Skip to main content

Florida pharmacies make preparations for Hurricane Matthew


MIAMI - Florida pharmacies in the path of Hurricane Matthew on Thursday issued a number of advisories to help patients prepare for what has been billed as the largest hurricane in decades - Hurricane Matthew could become a category 5 storm before landfall Thursday night.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott earlier Thursday warned: "This storm will kill you."

CVS Pharmacy is currently moving generators into the region and stocking stores with emergency items, such as bottled water, batteries, flashlights and first aid supplies.

"In light of the weather advisories and evacuation orders now in effect in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, CVS Pharmacy is working hard to ensure that our customers have the medications they need to ride out the storm safely," stated Kevin Hourican, EVP retail pharmacy and supply chain for CVS Health. "To help facilitate this, we have been working with insurers to allow for early refills in certain cases and since the storm warnings have begun, we have been reaching out to our pharmacy patients via text message and email where possible to remind them to refill prescriptions in advance of the hurricane."

"In addition, through CVS Caremark, our pharmacy benefit management company, we have activated a process that allows us to provide one-time emergency refills of a 10-day supply of medication for plan members impacted in the areas affected by Hurricane Matthew," Hourican added.

Similarly, Walgreens released a number of recommendations for patients in the path of Hurricane Matthew. And the company stated it will open those locations that have been temporarily closed as soon as possible.

Walgreens offered the following tips for assuring prescription needs are met for those potentially impacted by the storm:

  • Follow evacuation orders. Get to a safe location first and refill your medications at the nearest pharmacy. This allows you to avoid potentially long lines at your local pharmacy, and you won’t need to needlessly delay your evacuation;

  • Take a waterproof bag with your current medication – even if the bottle is empty. The information on the prescription label will help pharmacy staff with refill requests. Heat, humidity and sunlight can degrade the effectiveness of medicine, so try to protect it from extreme weather conditions; and

  • Keep a written record of your current prescriptions in your valuable papers files. If you are taking several prescription drugs, it’s an especially good idea to keep a record of your current dosage and doctor’s contact information.

According to reports, as many as 1.5 million Floridians are in evacuation zones, including eight counties with mandatory evacuations: Palm Beach County, St. Johns County, Brevard County, St. Lucie County, Indian River County, Martin County, Nassau County and Volusia County.

Six counties in Georiga have similarly enacted mandatory evacuations.

In anticipation of the need for resources in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, Publix has already established a program to offer its customers and associates a way to directly assist those areas affected by Hurricane Matthew.

Customers may donate any amount by adding it to their grocery totals when checking out at Publix registers. Collected money will be channeled through the American Red Cross and designated specifically for disaster relief in support of their effort to help people affected by Hurricane Matthew. The program will continue for a few weeks, based on customer response, the grocer stated.

"Our customers and associates have always shown great compassion and generosity toward others," stated Maria Brous, director of media and community relations. "As the grocer of choice in the communities we serve, we are trusted to react quickly and help those affected by tragic circumstances. This devastating disaster hits close to home as we have many associates and their families who have already been and still may be impacted. As we continue to watch Matthew’s path , we encourage our communities to prepare."

Additionally, Publix Super Markets Charities is donating $1 million to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Matthew relief efforts for affected areas.

Hurricane Matthew has already caused significant damage to the islands and is anticipated to have a major impact along the southeast coast of the U.S.


This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds