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One that might have slipped your mind is what to do about your prescriptions, particularly if you’ve been displaced.
While your course of action will, of course, be dependent on the situation at hand, you might be able to get an emergency early refill of any prescriptions you take.
For example, in Florida, Governor Rick Scott declared a State of Emergency ahead of Hurricane Michael in some areas. This means, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, that health insurers must allow early prescription refills until the State of Emergency is removed. Insurers “shall authorize payment to pharmacies for at least a 30-day supply of any prescription medication, regardless of the date upon which the prescription had most recently been filled by a pharmacist,” per the statute.
Fort Lauderdale’s Sun-Sentinel reports that you will need to bring the following with you to a pharmacy to receive the prescription early: “a photo ID; the pill bottle from the last refill that includes information about the pharmacy that dispensed it; the name, address and phone number of the prescribing physician; the original prescription, if possible; and information about your insurance provider, if appropriate.”
North and South Carolina also have similar laws, according to AARP. Both states “allow pharmacists to refill a prescription, as much as a 30-day supply, during a natural disaster without a doctor’s authorization.” Meanwhile, in Virginia, “pharmacists are allowed to dispense only certain medications without a doctor’s approval, and only if the medication is due for refill within the next 7 days.”
If you don’t stock up before you leave, Consumer Reports recommends using Rx Open to find a pharmacy that’s open in your area. It’s also recommended to keep a list of your prescriptions with you at all times that lists the “drug name, strength, dosage form, and regimen for each medication,” and to keep them in their original containers in a Ziploc bag to prevent water damage.
“If you have a medication that requires refrigeration and you’re without electrical power, keep it cool with ice packs in a cooler if possible,” writes CR. “If you can’t keep it cool, it’s still better to have the medication with you until you’re able to properly store or replace it.” Even if it requires refrigeration, your medication might still work for a number of days or weeks without it.