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Disaster preparations should include health care needs

KRISTEN WARD TriWest Healthcare Alliance

The recent floods in the Midwest, wild- fires in Northern California and earth- quake in Southern California, are re- minders that Mother Nature’s fury can strike at anytime.

TriWest Healthcare Alliance assures Tricare beneficiaries and families affect- ed by any natural disasters such as fires, earthquakes, hurricanes or flooding, that their health care benefits will be main- tained, and that service and support will continue during those critical times.

Prepare a Disaster Readiness Kit

Tricare advises its beneficiaries to pre- pare emergency safety kits that include health care information if you have to evacuate your home. Having this infor-

To learn more about how to prepare your family for disasters, visit www.tricare.mil/ mybenefit/ProfileFilter.do?puri=%2Fhome%2F LifeEvents%2FPreparingForADisaster.

mation and other items organized in emergency safety kits prior to inclement weather will help alleviate stress and ease the burden on family and loved ones.

Supplies to include in the kits are non- perishable foods, flashlights with extra batteries, a battery-powered radio, extra eyeglasses and first-aid supplies.

Tricare recommends including these additional health-related items:

  • Copies of each family member’s Tri-

care and military ID cards, medical records or other health insurance cards

  • List of doctors names and contact


  • List of emergency contacts and phone


  • List of family members’ allergies

  • A 30-day supply of any prescription

medications or over-the-counter med- ications such as antipain, antacids, etc.

  • A 30-day supply of insulin, if appli-


  • List of model and serial numbers for

medical devices such as pacemakers

  • All paper items should be kept in

plastic bags and placed inside water- proof backpacks or duffle bags placed in easy-to-find locations so they can be

grabbed quickly. Prescriptions should be stored in proper containers.

Know Your Benefits Information

Your benefits will travel with you if you are displaced or evacuated outside of TriWest’s 21-state region during a disas- ter. If you need medical care:

Contact your Tricare Service Center (TSC) or TriWest at 1-888-TRIWEST (874- 9378) to verify that it is still open.

Contact TriWest immediately at 1-888- TRIWEST (874-9378) if you are displaced or evacuated to a state outside of Tri- West’s 21-state region to ensure coverage at the new location. Beneficiaries en-

rolled in Tricare Standard, a fee-for-serv- ice option, may seek care from any Tri- care-authorized provider.

In case of an emergency, call 911 or seek treatment at the nearest emergency room for treatment. For Tricare Prime/Tri- care Prime Remote enrollees, emergency care does not require a referral or au- thorization; however, beneficiaries or a family member should notify TriWest at 1-888-TRIWEST (874-9378) within 24 hours or as soon as possible after re- ceiving emergency care.

If a disaster hits your area, you can manage your health care 24/7 from any location with an Internet connection by visiting www.triwest.com. You may also find general updates and disaster-relat- ed resources at TriWest’s newly-launched “Crisis Connection” site at www.tri- west.com/crisisconnection.

Commissaries help customers prepare for unexpected News Briefs

Emergency items included in DeCA summer club pack

KEVIN ROBINSON Defense Commissary Agency

FORT LEE, Va. — No one can predict when or where the next disaster will oc- cur. However, when it happens, con- ventional wisdom says that you need to be prepared to survive for a period of three days to a week without running water, electricity, or access to stores for food and medicines.

For the past few years, the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) has pro- moted disaster preparedness through its “What’s In Your Closet” campaign. That effort continues as commissaries stock large amounts of nonperishable foods, water, batteries and more to en- courage customers to collect the ne- cessities they may need in the event of an emergency.

“Although hurricane season started June 1, a natural or man-made disaster can occur anytime and without warn- ing,” said DeCA Director and Chief Ex- ecutive Officer Philip Sakowitz Jr. “We owe it to the military community we serve to help them be ready for any emergency. That preparation can be

done at savings of 30 percent or more by using their commissary benefit.” DeCA stores in certain geographic regions have routinely helped customers For more information on disaster preparedness, visit these sites: www.fema.gov; www.dhs.gov; www.redcross.org. Before the next disaster occurs, DeCA recommends customers check their emergency preparedness and survival kits for the following: •Water – at least 1 gallon daily per person for three to seven days •Nonperishable foods – canned meats, fruits, vegetables, foods for in- fants and the elderly, dried fruits, nuts, raisins, granola and peanut butter, cereal, crackers, cookies and energy bars •Paper goods – paper plates, paper towels, toilet paper •Cooking items – pots and pans, charcoal, manual can opener and utensils •First aid kit – including medicines, bandages and individual pre- scription drugs •Cleaning materials – liquid bleach, hand soap and sanitizing spray •Special diet foods •Toiletries – personal hygiene items and moisture wipes •Pet care items – food, water, medications, ID and immunization tags and records, a carrier, muzzle and leash •Flashlight and batteries – including candles and matches •Customers can find out more about what should be in their emer- gency closet by going to www.commissaries.com and clicking on DeCA’s disaster preparedness page. disaster preparedness items to its “sum- mer club pack” product assortment. Club packs are oversized or multiple products similar to the bulk items sold at commercial warehouse club outlets. DeCA offers seasonal club packs that of- ten cater to holidays and certain events such as “Back to School” or in this case, disaster preparedness. The latest summer club pack includes several types of emergency lights and flashlights, batteries, a household fire suppression device and a first aid kit. The pack already included nonperish- able foods such as canned green beans, peas, corn, fruit cocktail, cases of water, juices and sports drinks, energy bars, crackers and cookies, vienna sausages, cereals, pop tarts, nuts, pet food, toilet tissue, paper towels, disinfectant wipes, diapers, trash bags and plastic flatware. “Our suppliers have always worked with us to keep our stores stocked with the items that our customers need in the aftermath of a disaster,” said Charlie Dowlen, promotions manager for DeCA’s sales directorate. “In some areas, suppliers have prepositioned pallets of prepare their emergency survival kits emergency-related items at major dis- with items related to the disasters that tribution points, especially in the South- tend to strike in those areas. This year, east, to move to needed locations rap- DeCA has gone a step further and added idly.”

Send news announcements for Soldiers and civilian employees to com- munity@hawaiiarmyweekly.com.

8 / Today

Gate Closure — Schofield Barracks’ Foote Gate will temporarily close, Aug. 4-22, in or- der to install a new gate with additional force protection measures. All other gates at Schofield Barracks will maintain their current operational times.

For more information, call the Directorate of Public Works at 656-2435.

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Women’s Equality Day Celebration The 500th Military Intelligence Brigade and Schofield Barracks will sponsor the 2008 Women’s Equality Day Celebration, Aug. 21, 10-11:30 a.m., at the Sgt. Smith Theater.

The keynote speaker will be Chaplain (Maj.) Lucy Der-Garabedian, 500th MI Bde. chap- lain.

Sponsored information booths will include the Women Infants and Children pro- gram(WIC), Hawaii Women’s Business Cen- ter, American Cancer Society, Red Cross, Army Public Health Nurse and Voter Regis- tration Assistance.

Call Sgt. 1st Class Jerrard Hughes at 655- 4563.


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