Heart health tips for Hurricane Dorian

Hurricane Dorian from the space station on Sept. 2. Credit: Christina Koch/NASA.

With Hurricane Dorian forecast to impact the Florida, Georgia and North and South Carolina coastal areas this week, 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.

After 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 if you live in a county under a National Weather Service hurricane warning or under a Governor-declared state of emergency, or a county that has activated its emergency operations center/emergency management plan.

In Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, you may be able to get a 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.

If you have diabetes and use insulin, see the Patient Preparedness Plan (PDF). There you’ll find a checklist of supplies and 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.