When Severe Weather Strikes, Be Prepared

12.05.16

A blizzard is forecasted for your area, threatening to shut down roads, public transportation and local businesses. You stock up on supplies such as batteries, food and water, but what about your prescription medications?

When forecasted severe storms have the potential to disrupt important community infrastructures, CVS Pharmacy will enable outreach to patients with maintenance medications who live in impacted areas, and who have opted into CVS Pharmacy's automated notification programs. This will help ensure patients have an adequate supply of medication on hand during the storm and help avoid adverse health events caused by running out of important, sometimes life-saving, medications.

Here’s how it works:

  • Patients can sign up on cvs.com or in the CVS Pharmacy app to receive prescription notifications via automated phone calls, text messages and/or mobile app about their prescriptions.

  • Those enrolled will receive notifications prior to the severe weather event reminding them that their prescription is ready to be refilled and letting them know when their prescription is ready to be picked up.

  • Patients may also receive notifications informing them of store closures following a storm and where they can pick up their medications during emergency situations, including the availability of mobile pharmacies. 

CVS Pharmacy has previously partnered with HHS and FEMA to send mobile pharmacies to the hardest hit areas following major storms, including Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy.

Our automated messages offer added convenience for patients and can help them stay adherent to their prescription medications during natural disasters. In fact, research by the CVS Health Research Institute and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published in JAMA Internal Medicine showed that proactive pharmacy-based outreach helps ensure adequate medication supply during severe weather.

The study evaluated the impact of proactive pharmacy-based outreach, via automated telephone calls and text messaging, to patients on maintenance medications in advance of Winter Storm Jonas, a blizzard that impacted Mid-Atlantic States in January 2016. Researchers found that those who received outreach prior to the storm were nine percent more likely to refill their medications than a control group receiving no outreach before the storm impacted the region.

To learn more about our efforts to help patients take their medications as prescribed, visit our Medication Adherence Information Center.