In the United States, Atlantic hurricane season occurs from June 1 to November 30, with September being the peak month for hurricane formation. Hurricanes are most likely to occur during this time period, especially in states near the coast.

The 10 US states hit most often by hurricanes are Florida, Texas, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, New York, and Virginia.

For independent pharmacies located in states that are typically affected by hurricanes, it’s important to know how to prepare and protect your business in the case of a natural disaster.

Hurricanes can have devastating effects, but communities always pull together to help their neighbors in need and stay strong even during such challenging times.

As an essential business, pharmacies provide a crucial service to their communities that cannot be interrupted, so they need to know how to safely continue running their business and prepare for any situation.

When it comes to protecting your data and reliably accessing your pharmacy software during these unpredictable times, the PioneerRx Support Team is here to help.

By mitigating risk and helping our pharmacies keep operating under strenuous circumstances, our goal is to enable pharmacies to keep providing their essential services to their community in a safe and secure way.

Below is a checklist of proactive preparedness tips, as well as some ways that our team can help get your pharmacy back up and running during a hurricane or other emergency.

Preparedness Checklist for Pharmacies

Have a backup generator in case of a power outage

Have a backup location to continue operating if you have to evacuate your storefront

Elevate electronics to a higher surface to minimize flood damage

If you are in a high-risk flood zone, it is recommended to shutdown and unplug power sources from outlets

If evacuation is mandatory, be sure to grab the USB hard drive and cable connected to your PioneerRx Server – it will be plugged back into your server when you return to the pharmacy

If you are working remotely or the pharmacy is temporarily closed, update your answering machine/IVR message to inform patients of the situation. Redirect calls to your cell phone to continue answering questions or taking prescription transfers if necessary.

If your pharmacy is staying open, brace for an influx of demand as other pharmacies may be closed. In 2016, James Drug Store in Louisiana experienced this during a tropical cyclone with record-flooding.

In preparation for a potential hurricane, recommend to your patients that they have enough prescriptions and necessary OTCs on hand in advance. Check with your state board of pharmacy to confirm local laws regarding emergency prescription refills during natural disasters.

Getting Back Up and Running with PioneerRx

PioneerRx actively monitors, updates, and protects our pharmacies’ servers to prevent viruses, data theft, and data loss.

In addition to having data saved to a pharmacy’s local server, we back up all of our pharmacies’ data to an off-site cloud server every 15 minutes. This means that your information remains secure and is frequently backed up to minimize any potential data loss. For this reason, even in the case of power outage, internet loss, or server failure – there are still ways to retrieve your data and get your store back up and running.

The PioneerRx Support Team is here to assist you in case your pharmacy is affected by a natural disaster. These are some potential scenarios and how we can help:

Lost Power

  • We can help with setting up a backup generator to regain power.
  • In the event that you must physically relocate your server to another location that has power, we can assist in setting up your server to get it back up and running.

Lost Internet

  • Our team can walk you through how to set-up a cell phone / mobile hotspot to provide internet to your pharmacy – you just need a running computer or laptop. Contact PioneerRx Hardware Support for help setting up a hotspot.

Server Down

  • If your server is damaged or not working but you can still access a working computer with internet or a hotspot connection (see above), PioneerRx Support can create a failover connection to our local backup server. This means you will still be able to access your data and operate from our central server instead.

Hurricanes and other natural disasters are unpredictable and extremely challenging situations, and pharmacies have an added level of responsibility to protect their business, their data, and their patients.

It’s always a good idea to be prepared for every scenario and create an emergency response plan for your pharmacy. The PioneerRx Support Team will be available to help in any way that we can to ensure that you and your team can safely continue running your business and stepping up for your community.

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