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NEW YORK (BankingMyWay) — The U.S. National Hurricane Center is tracking Hurricane Isaac closely (click here for real-time updates on Isaac’s progress) and estimates the storm could be at least a Grade One Hurricane by the time it reaches Southeast Louisiana – pretty much the same path Hurricane Katrina took in 2005 with tragic results.

If Isaac brings as much force as Katrina brought to the Gulf Coast, coastal residents of Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas had better brace themselves.

Time grows short, but not short enough for coastal residents to take some last-minute health precautions.

And for Americans (especially along the East Coast) who aren’t affected by Isaac, some longer-range hurricane survival tips for health care and prescription drugs will come in handy when their time comes and a Category Four hurricane is banging on their door.

The drugstore chain Walgreens is out with some prescription drug preparation tips for U.S. residents in the path of Isaac and those residents who might be in line for future storms.

Don’t take prescription drug access for granted in a big storm. Ask any gulf coast resident how many grocery stores and pharmacies are out of commission after a major hurricane and they’ll give you a list as long as their arms.

Here’s a look at what Walgreens has to say:

First stop on your way to an evacuation shelter? The drugstore. If you’re evacuated this week, stop on the way to the target shelter and fill your prescription drug medications. There’s no way of knowing how long you’ll be out of the house (some Katrina evacuees were gone for months) and, first things being first, you’ll need direct access to prescription medications when you’re away.

Grab a waterproof container. Prescription drugs are like most other pills and liquids: They can be destroyed easily by an angry Mother Nature, especially by heat, humidity, sunlight and, yes, water. Walgreens advises taking a waterproof bag or container along to safeguard your prescription drugs in tough weather conditions.

Take notes. Take a minute and jot down the names and dosages of prescription drugs for all members of your family. Keep it in a dry, safe place and take it with you if you’re asked to leave your home. That way, even if you can’t get to a drugstore immediately, you’ll have a direct record of what drugs you’ll need when you’re dealing with local health care and law enforcement officials away from your home.

Call it in. Most brand-name pharmacies allow consumers to place prescription drug orders via smartphone. In dire cases, pharmacies may even deliver much-needed drugs to evacuation centers and hurricane shelters after a storm subsides.