Natural disasters often lead to power outages and lack of refrigeration and clean water. This may render some medications less potent and potentially harmful.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration explains how this could occur:
- Drugs may be exposed to excessive heat due to fire or lack of air conditioning.
- Drugs may be contaminated by exposure to dirty water.
- Drugs that need refrigeration may be less effective or even dangerous if refrigeration isn’t available.
- Drugs that need to be mixed with clean water (reconstituted) may be compromised. The FDA advises to use only bottled or distilled water to reconstitute medication.