Evacuate smart

Categories: Emergency care  /  News

Woman looks in medicine cabinet for medication

Hurricane Harvey taught South Texans that when you evacuate, you have very little time to grab needed items and go. We think we will remember clothing, personal papers, computers and family photos. But will you remember your prescriptions and medical records?

Evacuate with the prescription

Ida Duran, RN, a nurse educator at University Health System and a Harvey evacuation shelter volunteer, recalled, “We had a woman who came in requesting prescriptions for her medications. In a rush to evacuate, she left her home without any of her medications. She was able to tell the provider what the medications were for, but she was not familiar with the names and dosages.”

Duran called the patient’s home pharmacy. It was closed. Duran called the pharmacy’s San Antonio branch, which tried to locate the patient’s record. It was unable to find the patient’s documentation.

Be prepared

Ready South Texas recommends everyone prepare to evacuate, especially seniors, those who care for small children or those who care for people with limited mobility or disabilities. You should prepare a go-bag. Be sure to consider medical needs.

Medical evacuation checklist

  • All medications
  • A way to document prescriptions or medical needs if your doctor, pharmacy or hospital cannot be reached
  • A way to store medications that need to be kept cold, such as insulin or high blood pressure medications
  • Extra contact lenses and supplies or prescription glasses
  • Extra batteries for your hearing aid
  • Label all medical equipment with a name and phone number
  • A list of the style and serial numbers of all medical devices, such as pacemakers
  • Copies of medical insurance and Medicare cards for everyone in your evacuation party
  • A list of doctors
  • A list of emergency contacts
  • Medical alert tags

For those with special needs, such as dialysis, consider finding several alternate dialysis locations in the areas to which you may evacuate.

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