We are in the thick of Atlantic hurricane season. Dangerous storms and hurricanes can lead to devastation, but there are ways you can prepare to stay safe.

Now more than ever, make sure you have a plan before a storm approaches. VA has prepared a comprehensive list of ways to prepare and resources to know.

In a natural disaster, it is important to stay on top of your VA care, and virtual care options can be particularly helpful. Here are a few ways that virtual care tools can help in an emergency.

Video visits

To help keep your VA care on schedule, you can connect with your VA care teams through VA Video Connect, VA’s secure videoconferencing app.

Video visits can help you maintain continuity of care if going to a VA facility is not an option… such as if roads are impassable or you have evacuated to another location.

To use VA Video Connect for a video visit, you need a smartphone, tablet or computer with an internet connection. You can also invite family members or caregivers to join video visits, even if they are in a different location.

Learn more about video visits on the VA Video Connect webpage.

My HealtheVet

My HealtheVet, VA’s online patient portal, offers many tools that can be useful in an emergency. Make sure you have a My HealtheVet Premium account to access these features. Upgrading your My HealtheVet account is free and you access your account online 24/7.

With the Secure Messaging feature, you can send messages to your VA care team. Secure Messaging is intended for asking non-urgent health questions, sending updates on your condition and managing your VA care.

You can also access, download and print your VA health records using My HealtheVet. If you need to find the name of a VA prescription, the results of a recent medical test, or the date of your last VA appointment, you can find all that information after signing into your account. Having an up-to-date printed version of your medical records from My HealtheVet can be helpful in a crisis.

My HealtheVet also allows you to request refills of VA prescriptions online. You should always be sure that you have enough of your prescription medications and request more online if you are running low.

Find more information and access your account on the My HealtheVet website. And you can read this article about hurricane preparedness on the site.

Remote Patient Monitoring-Home Telehealth

If you are enrolled in Remote Patient Monitoring – Home Telehealth (RPM – HT) to monitor medical conditions or symptoms, your RPM – HT team has an emergency plan in place. Emergency management is discussed between Veterans and their care coordinator prior to a potential natural disaster or other event. RPM – HT monitoring also keeps Veterans connected with their care coordinators should any medical needs arise.

Veteran support hotlines

In a health emergency, call 911. And make sure you have the phone number of your local emergency response team saved.

The Veteran Disaster Hotline is available 24/7 during declared emergencies and disasters. Veterans can call the hotline at 800-507-4571.

The Veterans Crisis Line provides 24/7, confidential mental health support for Veterans and their family members. Dial 988 and press 1, chat online, or text 838255 for support.

Emergency resources

By Treva Lutes

Communications director of VA’s Office of Connected Care

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Published on Oct. 26, 2022

Estimated reading time is 2.9 min.

Views to date: 862

2 Comments

  1. AS October 26, 2022 at 5:40 pm

    This article starts out stating:

    “We are in the thick of Atlantic hurricane season.”

    Maybe try a little research before writing something factually wrong:

    https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/climo/#:~:text=The%20official%20hurricane%20season%20for,%2DAugust%20and%20mid%2DOctober.

    “The official hurricane season for the Atlantic basin is from June 1 to November 30, but tropical cyclone activity sometimes occurs before and after these dates, respectively. The peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is September 10, with most activity occurring between mid-August and mid-October.”

    This article is about two months late. Wonder how I figured this out? Let me spell it for you. G-o-o-g-l-e.

    Great job from someone with the title “Communications director.” You’re blowing it away with timely information.

    • James Knox October 27, 2022 at 8:05 pm

      Thanks for all this information

Comments are closed.

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