Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Earth, wind, and fire: Plan for health needs in emergencies

Men in protective suits dousing a flame with water from a hose Firefighter Mark Williams, Station 4, Camp Pendleton Fire Department, douses a simulated fire while conducting wild land fire refresher training 130 (WRT) at a mutual threat zone, April 16, 2018. The annual training, held every spring, revolves around a simulated wildfire that firefighters must work together to contain. After the drill, participants discussed which elements went well as well as areas for improvement to ensure readiness for the upcoming fire season. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Kerstin Roberts)

Recommended Content:

Summer Safety | MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | Disaster Prep Toolkit

The COVID-19 pandemic has kept people close to home so they can avoid the contagious virus. But the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts a more active than normal hurricane season. It is also wildfire season for those living in the Western half of the United States. So now's the best time to prepare for health care needs if an emergency requires leaving home to seek safe shelter elsewhere.

The Atlantic hurricane season typically starts in June and goes through the end of November. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season usually runs from mid-May to the end of November. Already, there have been three named storms, including Cristobal.

NOAA predicts 13 to 19 named storms bringing heavy rain and wind. Six to 10 could become hurricanes, according to NOAA, including three to six major hurricanes. "Major" is defined as category 3, 4, or 5, with winds of at least 111 miles per hour.

For those living in the Rocky Mountains, Texas, and the West Coast, wildfires are of particular concern. Peak season is from May through October. More wildfires occur in eastern and central states, according to the National Interagency Fire Center, or NIFC. Wildfires in the West are larger and burn more acreage, the NIFC said.

California's 2018 wildfire season was the most destructive on record, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, citing data from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. In California alone, more than 7,500 fires burned nearly 1.7 million acres of land, damaged or destroyed over 23,000 structures, and caused 93 deaths.

Military personnel unloading equipment from a helicopter
In response of Hurricane Dorian, U.S. Army Soldiers unload equipment from a U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter in the Bahamas, Sept. 9, 2019. In support of USAID's Foreign Disaster Relief efforts, DOD is bringing unique military capabilities to enable the broader response effort. (U.S Army photo by Spc. Jennily LeonRodriguez)

To prepare for emergencies, TRICARE experts recommend first signing up for disaster alerts. The alerts are sent via text and email. TRICARE will give updated information from federal agencies and departments, state and local governments, and the news and other media. TRICARE also will announce procedures for accessing emergency prescription refills, and the dates during which these procedures apply.

Recent events that led to disaster alerts included flooding in Michigan, in May; severe storms in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas, in January; and wildfires in California, in October.

The TRICARE disaster information resource webpage offers additional advice for preparing for possible evacuation. Here are some tips:

  • Plan your exit. Identify a safe escape route as well as a place to shelter outside of the evacuation area. Make sure you share your plan with someone who lives outside of the affected area.
  • Make a list. This list should include your health care providers' names and contact information, medications with dosage and frequency, and type and model number of any medical devices you use.
  • Get it together. Gather immunization records, insurance paperwork, and medical documents in a waterproof container that’s easy to carry. Put together a basic first-aid kit, and make sure you have enough medication to cover your time away.
  • Be mindful of special needs. Those with chronic health conditions or issues with vision, hearing, or mobility should get medical alert tags or bracelets, and identify how they will arrange to get disaster warnings and find assistance to safety.

For those with pets, the U.S.Army Public Health Center publication Vet Connections recommends gathering an emergency kit that includes a two-week supply of pet food, water, and any medications. Make sure you have copies of vaccination and medical records as well.

Some emergency shelters will accept only service animals, the APHC notes, so it's a good idea to identify pet-friendly housing options outside of the evacuation area.

Make sure your pet's ID tags include your current contact information. You also may want to ask your veterinarian about getting your pet microchipped, the APHC says, in case you become separated during the emergency.

Another resource is the Federal Emergency Management Agency guide “Are You Ready.” The 200-page, in-depth guide offers information for people to protect themselves and their families in case of weather emergencies, wildfires, and other hazards.

You also may be interested in...

Summer Safety Tips

Video
7/15/2021
Infographic about Summer Safety

Recommended Content:

UV Protection | Extreme Heat | Summer Safety | Summer Safety Toolkit

MHS and MOS the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

Video
7/12/2021
MHS and MOS Townhall infographic

MHS and Military OneSource To Your Health: Summer Safety Discussion with Lt. Col. Christine Smetana of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

Recommended Content:

UV Protection | Extreme Heat | Summer Safety

Summer Safety

Video
6/30/2021
Summer safety infographic

Enjoying summer safely - like drinking plenty of water, wearing sunscreen, and wearing a life jacket around water - is the best way to enjoy summer.

