Pill Box

About half of all Americans take a prescription medication as part of their daily routine. Because a large-scale disaster, such as a hurricane, could make it difficult to find an open pharmacy where you can get your prescription filled, it is important that you organize and protect your prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, and vitamins to prepare for an emergency.

The Basics

  • Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about creating an emergency supply of essential medications.
  • An up-to-date list of all prescription medications that also includes information on diagnosis, dosage, frequency, medical supply needs, and known allergies.
  • Nonprescription drugs, including pain and fever relievers, diuretics, antihistamines, and antidiarrheal medications.
  • A cooler and chemical ice packs for storing and keeping medicines that require refrigeration cold.
Emergency Prescription Refill Laws

According to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 31 percent of hurricane-related emergency department visits in North Carolina during Hurricane Florence were for medication refills. Effective messaging to the public, health care providers, and pharmacists before hurricanes should emphasize the importance of prescription preparedness. North Carolina lawexternal icon permits coverage for extra prescription medication refills during a state of emergency, but laws vary by state. Contact your state public health department or board of pharmacy or talk to your pharmacist to learn more about the emergency prescription refill law where you live.

Page last reviewed: August 17, 2020, 03:40 PM