By the time I return to overnights on Tuesday there will be impending doom brewing southeast of Florida. As tropical storm Dean approaches and grows stronger people will start to panic. Bottled water, batteries, ice, and any food stuff not refrigerated will disappear from shelves like the newest "must have for the holidays" children's toys. Prescription orders will quadruple in a matter of hours and our staff will be the "marathon runners" of prescription preparation.
As the storm gets close enough for them to project a hit on Florida I wait to see if I will get a magical paid day off due to Dean. When the city announces it is time for curfew all the McDruggie's shut down too (no matter which chain you refer to as McDruggie's, we are all closed).
Emergency situations are stressful. Many staffers live a hefty commute away so they usually don't come in. The rest of us end up driving around to the next closest 4 stores to assist with shut-down procedures and getting the rest of the patients home. It is not fun. It is also not easy to calm people down.
Many have fears that they will not have power for a month or so (it has happened before) and are afraid that even with their medications they may not be okay in the heat and humidity. I have some patient's that buy generators, some who pay extra to stay in nursing homes that have generators, and others that leave the state completely.
Gasoline runs short, even at $3 a gallon, and no one goes out for a couple of days because there will be downed power lines and various pieces of debris from houses and foliage. It is weird the first hurricane when you haven't been in one before but after the first it is just preparation and patience that are needed. Oh, and a good book or two unless you charged all of your electric toys.
****This prescription quadrupling phenomenon happens for snow storms too!