When a natural disaster strikes, few people think to rescue their medications. But as days pass and immediate danger subsides, many patients find themselves in dire straits, with medicine cabinets buried deep under rubble or damaged by flood waters.
To help prevent this scenario, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a text message tool kit with simple, short announcements about emergency preparedness and response. The tips concerning prescription drugs offer patients guidance on how to safeguard their medicines in the event of an emergency.
A sample message says to “check all drugs” and “discard any that may have been contaminated by unsafe water.” Other messages remind patients to carry a personal medication record and to replace lifesaving messages as soon as possible following a disaster. The texts are limited to 115 characters, so that users can add local details as needed.
Agencies can register to receive the tool kit by e-mailing their contact information to publichealthemergency@ hhs.gov. The messages are also available online at http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/psa.