Back to Top Skip to main content

Hurricane threat's a reminder to be prepared for health care needs

Ahead of Hurricane Florence, South Carolina National Guard soldiers load gear into a Humvee. Approximately 1,600 Soldiers and Airmen in the state have been mobilized to respond to recovery efforts as forecasters warn of a potential Category 4 storm and a projected landfall near the Carolinas. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Erica Knight) Ahead of Hurricane Florence, South Carolina National Guard soldiers load gear into a Humvee. Approximately 1,600 Soldiers and Airmen in the state have been mobilized to respond to recovery efforts as forecasters warn of a potential Category 4 storm and a projected landfall near the Carolinas. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Erica Knight)

Recommended Content:

Emergency Preparedness and Response | Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — With the East Coast preparing for a potential hit by Hurricane Florence, now’s the time for individuals to prepare for their health care needs during severe weather.

TRICARE experts recommend making a list that includes your physician’s name and contact information, medications with dosage and frequency, and type and model number of medical devices. Those with chronic health conditions or issues with vision, hearing, or mobility should get medical alert tags or bracelets, and identify how to get to safety.

Gather immunization records, insurance paperwork, and medical documents in a waterproof container that’s easy to carry, health care recommend. Put together a basic first-aid kit with enough medication to ride out a storm. TRICARE authorizes early prescription refills when emergency procedures are in place, as they currently are in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. because of Hurricane Florence.

As a reminder, TRICARE beneficiaries not on active duty do not need a referral to receive care from urgent care providers. They can receive urgent care from any TRICARE-authorized urgent care center or provider. This allows beneficiaries to seek nonemergency care for illnesses or injuries if their primary care provider is unavailable because of weather disruptions.

The Military Health System also prepares for natural disasters. Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. James “Jay” Burks is among those who understand that firsthand. In August 2011, Burks was a colonel commanding the 87th Medical Group at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, when Hurricane Irene hit. In October 2012 – only 14 months later – Hurricane Sandy struck.

In the days leading up to Hurricane Sandy, Burks’ team systematically canceled patient appointments, prepared for a surge of prescription refills, and worked with public affairs to advertise the timeline for when services would be shut down.

“My primary concern was the safety and well-being of our staff and our patients as we followed the installation commander’s guidance to prepare,” Burks said.

Additionally, cots and provisions were brought in to the medical facility so two ambulance crews could work in shifts around the clock. Computer systems were taken offline, and big-ticket equipment such as radiology machines were covered to protect them from possible water damage. Burks also contacted civilian hospitals in the area to check on their capacity, in case it was needed.

Fortunately, the installation was largely spared from Sandy’s wrath. But many communities in the multistate region were devastated, Burks said. The joint base community of about 44,000 airmen, sailors, soldiers, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, and family members grew by about 5,400 when responders with the Federal Emergency Management Agency arrived when the installation became a staging area for recovery efforts.

The MHS is the DoD component of the National Disaster Medical System, which also includes the Departments of Health and Human ServicesHomeland Security, and Veterans Affairs. The system provides health and medical support when requested by civilian authorities when disasters and other emergencies happen.

“We’re involved in the full spectrum of medical support, from national to state and local levels,” said Dr. Mark Gentilman, director of medical preparedness policy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Health Readiness Policy and Oversight.

That support may include moving civilian hospital patients out of harm’s way, Gentilman said, and performing food safety operations and inspections through the Veterinary Service.

For more information on preparing for hurricanes and disasters, go to www.ready.gov/hurricanes or TRICARE.mil/disaster. If you are impacted by a disaster, find recovery resources at FEMA’s Disaster Assistance website.

You also may be interested in...

USNS Comfort completes medical mission in Peru

Article
7/22/2019
The hospital ship USNS Comfort (left) receives a fuel probe from the Peruvian ship B.A.P. Tacna during replenishment-at-sea practice. Comfort is working with health and government partners in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean to provide care on the ship and at land-based medical sites, helping to relieve pressure on national medical systems strained by an increase in Venezuelan migrants. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Morgan K. Nall)

This marks USNS Comforts’ seventh deployment to the region since 2007

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief

Stop the Bleed: A battlefield innovation on civilian soil

Article
7/19/2019
USU's Dr. Craig Goolsby (center) observes as high school students at a conference in Orlando, Florida, practice using a tourniquet after watching a web-based tutorial. Goolsby is researching effective teaching methods as part of a grant to develop a trauma first-aid course for students that incorporates elements of Stop the Bleed. (USU photo by Sarah Marshall)

Program teaches public how to respond to bleeding emergencies

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Innovation | Medical Research and Development | Emergency Preparedness and Response

Vice President Pence tours USNS Comfort before its Latin America deployment

Article
6/20/2019
Vice President Mike Pence (right) greets Navy Lt. Gwendolyn Mann, and his wife, Karen Pence (center right), greets Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Edna Wallace during a tour of the USNS Comfort in Miami, June 18, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Jordan R. Bair)

The vice president called the deployment a lifesaving mission

Recommended Content:

Civil Military Medicine | Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief | Global Health Engagement | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Navy hospital ship to deploy in response to humanitarian crisis in Latin America

Article
5/10/2019
The U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort is scheduled to deploy in to the Caribbean, Central America and South America to conduct humanitarian medical assistance missions in support of regional partners and in response to the regional impacts of political and economic crises in Venezuela. (U.S. Navy photo)

USNS Comfort represents our enduring promise to our partners in the Western Hemisphere

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics | Global Health Engagement | Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief

How The U.S. Military Is Contributing To The Fight Against Cholera In Mozambique

Video
4/16/2019
Air Force Capt. Talon Miner, a flight surgeon assigned to the 435th Contingency Response Group, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, supporting Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, discusses the role that the U.S. Department of Defense is undertaking to combat the spread of Cholera in Mozambique.

