Disaster Preparation for Hurricane Season During the COVID-19 Pandemic is Critical
Pharmacy Times® interviewed Clayton Edwards, RPh, MBA, chief operating officer of AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, on the importance of disaster preparation during hurricane season in the midst of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The discussion included top-of-mind concerns that pharmacists should be considering during hurricane season, the role and value of pharmacists after a natural disaster, and steps to prepare for potential hurricanes or natural disasters.
Edwards explained that at the start of hurricane season in early June, AllianceRx Walgreens Prime began preparing for the natural disasters to come.
“That's when we're really watching what's going on in the tropics, where all the potential storms are coming from. We're going through our facilities that are in these areas—our facilities in Texas, our headquarters based here in Orlando, Florida, where I'm located—and we're making sure we have all the supplies that we need,” Edwards said. “We're making sure that our generators have all the fuel filled to the top so that if we lose power, we can continue on with business for 3 to 5 days without any interruption to the patients because we're a national network of pharmacies.”
Edwards also discussed the contingency plans in place if a pharmacy is damaged or closed, how pharmacists should counsel their patients on disaster preparedness, how the current COVID-19 pandemic may compound concerns regarding the effects of natural disasters, and what plans could help to mitigate those simultaneous issues.