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The Pulse

  • Hurricane Florence Preparation for Patients and Providers

    Information from the NC Department of Health and Human Services


    Hurricane Florence will make landfall later this week, bringing potential flooding and power outages across the region. Our top priority is the health and safety of you and your patients.  We have information and resources available for patients before, during, and after the storm. In addition, we are continuing to work with CMS and other partners on other flexibilities that will help during the storm and after.  More information and updates will be forthcoming.

    Tips for patients and providers:

    1. Follow mandatory evacuation orders and evacuation routes. This will be a dangerous storm. Do not ride it out.
    2. Never drive through standing water—turn around, don’t drown!
    3. Don’t use gas-powered generators/burners inside your house.
    4. Stock up and have ready emergency kits, take care of pets, check in with neighbors.
    5. Make sure you have your medicines and fill your prescriptions before the storm hits.  Many insurers are allowing early refills to make it easier.
    6. People that rely on electricity-dependent medical devices should notify their local Department of Social Services as soon as possible. This will help authorities prioritize services during a power outage. Local DSS contact information can be found here: https://bit.ly/2N6zWon.

     

    Important information for people in the Medicaid program:

    1. Medicaid will cover a physician/clinician visit for beneficiaries who are evacuated, including those evacuated out-of-state.
    2. Medicaid will cover early prescription refills by a Medicaid pharmacist. Beneficiaries are encouraged to refill their prescriptions before the storm.

     

    Important information for people in the Food and Nutrition Service program:

    1. Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards can be used at any authorized retailer, even if they are in a different state.
    2. Current Food and Nutrition Services households (people receiving SNAP benefits) that have a food loss may request replacement benefits through their county DSS.
    3. Lost/Damaged EBT cards can be replaced by calling the EBT Call Center at 1-888-622-7328.

     

    Other Resources:

    1. Call 211 for non-emergency needs.
    2. Download the ReadyNC app to a smartphone – provides details on how to prepare an emergency kit, where shelters are open, and other essential information. ReadyNC also may be accessed at https://readync.org/EN/Index.html.
    3. Look out for NC Emergency Management’s latest updates at ncdps.gov/florence.

     

     

    Stay safe,

     

    Betsey

     

     

    Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson, MD, MPH

    State Health Director

    Chief Medical Officer

    Office of the Secretary

    NC Department of Health and Human Services

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