MedicAlert Foundation’s Law Enforcement Program Offers Critical Assistance during Natural Disasters like Hurricane Harvey
International charity works with US law enforcement to provide free medical IDs to vulnerable residents
(SALIDA, Calif., August 29, 2017) – August is MedicAlert month and September is National Preparedness Month; with this in mind, MedicAlert Foundation invites law enforcement across the country to participate in the L.E.A.P. program. This program provides free medical IDs and 24/7 support to vulnerable residents with cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and autism. Planning around this year’s National Preparedness Month (NPM) theme “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.”, this program support law enforcement’s important efforts to be proactive and ensure vulnerable residents have MedicAlert IDs and services, before an emergency occurs. As part of the free national program, MedicAlert Foundation provides personalized medical IDs, 24/7 emergency response services, online health records, and training for first responders so that residents wearing a MedicAlert ID (and their families) can rest assured that they will be accurately cared for in an emergency. The program also maintains emergency contact information and can serve as a connection in reuniting loved ones who may be lost, separated and unable to communicate clearly to first responders during an emergency.
The MedicAlert L.E.A.P. program was developed in 2016 as result of the Foundation’s Alzheimer’s grant funding from the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance. The program is critical in emergency situations like Hurricane Harvey as participating law enforcement agencies can access information about the residents they have enrolled and can do status checks on these vulnerable residents prior to (and during) the disaster. Adding to the concern, individuals with dementia or autism may be non-verbal or have limited communication and may become disoriented during the event. Therefore, it is vitally important that vulnerable residents are protected with a MedicAlert ID and enrolled in the program through their local law enforcement agency.
While many recognize MedicAlert Foundation’s success in assisting individuals during medical emergencies, “natural disasters like this demonstrate how important MedicAlert’s 24/7 services can be. Through L.E.A.P., law enforcement has better information on those with conditions who may need extra assistance during an evacuation,” says David Leslie, president and CEO of MedicAlert Foundation. “Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected, and we are here to help,” adds Leslie.
The L.E.A.P. program is open to all U.S. law enforcement agencies and is currently accepting program applications online at www.medicalert.org/leap. MedicAlert is also encouraging all members in the Houston-area to update their MedicAlert health records to ensure accurate information can be delivered when needed. Additionally, the Foundation is also offering to replace MedicAlert IDs for members who may have lost their IDs during the flooding. Affected members should contact MedicAlert at 1-800-432-5378 to update their health information or to obtain a free replacement ID product.