As one of the most powerful hurricanes in history begins to batter the east coast of central Florida – and after that, possibly, Georgia and North and South Carolina - the American Heart Association (AHA) is reminding people that Hurricane Dorian poses a health risk to those in its path.

During and after a storm, stress and trauma may intensify, which can lead to an increase in cardiovascular disease risk. The impact can be more intense for heart disease and stroke patients. After a significant storm, it may be challenging to see a health care provider for a checkup or to get medications, especially for more vulnerable populations.

The AHA has a Disaster Resources page on its website, which includes a wide range of helpful information.

In addition, here are some quick tips:

  • Write down any medical conditions, allergies, medications, doses and time you take medications, along with your pharmacy name, address and phone number.
  • Put your medications and your health information in a resealable plastic bag to help keep it dry.
  • If your medication is lost, damaged by water or was left behind when you evacuated, research open pharmacies and seek a refill as quickly as possible.
    • According to Florida law, you can obtain a 30-day refill of your prescription medication if you live in a county under a National Weather Service hurricane warning or under a Governor-declared state of emergency, or a county that has activated its emergency operations center/emergency management plan.
    • In Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, you may be able to get a refill of certain medications. Contact your pharmacist to request an
  • If you have diabetes and use insulin, see the Patient Preparedness Plan (PDF). There you’ll find a checklist of supplies and guidelines on handling your condition during a weather emergency.

Visit for the latest on heart and stroke health.

The Association encourages cardiovascular disease survivors and their supporters to join our free online Support Network to share stories and find resources to help on their journey to recovery.