7 Emergency Preparedness Tips for Prescription Medications

When a state of emergency is declared, lost or damaged medication can become a life- threatening issue. Here's some helpful information.
Rx Planning

When severe weather strikes, be sure to consider prescription medications in your emergency planning.

In recent weeks, multiple states have declared States of Emergency related to severe weather, including floods, hurricanes and wildfires. We work closely with pharmacies across the country to ensure they’re able to fill prescriptions for members who have lost their medications or are unable to get to their medications due to extreme weather conditions.

Lost or damaged medication can be a life threatening situation, potentially resulting in additional tragedy for people living in affected areas.

Recent natural disasters are an important reminder to review your emergency preparedness 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.

Being prepared is an important step to help keep us safe and healthy.

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