QUESTION: I heard I should be prepared for natural disasters, but what about my medications?
ANSWER: Disaster can strike fast and if prepared properly, you are in a better position to survive and remain healthy. Here are a few tips to prepare yourself and your medications for a natural disaster:
- Carry a medication list in your wallet/phone
- Include the following for each medication:
- Instructions for use
- Reason for use
- Update the list after each doctor appointment
- REASONING: In case of emergency, a healthcare provider may need to continue your daily medications if you require medical attention. A medication list is a quick way to reference your medications, if needed.
- Use online tools to create your medication list, such as https://www.healthcareready.org/rx-on-the-run
2) Prepare to properly store your medications
- In the event of flooding, place medications in water-tight containers to keep them dry
- Keep ice on hand for refrigerated items in case the power goes out or you need to evacuate
- REASONING: Keeping your medications stored properly can ensure their quality so they work as intended.
3) Take a picture of your ID and insurance card
- REASONING: In the event you lose your ID and/or insurance card, having a picture on your phone of this information can come in handy for medical and pharmacy billing.
Contact your pharmacy if you find that you have lost your medications during an emergency to let them know that you are without medication. They can help you refill your medications so that you can continue taking them as directed.
The American Red Cross emergency preparedness basics:
- Have a survival kit
- Make a plan in case of emergency
- Be informed about natural disasters that can occur in your area
- For more information on being prepared for natural disasters you can visit redcross.org