Thursday, December 20, 2018

Before and After Disaster: Managing Your Medication. December 2018

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DTAC Bulletin

Before and After Disaster: Managing Your Medication

After a disaster, people who use medication to manage chronic conditions and stay healthy may be at risk. This includes people on medication for serious mental illnesses or in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for substance use disorders, as well as people with diabetes, high blood pressure, and other health conditions.
The following resources may help people prepare for better medication management after a disaster. They focus on medication-related disaster planning, safe medication use after disasters, and preparedness for people with specific conditions.
This SAMHSA handbook provides guidance in developing a disaster preparedness and recovery plan for programs for people with mental and/or substance use disorders. The fifth chapter discusses the importance of managing prescription medications, including monitoring people on prescription medications during a disaster and providing continuity of care for people in MAT.
This webpage from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gives tips on how to prepare for a hurricane or tropical storm if you have asthma, including getting a supply of asthma medication to last for at least 3 days. It also provides resources on avoiding common asthma triggers and using asthma medication safely during and after a hurricane.
People with diabetes may encounter specific health-related issues after a disaster. In this collection, the CDC offers a range of online resources people with diabetes can use to prepare for disasters. One section of the collection is devoted to insulin, drug, and equipment advice.
In this post to the Public Health Matters blog, the CDC presents 10 tips to help you prepare your medications in case of a disaster. Some tips include starting a stockpile, keeping a record of current prescriptions, and talking with a doctor about what to do if you run out of medication in an emergency.
In this online article, the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration provides information on how medicines may be affected by a natural disaster. In addition to guidance on drugs exposed to fire, heat, or unsafe water, the CDER links to information about storing insulin safely. The article is also available in Spanish.
This article from AARP covers steps to take before a disaster, such as gathering at least a 2-week supply of medication you take, as well as guidance for obtaining medication after a disaster. Links are provided to information for low-income people in need of prescription medication, Medicare participants, and people with cancer. A Spanish version is available.
This article in Consumer Reports describes what you should include in a medication go bag, or a bag with prescription and over-the-counter medication and other supplies that you can take with you if you need to evacuate due to a disaster. The article presents tips for storing and maintaining a medication go bag so items stay safe and effective.

Subscribe to The Dialogue

The Dialogue is a quarterly e-newsletter that provides practical and down-to-earth information for disaster behavioral health coordinators, local service providers, federal agencies, and nongovernmental organizations. You can subscribe to the newsletter or contact the SAMHSA Disaster Technical Assistance Center (DTAC) by email at to contribute an article to an upcoming issue.

Questions About the SAMHSA DTAC Bulletin?

The SAMHSA DTAC Bulletin is a monthly newsletter used to share updates in the field, post upcoming activities, and highlight new resources. For more information, please contact:
Captain Erik Hierholzer
Nikki D. Bellamy, Ph.D.
The views, opinions, and content expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Reference in this email to any specific commercial products, process, service, manufacturer, or company does not constitute its endorsement or recommendation by SAMHSA. SAMHSA is not responsible for the contents of any "off-site" webpage referenced in this email.

Need Your Input. NIMS Alert 38-18: National Engagement Period: National Qualification System (NQS) Supplemental Guidance. December 2018

Get involved locally and nationally.

Review the douments (, and provide your input individually, or as a group. 

Your membership in BEMA International promotes your input as part of the ‘whole community’.

Get involved.

CDS.  CEO BEMA International

National Engagement Period: National Qualification System (NQS) Supplemental Guidance

FEMA’s National Integration Center is seeking public feedback on several National Qualification System (NQS) documents that enhance interoperability and the effectiveness of mutual aid.

This National Engagement Period will conclude at 5:00 p.m. EST on January 24, 2019. The National Engagement Period provides an opportunity for interested parties to comment on newly developed supplemental guidance.  

Today’s release includes:
NIMS NQS Supplemental Guide for Coaches and Evaluators that provides processes, procedures, and tools to assist authorities having jurisdiction (AHJ) develop and maintain coaching and evaluating programs as part of the larger qualification process; andNIMS NQS Supplemental Guide for QRBs that provide basic processes and procedures to assist AHJs develop and maintain a QRB as part of the larger certification process.

To support partner and stakeholder adoption, FEMA is hosting a series of 60-minute webinars to discuss the NQS supporting tools and answer questions. All webinars are open to the whole community, including individuals and communities, the private and nonprofit sectors, faith-based organizations, and all governments.

The schedule is below.  All times are Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Webinar 1: Thursday December 27, 2018, 1:00pm-2:00pm

Webinar 2: Monday January 7, 2019, 3:00pm-4:00pm

Webinar 3: Tuesday January 15, 2019, 10:00am-11:00am

Webinar 4: Thursday January 17, 2019, 5:00pm-6:00pm

Webinar 5: Tuesday January 22, 2019, 3:00pm-4:00pm

Webinar participants will have an opportunity to provide feedback to NIMS representatives during the webinars. After a short presentation, the NIC representatives will answer any technical questions participants may have.
To review the documents and for additional webinar information, visit:

To provide comments on the draft, complete the feedback form on the webpage listed above and submit the form to   

Thank you for your input and continued support. Together, we make our nation more secure and resilient.

Black Emergency Managers Association 
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Washington, D.C.  20020
Office:   202-618-9097 
bEMA International 

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The Black Emergency Managers Association International support(s) the Sustainable Development Goals

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