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How to be medically prepared for next hurricane

Advice from a doctor about health post-Dorian

AdventHealth's Dr. Timothy Hendrix talks to two patients using a FaceTime-like medical app called eCare.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Cleanup is still in progress following Hurricane Dorian but this week marks the peak of hurricane season and a doctor with AdventHealth says no time is better than the present to make sure you are ready for the next one.

As Central Florida prepared for a major hurricane to potentially make landfall in our coastal communities, doctors urged everyone to get medical supplies and prescriptions ahead of the storm.

Dr. Timothy Hendrix is the medical director of AdventHealth CentraCare.

"Traditionally, everything's closing up and you can't get on the roads because it's unsafe," Hendrix said.

Now, instead of waiting for doctors offices and pharmacies to re-open, patients can make appointments and get help using eCare.

The new Telehealth technology has offered patients a lifeline, Hendrix said, and could be critical ahead of the next storm.

"This became very apparent to me during our previous hurricanes, during Matthew and then during Irma, as they came through that we were able to keep our office open, so to speak, through eCare and continue to help people in Central Florida," Hendrix said.

The app can be downloaded on your phone and functions like the FaceTime feature via video chat.

"I was taking calls from home. It was purely dependent on my battery charge on my computer and people's battery charge on their phones on the other end," Hendrix said.

Physicians and nurse practitioners can recommend follow-up with specialists, a trip to the emergency room, or over the counter remedies using the app. Hendrix said he was even able to write  prescriptions for people who forgot to get their two-week supply ahead of the storms. 

"We found pharmacies that were open as late as possible in Florida and were referring prescriptions there, so it was a great resource to have," Hendrix said.

We're done with Dorian, but hurricane season doesn't end until Nov. 30.


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