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Emergency Preparedness Part 6: Medications

[Posted May 7, 2019]

Contributed by Robin Jensen and Patrick Pangburn for Hillsdale NET

This is the sixth in a series of articles brought to you by the Hillsdale Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) and the Hillsdale News. To read earlier installments, click here.

The articles will help you prepare your family and our community for a major natural disaster, as well as share information on Hillsdale NET and what it does. We hope you will stay tuned over the coming months and that you find the content helpful and informative.

To learn more about the NET program or sign up for NET training, visit the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management NET website. There are also many auxiliary volunteer opportunities available with our Hillsdale NET team. Email to find out how you can help.

a photo of medications
Keep a two-week supply of all your medications on hand plus any you take occasionally. And don't forget your pet meds.

Every member of your family, including pets, needs a two-week supply of medications in your emergency cache. This includes your regular prescription medications, over-the-counter meds you take occasionally, and anything you want to have on hand for pain, allergy, diarrhea, etc. It’s a good idea to include water purification tablets as well. Do you have any medications with a short shelf life, that require refrigeration or additional supplies to administer? Take those needs into account when creating your cache.

The simplest way to assure that you have at least a two-week supply of medications on hand is to refill medications you take on an ongoing basis on a regular schedule. If you typically order a 90-day supply of prescription meds, be sure to refill at the end of month two so that you always have at least a 30-day supply on hand. Your pharmacy can help you set this up.

Keep meds that are stored at room temperature all in one place. That may be in your medicine cabinet, bedside table or in your kitchen. Better yet, store them in the same place you keep your evacuation cache or “go bag”. That way, they will be easy to grab with your go bag of emergency supplies if you must evacuate following a disaster. Your go bag should contain water for help swallowing oral medications.

All members of your household should have a wallet card listing all of their medications: medication name, dose frequency, prescribing provider name and phone number. Also include on the card the conditions for which you take the medication and any drug or latex allergies.

After a disaster you may find your regular pharmacy destroyed, closed or out of stock. This is why it is crucial to keep at least a two-week supply of your medications on hand at all times. Prepare for the worst and hopefully you will never need them.


Hillsdale NET wants to know how you connect with your neighbors, as well the geographic boundaries of your local community networks.

Email to share information about the “how” and the “where” of the networks in your immediate neighborhood so we can help ensure that everyone is in the communication loop in an emergency.


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