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Hurricane Dorian

The Department of Health and Human Services has launched a Hurricane Dorian webpage with resources.

For weather updates and current conditions you can visit the National Hurricane Center Website.

Food benefits were sent early to SNAP recipients.
North Carolina households who currently receive Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) received September 2019 benefits by September 7th so they can purchase necessary food following Hurricane Dorian. Participants should be aware that there will be no additional FNS benefits issued in the month of September and plan accordingly. This change impacts all FNS recipients in the state. During October, households receiving FNS benefits from Oct. 1-15 will receive benefits on their normal cycle. Those receiving benefits from Oct. 17-21 will receive them Oct. 15.

The time to report loss of food has been extended.
North Carolina households who lost food purchased with their Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) benefits will have longer than the normal 10 days to report the loss to receive replacement benefits. Households have until September 30th to request a replacement. This provides additional time for families who cannot report a food loss to their local Department of Social Services (DSS) office due to displacement, transportation issues or other storm-related hardships.

Assistive technology devices and equipment are available.
Assistive technology devices and equipment are available to help individuals who are displaced due to the storm or who have devices or equipment that is destroyed or lost. Requests can be made to North Carolina Assistive Technology Program: Frank Harden at 919-859-8360 or Tammy Koger at 919-855-3544 or after-hours at 919-414-6943.

A RFT for hurricane preparation funding will be available this week.
The Office of Rural Health (ORH) will release this week a RFA for hurricane preparation funding for safety-net providers in 34 FEMA-identified counties affected by Hurricane Florence. In July, ORH received a $1 million grant from Kate B Reynolds Charitable for this purpose. The project will support access to healthcare by providing funding for infrastructure-related capital needs and emergency supplies or equipment to sustain services during emergencies and natural disasters.

Food benefits will be available early for WIC participants.
In addition, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) participants in storm-affected counties who were scheduled to receive their benefits should have had those benefits automatically added to their eWIC card by their local WIC agency. WIC participants can confirm that benefits have been added by calling the eWIC customer service line at 844-230-0813 or by accessing their account at www.mybnft.com. This automatic renewal will continue through the weekend in storm-affected counties.

Medications for HIV shipped early.
Walgreens shipped medications for HIV early to patients living in coastal communities. They are also authorized to fill emergency prescriptions.

Temporary flexibilities in place to make it easier for Medicaid beneficiaries to access services.
DHHS has received federal authority to make it easier for beneficiaries to access services and for health care providers to deliver care. This includes receiving or providing care in a temporary shelter, transfers to another nursing home facility, and more. Visit the Medicaid Hurricane Dorian webpage for details.

Temporary flexibilities in place for out-of-state behavioral providers to volunteer.
Governor Cooper has issued Executive Order 105, which temporarily waives North Carolina licensing requirements for behavioral health providers who are licensed in another state, so they volunteer their services for those impacted by Hurricane Dorian. This includes psychologists, licensed clinical social works, licensed professional counselors, and certified substance abuse treatment professionals. Volunteer information available at https://www.ncpsychology.org/.

Shelters are accessible and supportive of those with behavioral illnesses or intellectual and developmental disabilities.
For families concerned about sheltering those with autism or in need of calming rooms, contact the Red Cross disability advisor at 720-618-3513 for help identifying a shelter near you that could provide support.

People receiving Medicaid can fill prescriptions early.
Effective September 3, Medicaid is allowing for early refills of prescriptions. NC Medicaid enrolled pharmacy providers have been approved to fill these prescriptions early and will follow applicable co-pay requirements. This early refill is being allowed while the Governor’s State of Emergency order remains in place to ensure that all Medicaid beneficiaries have access to necessary medications.  

Medication assisted treatment is available.
Individuals receiving medication assisted treatment from an opioid treatment program may take home additional doses for treatment or receive guest-dosing at another licensed opioid treatment program. Other locations can be found in the Central Registry.

Shelter for medically fragile patients is open.
A 50-bed State Medical Support Shelter (SMSS) for medically fragile patients is now open in Clayton. Individuals who need active monitoring, management or intervention from a medical professional to maintain their health must contact their county emergency management office to request placement in the SMSS.

Behavioral health services are available.
Anyone in need of or receiving behavioral health care who are uninsured or are a Medicaid beneficiary can access care by calling their regional behavioral health Local Management Entity/Managed Care Organization (LME/MCO). They can also call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990. It is available year-round, 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters.

Shelters have naloxone.
Naloxone for opioid-related overdose was sent to shelters.