Be heart smart during Hurricane Michael

Stress and trauma from the storm can lead to increased cardiovascular disease risk

October 10, 2018 Categories: Advisories & Comments

DALLAS, Oct. 10, 2018 — With Hurricane Michael impacting North Florida and slated to push into Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia in the coming days, the American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease and stroke, is sharing helpful information for those dealing with the storm.

During and after a storm, stress and trauma may intensify, which can lead to an increase in cardiovascular disease risk. The impact can be more intense for heart disease and stroke patients. In the aftermath of a significant storm, it may be challenging to see a health care provider for a checkup or to get medications, especially for more vulnerable populations.

The American Heart Association has a Disaster Resources page on its website, which 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.
  • Put your medications and your health information in a resealable plastic bag to help keep it dry.
  • If your medication is lost, damaged by water or was left behind when you evacuated, research open pharmacies and seek a refill as quickly as possible.
    • According to Florida law, you can obtain a 30-day refill of your prescription medication at any time if you live in a county under a National Weather Service hurricane warning or under a Governor declared state of emergency.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Information on all state emergency prescription refill laws is available here.
       
  • If you have diabetes and use insulin, see the Patient Preparedness Plan (PDF). There you’ll find a checklist of supplies and for guidelines on handling your condition during a weather emergency.

As always, the American Heart Association remains a resource for information and guidance. Visit heart.org for the latest on heart and stroke health.

The Association 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.

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About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries: 214-706-1173

Suzanne Grant: 214-706-1948; Suzanne.grant@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721) heart.org