Pharmacists needed for emergency team - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Pharmacists needed for emergency team

May 6, 2004

Valdosta - When disaster strikes, being prepared is the key to a community's recovery. "Once a disaster hits, our community is on our own for the first 72 hours before we can get any federal or state help," said Ronda Scott, Pharmacist.

A big part of a community's emergency preparedness plan is accessing the Strategic National Stockpile. "It's 100,000 pounds of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies used to augment local supplies in case of a man-made or natural disaster," said Cliff Conrey, Emergency Preparedness Specialist.

And pharmacists are the most qualified people to dispense those drugs. The South Health District is trying to recruit these health professionals to their emergency preparedness team. "We've gone to every county within our district and talked to mayors, city leaders, and health care professionals," said Conrey. "We need approximately 1,000 volunteers and we have about 800 so far," said Scott.

Not only are pharmacists needed to give out medications, they're also wanted for counseling. "They'll be able to talk to the patients, help calm them down, and let them know how important it is to take the medication," said Lewis.

So if disaster strikes this community, a qualified team will be on hand to make sure everyone is taken care of.

The South Health District includes Ben Hill, Berrien, Brooks, Cook, Echols, Irwin, Lowndes, Lanier, Tift, and Turner counties.

posted at 4:45 P.M. by ashley.harper@walb.com