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Healthcare Ready is ENGAGED for Hurricane Sally.
We are closely tracking the healthcare and public health impacts of Hurricane Sally and related recovery efforts.

Our next report for this event will be shared on Sunday, September 20.


High-Level Situation Summary

As of 4:00PM CDT, 9/18, heavy rains associated with Hurricane Sally are moving off the eastern coast of the United States into the Atlantic. No major further impacts are expected. 

Impacts:

Flooding remains the most significant direct threat to healthcare infrastructure in the areas impacted by the storm. River flooding will persist over southwestern and south-central Alabama and the western Florida Panhandle through at least this weekend.  

  • Florida: Crestview, Florida is seeing major flooding, and moderate flooding is being seen near Barrineau Park, Baker, Milligan, and Milton, Florida.   
    • In Escambia County, Pensacola International Airport has suspended operations for all arriving and departing commercial aircraft, and the Pensacola Bay Bridge on U.S. 98 is closed to all traffic. 
    • In Jackson County, part of S.R. 166 is closed due to flooding. In Washington County, a portion of S.R. 277 is also closed due to flooding. 
    • In Santa Rosa County, Garcon Point Bridge is only open to limited two-axel traffic; a detour for trucks has been set up, and S.R. 89 was closed at the Alabama State line due to roadway damage in Alabama. 
    • For up to date road closure information, check FL511
  • Alabama: Alabama also reported significant amounts of rain, wind, and flooding damage.  
    • Road closures in Alabama are minimal and occur mostly along the coast. 
    • For up to date road closure information, check ALGO Traffic

Watches and Warnings: 

State-Level Disaster Declarations

Rx Open

Rx Open is currently activated for the nation. The map was updated at 2:00PM EDT on Friday, September 18, 2020.  
 
Pharmacy operations are recovering in impacted areas after closures peaked on Wednesday, September 16. As of 9/18: 

  • Alabama is reporting 91.6% of its pharmacies as open. No counties in Alabama are all reporting less than 50% of pharmacies as open. 
  • Florida is reporting 96.9% of its pharmacies as open. No counties in Florida are reporting less than 50% of pharmacies as open. 
  • Louisiana is reporting 97.5% of its pharmacies as open. No counties in Louisiana are reporting less than 50% of pharmacies as open. 
  • Mississippi is reporting 96.6% of its pharmacies as open. Amite and Claiborne counties are reporting less than 50% of pharmacies as open. 

Healthcare Response Updates and Needs

  • Healthcare Infrastructure Status:
  • Prescription Refill Guidance: 
    • Louisiana: Under LA State Code, under a declared "State of Emergency”, a pharmacist may dispense a one-time emergency prescription of up to a 30-day supply of a prescribed medication.   

    • Alabama: The Alabama Board of Pharmacy issued emergency prescription authorization to remain in effect for the duration of the COVID-19 State of Emergency that allows a one-time 30-day refill of maintenance medications if the pharmacy has patient information on file. This is in effect for all of Alabama at this time. 

      • By regulations from the 2016 Code of Alabama, if unable to contact a prescriber, a pharmacist may dispense a one-time, 72-hour supply of a non-controlled prescription. 

    • Mississippi: Due to Hurricane Sally, the Mississippi Board of Pharmacy issued a Resolution allowing a one-time 30-day refill of non-controlled prescription medications between September 14 and 28. 

    • Florida: Florida law mandates that residents of counties under a State of Emergency, hurricane warning, or that have activated their Emergency Operations Center (EOC) or emergency management plan can receive a 30-day refill of their prescription medication.   

  • Power: There are a total of 388,000 power outages across Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida, down from a peak of over 600,000 outages. Other states in the path of the storm are reporting only minimal power outages

    • Louisiana: Louisiana is reporting 46,752 power outages. Approximately 2% of the state is without power. The majority of these outages may remain from the impacts of Hurricane Laura. 
    • Alabama: Alabama is reporting 197,427 power outages. Approximately 9.5% of the state is without power. 
    • Florida: Florida is reporting 144,239 power outages. Approximately 1.4% of the state is without power.  
  • Communications:
    • According to the Federal Communications Commission, as of 9/18 12:00PM EDT some counties in Alabama and Florida were reporting cell site outages. Approximately 7.0% of cell sites in the affected area are out of service. Mississippi is no longer reporting significant outages.  

      • Alabama: Baldwin and Monroe Counties are reporting between 15-20% of cell sites out. 

      • Florida: Escambia County is reporting 9.8% of cell sites out. 

    • For additional outages, see the full report

    • Most outages are due to power outages or transport; 8 outages in Alabama out of 103, and 2 outages in Florida out of 34 are due to direct cell site damage. 

  • Access and Re-entry (Includes Curfews):
  • Evacuations: All evacuation orders have been lifted in impacted areas. 
  • Sheltering:  
    • Alabama
      • Two shelters are open in Mobile County.   
        • The shelter formerly located at Theodore High School has been relocated to Baker High School, 8901 Airport Blvd, Mobile, AL 36608. 
      • One shelter is open in Baldwin County. 
        • Three electrical support shelters are open in Baldwin County to support those who need power for essential medical equipment. 
      • The Alabama Department of Public Health issued an order of the state health officer requiring any organization or jurisdiction offering sheltering operations to provide non-congregate sheltering to individuals with increased risk.   
    • Mississippi
    • Florida  

      • Shelters are open in Florida in the following counties: Santa Rosa (1, pet friendly), Escambia (2), and Holmes (1) 

  • COVID-19 Testing: 
    • The interruption of COVID-19 testing and increased exposure of residents to COVID-19 due to evacuation and sheltering is a significant threat to controlling the spread of the virus in areas impacted by the storm.  
    • Alabama:  

    • Florida: 

    • Louisiana: 
      • Louisiana closed some COVID-19 testing sites in anticipation of Hurricane Sally, but due to lack of severe impact, most are expected to reopen in the latter half of this week. 
    • Georgia: 
    • Mississippi: Mississippi has not reported large scale COVID-19 testing impacts at this time. 
Other Actions

If you become aware of situation(s) that may adversely affect healthcare supply or care in the affected area, or if you would like to request the assistance of Healthcare Ready, please contact us at Alerts@HealthcareReady.org or call 1.866.247.2694.

We are standing by, ready to assist those in the impacted areas. For those of you in the affected areas, our thoughts are with you.

Thank you,
Healthcare Ready Support Team
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