Sept. 13—As Hurricane Florence heads toward the U.S., the American Heart Association, a voluntary organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, is encouraging those in the storm’s path to ensure their preparations include their heart and overall health.
Heart disease and stroke patients are even more vulnerable to the effects of a disaster. The American Heart Association (AHA) has developed resources and tips to help. The AHA’s Disaster Resources page includes a wide range of helpful information.
In addition, here are some quick tips:
Write down any medical conditions, allergies, medications, doses and time you take medications, along with your pharmacy name, address and phone number.
Ask for an extra supply of prescribed medications. In North Carolina, you have within 29 days of the disaster declaration to obtain one prescription refill or get a replacement for a recently filled prescription. Look for open pharmacies.
In Georgia and South Carolina, you can get a 30-day refill of certain medications. Contact your pharmacist to request an out-of-schedule emergency refill to make sure you have enough medicine during the declared state of emergency.
Use the AHA’s Patient Preparedness Plan if you have diabetes and use insulin. There you’ll find a checklist of supplies and for guidelines on how to prepare for an emergency.
After a hurricane, it can be difficult to find a health care provider for a checkup as well as get medications, especially for vulnerable populations. Stress and trauma also intensify, which can lead to an increase in cardiovascular disease risk.
The AHA encourages cardiovascular disease survivors and their loved ones to join our free online Support Network to share stories and find resources to help on their journey to recovery. It includes a forum specifically for hurricane support.
As always, the American Heart Association remains a resource for information and guidance. Visit heart.org for the latest on heart and stroke health.