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Emergency Preparedness for Prescription Medications

It’s important to prepare your family for emergencies and disasters, both big and small. Emergencies can happen anywhere at any time.

It is also important that you know the potential risks for where you live and prepare. It’s best to be prepared to live for three days without electricity, water service or access to a supermarket.

While people make their plans, they sometimes forget about their prescription medications. Lost or damaged medication can be a life-threatening situation for natural disaster 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 some preparedness tips:

  • 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.
  • Order early: Reorder as soon as you are able and consider ordering a 90-day supply of medication through TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery 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.
  • Lost or damaged: If you need an emergency supply of medication, or if your medication is lost or damaged, you may obtain an emergency supply at a local network or military pharmacy.
  • 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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