Hurricane Sandy Victims Receive Life-Saving and Family Connection Assistance Through MedicAlert Foundation’s Most Dependable Emergency Support Network
(TURLOCK, CA, December 6, 2012) – With their New York home immersed in rising flood waters and seeping sewage, MedicAlert member Julie Roberts and her family were forced to separate during Hurricane Sandy's devastating downpour.
Julie was having difficulty breathing when evacuation transportation arrived. She boarded a boat reserved for victims in need of medical attention. Her husband and son were led onto a different boat headed for shelter on drier ground.
“It was surreal to be floating down my street on water as high as the corner stop sign,” recalls Julie. Upon reaching drivable roads, Julie was transferred to an ambulance. “The EMTs were asking me questions,” she said. “It was hard for me to speak, so I just pointed to my bracelet.”
Upon her arrival at South Nassau Hospital, an ER Nurse called the number on Julie's MedicAlert ID and was provided information about her health condition, along with special treatment instructions required for Julie’s condition. MedicAlert Foundation provided the ER staff with all of Julie's treatment instructions, up-to-date prescriptions and health records. They also communicated her situation with the people on her emergency contact list and confirmed the location of her husband and son.
Like the Roberts family, many benefited from MedicAlert memberships during the recent disaster. When Hurricane Sandy swept the east coast, MedicAlert’s live 24/7 emergency response center fielded calls from patients and emergency responders throughout the region. Additionally, they notified the families of members who were admitted to hospitals and shelters to let them know the condition and whereabouts of their loved ones.
“Though MedicAlert Foundation was established to assist individuals during medical emergencies, the experience of Julie and others during Hurricane Sandy demonstrated how important our service can be during major natural disasters,” says Andrew B. Wigglesworth, president and CEO of the nonprofit MedicAlert Foundation. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected, and we are glad our service is a help to victims of the terrible storm.”
MedicAlert Foundation was created in 1956 by Dr. Marion Collins whose teenage daughter, Linda, had a near-fatal allergic reaction to medication she received in the ER. To prevent the mishap from reoccurring, Linda came up with the concept of wearing medical jewelry that identifies one’s primary health conditions. Her father grew the idea into the nation’s leading nonprofit emergency medical information service.
Today, MedicAlert IDs offer more intelligence than a generic medical ID. Engraved with a member’s primary health conditions, medications, implanted devices, and more, they also have the member’s personalized ID number and the toll-free phone number to a 24/7 call center, which links to the member’s vital medical records and physician and family contacts.
About MedicAlert Foundation:
Established in 1956, the nonprofit MedicAlert Foundation pioneered the use of medical IDs and delivers the most dependable, responsive, intelligent and trusted Emergency Identification and Medical Information Network. MedicAlert provides the functionality of an e-health information exchange through an innovative combination of a unique patient identifier linked to a personal health record and a live 24/7 emergency response service. MedicAlert Foundation International medical IDs alert emergency personnel to a member’s primary health conditions, medications or implanted medical devices. In addition to its 24-hour emergency response service, MedicAlert Foundation International also provides family and caregiver notification so that members can be reunited with their loved ones. For more information on MedicAlert Foundation, please visit: www.medicalert.org.