RICHARDSON, Texas — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Prediction Center recently released its midseason hurricane outlook with the new forecasts suggesting increased chances of hurricanes making landfall on the Texas Gulf Coast. While it’s unpredictable when a natural disaster will strike, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) urges Texans to be prepared, stay connected and stay safe to protect their physical and mental well-being.
In times of distress, helping BCBSTX members find nearby doctors, refill prescriptions and access mental health services is critical. To prepare ahead of natural disasters, other safeguarding tips include:
- Reviewing insurance coverage: Familiarize yourself with details in your health insurance policy, including coverage for emergency medical services, hospitalization and mental health services.
- This includes updating your insurance information and having a BCBSTX member ID card.
- Temporary cards are available on Blue Access for Members or you can call your plan’s customer service number.
- Managing medications and health conditions: If you have chronic health conditions, ensure you have an adequate supply of medications and medical equipment to last through the emergency period.
- Keep a list of your medications, allergies and important medical information such as your health care coverage and ID card in your emergency kit or a safe place.
- Reach out to your health care provider before disaster strikes to discuss specific needs or health-related concerns.
- Following safety guidelines: Stay alert to safety instructions issued by local authorities and health officials.
- Adhere to evacuation orders or shelter-in-place instructions to prioritize your safety and minimize potential health risks.
- Natural disaster resources are often provided on your county’s website.
- Practicing self-care and stress management: Natural disasters can be emotionally overwhelming.
- Take time to care for your mental health and practice stress-management techniques, including deep-breathing exercises, meditation or safe activities that bring you joy.
- Stay connected with loved ones, seek support from community resources and reach out for professional help through services such as telehealth.
- Saving important phone numbers: Having emergency phone numbers during a natural disaster can help you quickly get assistance. You may not have access to the internet or other communications.
- Regularly update phone contact information to include most recent emergency service numbers.
- BCBSTX has a list of recommended numbers to have on file.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) — the only statewide, customer-owned health insurer in Texas — is the largest provider of health benefits in the state, working with more than 140,000 physicians and health care practitioners, and 520 hospitals to serve more than 7 million members in all 254 counties. BCBSTX is a Division of Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) (which operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Texas, Illinois, Montana, Oklahoma and New Mexico). Health Care Service Corporation is a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.