HURRICANE MICHAEL HEALTH AND SAFETY INFORMATION
Panama City, Fla.— The Florida Department of Health in Bay County and The Florida Department of Health state-wide continues to respond to the health needs of Bay County residents following Hurricane Michael.
Available Medical Services
The Florida Department of Health in Bay County is now offering essential services. This includes; birth and death certificates, ADAP, Women Infants and Children (WIC), and immunizations. Immunizations services includes Hep A and Tetanus shots free of charge. Hep A is needed for persons who come in contact with flood waters. Tetanus vaccinations are needed for persons who were cut by debris after the storm. Our current hours of operation are Monday – Friday from 10 am – 2 pm. WIC benefits may have automatically uploaded to your account. Due to the emergency, they can be issued by phone. Call 850-252-9580 Monday – Friday from 10 am – 2 pm. Emergency Diabetes Supplies, including insulin, are available at 597 W 11th ST from 10 am - 4 pm M - F. Please bring a box or Rx for your insulin if possible so we can provide the correct type and dose. You can call ahead to check on supplies at 850-252-9656. DOH-Bay also has plans to partner with Americares to provide primary care and pharmacy services at 597 W 11th ST, Panama City. Americares is a non-profit organization that provides health for persons affected by disasters. Details on dates and times will be provided soon.
Our leadership met with the leadership of both hospitals Tuesday. Everyone is coming together to bring services back. Currently, Bay Medical Sacred Heart and Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center are offering emergency room services. These units also have Hep A and Tetanus immunizations available. Each hospital is working on plans to provide additional services in stages. DOH-Bay is working in coordination with the hospitals on their plans to return to normal operations.
PanCare, the federally-qualified health care center, is open at their location at 2309 East 15th Street in Panama City for medical and dental. They are also offering mobile medical services at Walmart in Callaway located at 725 N Tyndall Parkway. Hours are 9 am – 4 pm. All services are free. Their clinic in Youngstown will offer medical and dental services from 10 am – 3:30 pm through Friday.
Rainbow Pediatrics is now open on their beach location, 10800 Panama City Beach Parkway. They are seeing new and established patients on a walk-in basis from 9 am – 4 pm. Emerald Coast Pediatrics is seeing patients at their beach and town locations from 9 am – 3 pm. Bright Pediatrics is offering a free walk-in clinic on Saturday, October 20 from Noon – 4 pm. They ask persons to bring prescription bottles for medication refills. Children from 0 – 21 years old will be seen. Physicals and vaccines will not be provided.
DaVita and Fresenius are operating and servicing dialysis patients. Bay County Transportation is providing servicing for those patients to get to their medical care as normal. DaVita Panama City patients are now being seen at the Coastal near Bay Medical Sacred Heart.
Under the Emergency Order, persons can get a 30-day refill of prescriptions. There are many pharmacies that are currently open in Bay County. To find a pharmacy near you, got to RxOpen.org. Winn Dixie has two mobile pharmacy units set-up, one at Transmitter and Hwy 231 and one at their 23rd ST location. You may also qualify for the Emergency Prescription Assistance Program (EPAP). This program opens at 5 pm Thursday. This is for persons who do not have health insurance. Call the EPAP Hotline at 1-855-793-7470 to find out if you are eligible.
Special Needs Shelter
The special needs shelter run by the Florida Department of Health in Bay County at Deane Bozeman School is now closed. Persons who qualify for special needs sheltering will now being assessed, treated and transported to locations with additional resources as needed. DOH-Bay has served more than 100 clients in the Special Needs Shelter since our response to Hurricane Michael. Clients are now relocated as a proactive measure to ensure the safety of citizens with special needs that have been displaced from their homes by Hurricane Michael. The decision was made to move these vulnerable citizens to a safer location before any resources started to run low. Families can call 727-619-0182 for information about their loved ones.
Florida Department of Health Strike Teams
Teams with the Florida Department of Health are working together with DOH-Bay staff members to ensure the health and wellness of all of Bay County residents following Hurricane Michael. Environmental Health employees are inspecting food services, looking at sanitation needs in communities, accessing the needs for immunizations in areas impacted by the storm, providing important health and safety information through fliers and working to prevent preventable and communicable diseases. This team is our eyes and ears and boots on the ground.
The Florida Department of Health in Bay County urges residents to take safety precautions after the storm.
Generators should be used outside only, not in a garage. Appliances should be plugged directly into the generator. You should not plug your generator into the house directly. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning can be deadly.
All Bay County residents including those on well water are under a boil water notice. For drinking, cooking, washing wounds, and brushing teeth, use bottled water or boiled water. Water should be held to a rolling boil for 1 minute.
No one should play in flood waters. The water can contain bacteria. If you have come in contact with flood waters, you should receive a Hep A vaccination. Again, these are available at DOH-Bay.
Food is safe in a full freezer for about 48 hours or 24 hours if it is half full. Refrigerated food is safe about 4 hours if it is unopened. After that time, perishable items such as meat, chicken, fish, cheese, milk, eggs, and leftovers should be thrown away. Take a picture for your insurance company before you dispose of items.
Heat ExhaustionWithout power in many places in Bay County and with persons working to clear debris, heat exhaustion is a concern. Make sure you drink plenty of water to protect yourself.
After a storm, standing water can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Remember to dump out any standing water that you can. Make sure you use an EPA approved bug repellent and follow the directions on the label.
Wear rubber boots and waterproof gloves during clean-up to avoid injury and contamination. Items that have come in contact with sewage or floodwaters may be unhealthy. Chainsaws should be operated only by person who experienced in using them. If you get a wound or cut from debris, seek medical attention and ask for a Tetanus shot. These are available at DOH-Bay. When cleaning up mold, don’t mix cleaning products.
Due to the loss of electricity from Hurricane Michael, stagnant swimming pools can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. To kill mosquitoes and bacteria, please do the following;
- Put two gallons of bleach in the pool or use shock (these items are available at opened hardware and/or big box stores)
- Maintain 1 parts per million of free chlorine
- Add chlorine as necessary to maintain 1 parts per million
The Florida Department of Health in Bay County will continue to work toward the goal of getting all of our services up and running again for the residents of Bay County. We will also continue to work with the entire community of health in Bay County to rebuild the health services that are temporarily unavailable due to Hurricane Michael. This was an unprecedented event, with a now unprecedented response.
About the Florida Department of Health
The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.
Heather Kretzer, B.S.
Public Information Officer / Health Consultant
Healthy Bay Division
Florida Department of Health in Bay Countyhttp://bay.floridahealth.gov/
597 W. 11th Street
Panama City, FL 32401
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