacuation; prepare your medications so you can stay healthy and out of the hospital
***Florida has a declared a pre-landfall state of emergency which authorizes pharmacists to issue a 30-day refill of maintenance medications.
GET RECONNECTED: If you need to evacuate and your regular medications are left behind, lost or destroyed, it’s critical to restore access to care that can keep you healthy and out of the hospital during a disaster
Especially for people with chronic conditions, like diabetes, asthma, HIV or high blood pressure, missed doses of medications can create a health crisis during a disaster and burden already strained hospitals. In a 2017 survey commissioned by Healthcare Ready, one in seven respondents said they could only go two to three days without their regular medications and medical equipment before facing a serious health concern.
“Since Hurricane Harvey made landfall, we’ve been coordinating with federal and state agencies, non-profit organizations and private sector partners to aid people facing a health crisis due to the devastation of Harvey,” said Louissaint. “Given the record breaking size and sheer power of Hurricane Irma, there is no doubt residents in the path of the storm have a golden window right now to take action and protect themselves from potentially serious health threats.”
Healthcare Ready works through its member organizations, including the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the Healthcare Distributors Alliance (HDA) the National Association of Chain Drugs Stores (NACDS) and the American Red Cross to protect patient access to medicines and healthcare during emergencies. For more information please visit: https://www.healthcareready.org/resources.
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About Healthcare Ready
Healthcare Ready helps to strengthen healthcare through public private collaboration and addressing pressing issues before, during, and after disasters and disease outbreaks. As the convener of industry and government, Healthcare Ready safeguards patient health by providing solutions to critical problems and identifying best practices for healthcare preparedness and response.