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Being Prepared

Post: September 13, 2018

Not all of our blog posts are going to be pharmacy or school related, but we felt that this was a topic worth discussing.

Hurricane Harvey flooded Orange, Texas and the surrounding areas on August 31, 2017. Not only did we receive over a foot of water in the office, but some of our homes were flooded as well. September through mid-December, PassAssured was working out of a dining room so that we could continue to service our customers across the country to the best of our ability. Calls were forwarded to a cell phone and our computers were sitting on a dining room table with bank boxes serving as temporary filing cabinets.

We will never be able to thank our hosts enough for allowing us to use their home while the office was being restored. Thankfully, we were able to move back into the office December 12, but it was not completely finished until a few months later; our homes were finished in late Summer.

Two weeks after the one year anniversary of Harvey, we are watching helplessly as Hurricane Florence heads toward the Carolinas. A few of our long-time friends are in the path of the storm, and all we can do is pray that their homes, schools, offices and churches are spared. Rather, pray that the storm falls apart and is nothing more than a thunderstorm. An unlikely scenario, but one that hurricane survivors hope for themselves and everyone else in a storm's path.

There are so many tasks to be completed when a hurricane or other natural disaster is approaching. Storm veterans have a checklist and a plan in place when the season starts. Those who are new to the area or are on their own for a storm the first time may need some guidance.

The biggest thing that no one can stress enough: listen to the local officials' warnings. If an evacuation is ordered, GET OUT! Leave as soon as you possibly can. The longer you wait, the harder it is leave.

The second thing - BE PREPARED.

  • Have all of your important documents together and ready to go.
  • Make a reservation at a FEMA approved hotel and be ready to file as soon as the storm hits. The sooner you file, the sooner you'll have assistance.
  • Make sure the gas tank is full.
  • Have a week's worth of clothing and toiletries packed.
  • Gather ALL of your medications and know how to store them properly.
  • Clean out your refrigerator and freezer before you leave - the smell of rotten meat is one of the hardest to get rid of.
  • Gather all necessary supplies, documents and medications for your pets, they are depending on you for survival.
  • Unfortunately, you can't pack the entire house and bring it with you, but gather the baby books, the priceless photos, grandma's quilt - the things that mean the most that cannot be replaced.
  • Totes are great for packing up everything. If they are strategically packed, they hold much more than you would think.

The 48 hours before the storm are full of to-dos, then waiting. The hours of the storm itself can lend a helplessness that may never be matched - especially when you are hours away watching it unfold on television. The first 24 hours after the storm are filled with frantic phone calls trying to get any information about home at all or checking to be sure loved ones are safe.

Once experienced, hurricanes are something that the storm veterans wish on no one and never forgets. The recovery is tough and long. However, there is one positive that comes from them - they unite a community to bring it back stronger and tougher than it was before.