Paying attention to your health can’t wait because of an emergency. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about creating an emergency supply of medications or medical supplies.
Pennsylvania has a law on the books regarding prescription refills in emergencies. As of 2018, if a pharmacist tries but can’t get authorization for a refill, they can dispense up to a 30-day emergency supply if the drug is not dispensed or sold in a 72-hour supply, is not a controlled substance, and is essential for life. Emergency refills also can be made if they are “essential to the continuation of therapy in chronic conditions, and, in the pharmacist’s professional judgment, the interruption of the therapy reasonably might produce an undesirable health consequence, be detrimental to the patient’s welfare or cause physical or mental discomfort,” the statute says.
If you have trouble getting around, think about how you’ll address that in an emergency.
For all conditions, including diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cancer, kidney disease and epilepsy, consult with your doctor about including related medications, such as insulin, in your emergency kit. Keep a cooler on hand and use ice to help keep medicines cold in the short term. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has an informative website on managing chronic health conditions during a disaster.
If you use a home medical device that requires electricity, be prepared to know what to do in a power outage and plan for an alternative source of power, such as a generator. Some devices may be able to run on backup battery power for a time. Be sure to check to see if your power company maintains a list of critical-care customers and what being on that list might mean for you.