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Healthcare Ready is ENGAGED for Hurricane Laura.
We are closely tracking the path of Hurricane Laura and the related healthcare and public health impacts.

To stay updated with the latest weather developments, follow the National Hurricane Center.

High-Level Situation Summary

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Azar declared a Public Health Emergency in Louisiana and Texas as of August 26, 2020.

Hurricane Laura made landfall near the Louisiana-Texas border along the US Gulf coast at approximately 1:00 am CT on Wednesday, August 27 as a Category 4 Hurricane. As of 12:00 pm CT, the storm had progressed into northern Louisiana, and had lost significant strength, regressing to a Tropical Storm.  

Current projections of the path of the storm have it crossing through Arkansas as a Tropical Storm on Thursday night, continuing into northern Tennessee and Kentucky by Friday morning as a Tropical Depression, and moving across the mid-Atlantic states and out into the Atlantic Ocean over the weekend.
  • Rain Impact: In Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas, Hurricane Laura is expected to produce 4-8 inches of rain, with total storm rain accumulation of up to 18 inches in some parts of Louisiana. In the portions of Mississippi, Tennessee, Ohio, and Mid-Atlantic States, the storm is expected to bring 1-3 inches of rain through Saturday.  
  • Storm Surge: Along the coast, water levels remain high, and will subside through Thursday. Impacts of the storm surge may travel inland, causing water level to remain high for several days. 
  • Tornadoes: Louisiana, Arkansas, and western Mississippi may see tornadoes through Thursday night. On Friday, that risk will begin to move into the Mid-South and Tennessee Valley regions. 
  • Power Outages: Power outages are spread throughout Louisiana and Texas, with the most severe level of impacts occurring near coastal counties. 
  • Road Closures: I10 is closed eastbound at the Texas-Louisiana state line, westbound west of the Atchafalaya basin, and there have been a number of road closures in south and central portions of Louisiana. An additional three roads have been closed near Milam, Texas along the Louisiana border due to debris in the road. 
  • Fires: Thursday morning there was a fire reported at the BioLab Chemical Plant, approximately 5 miles from Lake Charles. This plant has manufactured chlorine-based products, and in 2019 produced 115 million pounds of trichloroisocyanuric acid and disodium isocyanurate, biocides and disinfectants. Parts of I10 near the plant were shut, and the public was requested to shelter in place and turn off air conditioner units due to the chemical fire. 
State-Level Disaster Declarations
  • Louisiana: Disaster Declaration EM-3538-LA was issued for Louisiana by FEMA on August 23, and covers an incident period that began August 22 and continues. The Declaration was amended on August 25 to also cover emergency protective actions from officials.  
  • Texas: Disaster Declaration EM-3540-TX was issued by FEMA on August 24, and covers an incident period that began August 23 and continues. The Declaration was amended on August 25 to also cover emergency protective actions by officials. 
    • The declaration covers the following counties: Aransas, Bexar, Brazoria, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Galveston, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Kenedy, Kleberg, Liberty, Matagorda, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria, and Willacy. 
    • Texas Governor Abbott issued a state-level disaster declaration relating to Hurricane Laura for three additional counties , which include Camp, Ellis, and Tarrant. 
Rx Open

Rx Open is currently activated for the nation. The map was updated at 2:00pm EST on Thursday, August 27, 2020. 
  • Arkansas: 94.4% (572/606) of pharmacies are reporting Open 
  • Louisiana: 63.9% (641/1002) of pharmacies are reporting Open
  • Mississippi: 96.5% (556/576) of pharmacies are reporting Open
  • Texas: 91.1% (3573/3923) of pharmacies are reporting Open 
Healthcare Response Updates and Needs
  • Prescription Refill Guidance: 
    • Texas: In the event of a natural or manmade disaster, the Texas Pharmacy Act allows a pharmacist to dispense up to a 30-day supply of a prescription drug, other than a Schedule II controlled substance. 
    • Louisiana: When the Governor of Louisiana issues, or renews, a “State of Emergency”, a pharmacist may dispense a one-time emergency prescription of up to a 30-day supply of a prescribed medication. 
  • Access and Re-entry:
  • Healthcare Facility Status: 
    • Several Texas and dozens of Louisiana hospitals are currently reporting as running on generator power. At this time, there are no shortfalls in fuel reported.  
  • Shelters:  
    • American Red Cross has opened shelters across Louisiana and Texas. 
      • American Red Cross reports 471 of its hotel rooms are occupied in Louisiana. 
      • There is separate reporting that just over 1,000 persons are in non-congregate sheltering in 16 hotels, with over 1,000 hotel rooms available. 
    • Space in traditional shelters is limited because of COVID-19. 
      • Capacity greatly reduced in shelters to allow for social distancing. 
      • Evacuees are being told to seek their own hotel rooms further inland. 
    • Texas: The Circuit of the America’s shelter in Austin has reached capacity. Evacuees are being sent to inland cities in Texas. Buses are being made available for transport and PPE is being provided in some shelters. 
    • Louisiana: All hotels in Baton Rouge are reportedly full. Additional hotels are being made available in New Orleans. The State has been extra buses available to transport evacuees to hotels. 
  • COVID-19 Testing:
    • Texas: The State is planning to send “testing teams” to shelters as soon as safely possible. 
    • Louisiana: Surge and community-based testing is paused until Saturday, Aug 29. 
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 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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Rx on the Run, a downloadable medication card for citizens to keep track of their medications.
Message sent to Healthcare Ready national partners and those registered for alerts in: TX, LA, and AR
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