Staying safe during fire season and power outages

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Stay Safe During Emergencies

At HPSJ, we want to make sure you and your family know how to stay healthy and prepared. In recent years, the fire season led to power outages in many areas. If there are power outages or public safety power shutoffs (PSPS), we want to make sure you are prepared. You can do that by following the steps below:

Important Numbers: 

  • Customer Service: 888.936.PLAN (7526), TTY 711 (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
  • Medi-Cal Rx: 800.977.2273 TTY/TDD 711 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
  • After hours/weekends/holidays: 855.828.1486 (for early refills in a crisis)
  • Mental health help, call HPSJ’s partner, Beacon Health Strategies: 888.581.7526
  • HealthReach Nurse/Doctor Advice Line: 800.655.8294
  • HPSJ Care Coordination: 209.942.6352 (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
  • Western Drug Medical Supply: 818.956.6691
  • You can learn more at hpsj.com/members or download the myHPSJ app for Apple or Android devices. For more about power shutoffs, visit pge.com or your County emergency preparedness web page.
  • Stanislaus County Emergency Preparedness: stanoes.com
  • San Joaquin County Emergency Preparedness: sjready.org

San Joaquin County

Visit the Office of Emergency Services website for up to date San Joaquin County emergency information.

Stanislaus County

Helpful information for Stanislaus County residents during power outages and other emergencies. 

Emergency Preparation Checklist

Text Alerts

Sign up for alerts:
Make sure your power company has your current contact information. That way they can warn you about planned power shutoffs.

Supply Kit

Create a supply kit:
Stock it with enough water and nonperishable food to last for a week. Plan on 1 gallon of water per person per day. Be sure to refresh your kit at least once a year

Keep Cash on hand

Keep cash on hand:
Make sure to keep cash on hand, ATMs may not work during a shutoff.

Gas up

Gas up:
If you have a car, make sure your tank is full before the power goes off. You never know when you will need to drive to other areas for supplies or to stay safe during a fire.

Stock up on batteries

Stock up on batteries:
You’ll need these for things like flashlights and radios. You may need them for medical devices too.

Have flashlights handy

Have flashlights handy:
Keep a few flashlights in different areas of your house in the event of a power outage. Steer clear of candles, they can be a fire hazard.

Prep your phones

Prep your phones: 
Find out if your landline will work without power. If you have a cellphone, keep it charged and have your chargers handy.

Talk with your doctor if needed

Talk with your doctor if needed:
Do you depend on a medical device that runs on electricity? Or take a medicine that needs to stay cold? Your doctor can help you prepare.

It is important not to forget:

  • Your prescription medications
  • To charge medical devices or equipment important for your health
  • Your HPSJ ID card and Medi-Cal Benefits Card

If you are affected by power outages or a natural disaster, we want to make sure you have your medications. An urgent care or pharmacy can help fill some meds. In the case of an emergency, you can also go to your local emergency room.

Office visits
If you cannot see your doctor, we can help you find one. You can do this on our website at hpsj.com
under “Member Tools”and “Provider Directory.” You can also visit the local urgent care center.

Mental health
Power outages can be stressful. You have access
to mental health professionals and social workers as an HPSJ member.

Emergency Preparation Checklist

Medications during power outages

Power Outages

To make this easier, we want you to know that Medi-Cal Rx works with most drug stores in California. You can check if the pharmacy is within the network by visiting https://medi-calrx.dhcs.ca.gov/home/. You can fill your meds at any of the places within the Medi-Cal Rx group. If the store is not part of the group, Medi-Cal Rx may pay you back for the charges. Visit https://medi-calrx.dhcs.ca.gov/member/forms-information to fill out the form for Medi-Cal Rx to review your out of pocket payment. If your meds are lost or destroyed due to fire, evacuation, or non-refrigeration due to power outage, you can refill them even if they are not due to be refilled. 

Refrigerated meds
You may know that some of your meds have to be refrigerated. Many of those meds will stay stable at room temperature for a few days. It is good to keep these meds cool, but do not use ice. Keep them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or heat. Call your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Electrical medical equipment
Please call HPSJ’s medical equipment provider, Western Drug Medical Supply, at 818.956.6691 if you use life-sustaining medical equipment that needs electricity to work. They can help you get other devices if you are not able to use a regular power source.

Tips for dialysis patients
Your renal dialysis clinic should be able to see you if you need help with dialysis urgently during a power outage. If you have a problem getting supplies during a power outage, call HPSJ Care Coordination at 209.942.6352. If you are not able to get in, please call 911 in the case of an emergency.

Insulin
Insulin should be stored at 36 to 48 degrees. Once opened, it can be stored at room temperature for up to 28 days (exceptions are Novolog 70/30 Flexpen – with a 14-day expiration once openedTresiba and Levemir have longer expiration dates beyond 28 days).  Too low or too high temperatures (below 35 and above 86 degrees) can ruin a vial of insulin. Insulin should be kept as cool as you can in very high heat and guarded from freezing. If you suspect that the insulin has been ruined, the insulin may need to be replaced if it:

  • Is cloudy
  • Has clumps even after you rolled it like you are supposed to
  • Has threads or strings in it
  • Has changed color
  • Or your blood sugar stays high even after your normal correction dose.

If you are worried about any of your meds not being safe to use or if you want a replacement, call your doctor or pharmacy.

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Posted on August 24th, 2020 and last modified on August 11th, 2022.

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