Recommended Content:

UV Protection | Summer Safety | Summer Safety Toolkit

Understanding and Coping with Natural and Human-made Disasters

Video
6/23/2021

Disasters, such as hurricanes, floods, and peacetime terrorist attacks, can negatively impact your psychological health. Learn how to manage your stress reactions.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness | Disaster Prep Toolkit | Real Warriors Campaign

Got Your 6 - June 6, 2021

Video
6/7/2021
Video screen image for the June 6, 2021 Got Your Six video

"Got Your 6" is TRICARE's COVID-19 vaccine video series that delivers important information and updates, three times a month. It includes the latest information about DoD vaccine distribution, the TRICARE health benefit, and vaccine availability for a DoD-affiliated, and TRICARE beneficiary audience.

Recommended Content:

MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Got Your 6 - May 26, 2021

Video
5/26/2021
Video screen image for the May 26, 2021 Got Your Six video

"Got Your 6" is TRICARE's COVID-19 vaccine video series that delivers important information and updates, three times a month. It includes the latest information about DoD vaccine distribution, the TRICARE health benefit, and vaccine availability for a DoD-affiliated, and TRICARE beneficiary audience.

Recommended Content:

MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Got Your 6 - May 16, 2021

Video
5/16/2021
Video screen image for the May 16, 2021 Got Your Six video

"Got Your 6" is TRICARE's COVID-19 vaccine video series that delivers important information and updates, three times a month. It includes the latest information about DoD vaccine distribution, the TRICARE health benefit, and vaccine availability for a DoD-affiliated, and TRICARE beneficiary audience.

Recommended Content:

MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Got Your 6 - May 6, 2021

Video
5/6/2021
Video screen image for the May 6, 2021 Got Your Six video

"Got Your 6" is TRICARE's COVID-19 vaccine video series that delivers important information and updates, three times a month. It includes the latest information about DoD vaccine distribution, the TRICARE health benefit, and vaccine availability for a DoD-affiliated, and TRICARE beneficiary audience.

Recommended Content:

MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Got Your 6 - April 26, 2021

Video
4/26/2021
Video screen image for the April 26, 2021 Got Your Six video

"Got Your 6" is TRICARE's COVID-19 vaccine video series that delivers important information and updates, three times a month. It includes the latest information about DoD vaccine distribution, the TRICARE health benefit, and vaccine availability for a DoD-affiliated, and TRICARE beneficiary audience.

Recommended Content:

MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Got Your 6 - April 16, 2021

Video
4/16/2021
Video screen image for the April 16, 2021 Got Your Six video

"Got Your 6" is TRICARE's COVID-19 vaccine video series that delivers important information and updates, three times a month. It includes the latest information about DoD vaccine distribution, the TRICARE health benefit, and vaccine availability for a DoD-affiliated, and TRICARE beneficiary audience.

Recommended Content:

MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Got Your 6 - April 6, 2021

Video
4/6/2021
Image of soldier for the April 6, 2021 "Got Your Six" video

"Got Your 6" is TRICARE's COVID-19 vaccine video series that delivers important information and updates, three times a month. It includes the latest information about DoD vaccine distribution, the TRICARE health benefit, and vaccine availability for a DoD-affiliated, and TRICARE beneficiary audience.

Recommended Content:

MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Got Your 6 - March 26, 2021

Video
3/26/2021
Got Your 6 - March 26, 2021

"Got Your 6" is TRICARE's COVID-19 vaccine video series that delivers important information and updates, three times a month. It includes the latest information about DoD vaccine distribution, the TRICARE health benefit, and vaccine availability for a DoD-affiliated, and TRICARE beneficiary audience.

Recommended Content:

MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Q & A About the COVID Vaccines with Lt. Gen. Place

Video
3/23/2021
Q & A About the COVID Vaccines with Lt. Gen. Place

Q&A with the DHA Director at the "Military-Connected Families & the COVID-19 Vaccine" Town Hall

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance

Got Your 6: Step Up

Video
3/18/2021
Got Your 6: Step Up

“Got Your 6” is TRICARE’s COVID-19 vaccine video series that delivers important information and updates, three times a month. It includes the latest information about DoD vaccine distribution, the TRICARE health benefit, and vaccine availability for a DoD-affiliated, and TRICARE beneficiary audience.

Recommended Content:

MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

TRICARE | COVID-19 Vaccine | Together, We Are Stronger

Video
3/15/2021
DHA Seal

In the past year, we've faced challenges, and we've done it with courage. Now, hope is on the horizon. Get vaccinated, and let's take care of each other. Together, we are stronger: www.tricare.mil/CovidVaccine

Recommended Content:

MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit
<< < 1 2 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 2

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.