Are you ready for the storm?
To protect your family during a hurricane, you need to prepare. In addition to readying your home to withstand strong winds and torrential rain, be sure you have a plan to protect your family, and make sure everyone knows and understands your plan.
The Climate Prediction Center at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts an above-normal hurricane season for 2021, which runs from June 1 to November 30.
NOAA and your local news stations will provide early warnings and forecasts when storms develop, but it’s your responsibility to be ready. Use the following tips to make a safety plan:
- Keep communication channels up and running. Communication is critical. Make sure your mobile phones are fully charged in case you lose power. Consider investing in backup phone chargers to extend your phone’s battery life. To keep up to date on the storm, download the NOAA radio or local television network apps.
- Store insurance policies, your insurance ID cards and other documents in a waterproof safe. You might want to take a picture of your important records so you have them on your phone and handy in case you need to evacuate. You can access your Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) medical ID card and plan benefits at any time on the BCBSTX App.
- Learn your evacuation routes. Practice your evacuation plan with your family, including pets, and know where you will stay.
- Prepare an emergency kit, including supplies for your pets. In case you get stuck inside with no electricity and no way to get to a store, be sure to have some basic supplies on hand. These should include:
- Clean water for drinking
- Non-perishable foods, along with a manual can opener
- Pet food
- Any prescription drugs for you or your family members
- A first aid kit including bandages, pain relievers and other non-prescription drugs
- A flashlight with extra batteries
- Help your neighbors. Before a storm hits, check in with your neighbors, especially the elderly or people with disabilities, to help them prepare. After the storm settles down, check in to see if they need help.
For a more detailed list of items for your kit, visit https://www.ready.gov/kit.
Whenever emergencies happen, BCBSTX is available
A BCBSTX Personal Health Assistant is just a phone call away to answer questions about your benefits or find a health care provider. Call toll-free at (800) 252-8039 (TTY: 711), Monday—Friday, 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Saturday, 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. CT.
If you’re not sure to where to go for care, call the 24/7 Nurseline toll-free at (800) 581-0368 to speak with a registered nurse any time of the day or night. Registered nurses can answer many of your general health questions and advise you to call a doctor or encourage you to seek emergency services if necessary.
To access your HealthSelectSM medical benefits and ID card wherever you are, and to find nearby providers in your plan’s network, download the BCBSTX App by texting BCBSTXAPP to 33633.
Medical and mental health Virtual Visits
If storm conditions make it impossible for you to leave the house to seek care, remember that , as a HealthSelect participant, you and your eligible dependents can consult with licensed board-certified doctors online for your urgent health care needs – 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays. With Virtual Visits through Doctor on Demand and MDLIVE:
- You have no cost for Virtual Visits if you are enrolled in HealthSelect of Texas®, HealthSelectSM Out-of-State or HealthSelectSM Secondary.
- Consumer Directed HealthSelectSM participants must meet your annual deductible before Virtual Visits are covered. You will pay 20% coinsurance after meeting the deductible.
Your HealthSelect of Texas benefits also give you access to mental health Virtual Visits through Doctor on Demand and MDLIVE. If a natural disaster or other life event leaves you feeling worried or out of control, a mental health professional may have tools you can use to cope. Appointments are typically available within five to seven days on average but could take up to two weeks.
Don’t risk the health and safety of your loved ones. Set aside time this week to make a hurricane safety plan and practice it with your family.