Air Force Capt. Talon Miner, a flight surgeon assigned to the 435th Contingency Response Group, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, supporting Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Global Health Security Agenda | Building Partner Capacity and Interoperability | Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief

Military health care transitions to new life support training provider

Article
2/20/2019
Navy Chief Petty Officer Wendy Wright, a hospital corpsman chief assigned to Expeditionary Medical Facility Great Lakes in Illinois, performs ventilation techniques on a practice mannequin while participating in a life support simulation in Savannah, Georgia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Caila Arahood)

American Red Cross courses better suited to military needs

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Emergency Preparedness and Response

TRICARE DisasterKit 2018

Infographic
9/14/2018
This infographic provides suggestions on items you'll need in the event you have to evacuate your home during a disaster

This infographic provides suggestions on items you'll need in the event you have to evacuate your home during a disaster

Recommended Content:

TRICARE Health Program | Emergency Preparedness and Response

TRICARE Disaster Resources 2018

Infographic
9/12/2018
This infographic provides links to various resources you might need in the event of a disaster.

This infographic provides links to various resources you might need in the event of a disaster.

Recommended Content:

TRICARE Health Program | Emergency Preparedness and Response

MHS Before A Disaster 2018

Infographic
9/11/2018
This infographic provides a list of items you should have on hand in your basic disaster supplies kit in the event a disaster does strike.

This infographic describes the items you should have on hand in a basic disaster supplies kit, in the event that a disaster should strike.

Recommended Content:

TRICARE Health Program | Emergency Preparedness and Response

TRICARE Access during an evacuation or natural disaster

Article
8/23/2018
Take Command of your health

Having a disaster preparedness plan for you and your family is a great way to help keep you safe

Recommended Content:

TRICARE Health Program | Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief | Emergency Preparedness and Response

USNS Mercy returns home following Pacific Partnership 2018

Article
7/24/2018
Navy Hospital Corpsman Tianna Garcia, assigned to Naval Medical Center San Diego, is greeted by her husband Aaron Garcia during the homecoming ceremony for the hospital ship USNS Mercy. The ship and her crew completed a five-month humanitarian relief mission to Southeast Asia. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Indra Beaufort)

Pacific Partnership 2018 included more than 800 military and civilian personnel from the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and the United Kingdom

Recommended Content:

Civil Military Medicine | Civil Support | Global Health Engagement | Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief

USAISR burn flight team deploys to Guatemala

Article
7/6/2018
Army Capt. Argelia Felix-Camacho, a critical care nurse at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research Burn Center and member of the USAISR Burn Center Burn Flight Team comforts a patient in Guatemala before a flight to the Shriner's Hospital for Children in Galveston, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Corenthia Fennell)

The patients -- all children needing specialized treatment -- and the teamwork between the Army and Air Force ensured the patients' safe transport from Guatemala to the U.S.

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | Civil Military Medicine | Civil Support | Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief

U.S. Navy, JMSDF participate in bilateral training exercise

Article
6/21/2018
Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Sailors and U.S. Naval Hospital (USNH) Yokosuka personnel transport a simulated patient during a mass casualty drill in conjunction with hospital ship USNS Mercy and JMSDF personnel. The drill was conducted in order to prepare medical staff for a mass casualty scenario involving a maritime incident at sea. USNH Yokosuka is the largest U.S. military treatment facility on mainland Japan caring for approximately 43,000 eligible beneficiaries. (U.S. Navy photo by Tim Jensen)

The simulated disaster for the training exercise included a Japanese vessel colliding with a U.S. vessel

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief

Disaster Preparedness 2018

Video
6/8/2018
Disaster Preparedness 2018

Disaster Preparedness information

Recommended Content:

Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief | Emergency Preparedness and Response

U.S. Air Force airlifts Guatemalan children injured by volcano

Article
6/8/2018
Members of the U.S. Air Force Critical Care Air Transport Team (Pedicatics) assist Guatemalan medical personnel with loading injured patients on board a Mississippi Air National Guard C-17 Globemaster III. The aircrew from the 172nd Airlift Wing, transported six children from Guatemala to receive medical treatment in the United States for burns and other injuries sustained during the June 3, 2018 Fuego Volcano eruption. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Edward Staton)

The Air Force flew the children and their guardians to receive treatment in Galveston, Texas

Recommended Content:

Civil Support | Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief
<< < 1 2 3 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 3

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.