Veterans Affairs fighting back at Harvey & Irma

gettyimages 844188114 Veterans Affairs fighting back at Harvey & Irma

A message reading “You Don’t Scare Us Irma” is written on plywood being used to cover the windows of a building as people prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Irma on September 8, 2017 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

By Jonathan Kaupanger

(Information on this page is current as of 8:00 p.m. EDT, Sept. 10)

The Department of Veterans Affairs is working around the clock in Texas, the Caribbean and Florida to keep services and benefits available for veterans and their families. This list of VA closures and other useful information will be updated as things change.


Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center:

The main campus is maintaining normal operations. Veterans with medical appointments at the main campus are encouraged to keep them.  All VA outpatient clinics with the exception of Beaumont are open.  Mobile medical units, Vet Centers, pharmacy and canteen are providing services from 9 – 6 through September 30 in the area.  Locations of these mobile units can be found here.

The VA has compiled a list of resources for veterans in the Houston area, and is located here.

Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System:

The Corpus Christi Specialty Clinic (CCSC) and the Patient Aligned Care Team Annex Building are open. The Corpus Christi Outpatient Clinic (CCOPC) will remain closed until further notice.  If you have an appointment scheduled at CCSC, you should report to the CCSC at 205 S. Enterprise Parkway.

The Houston Regional Benefits office and South Texas, Southeast Louisiana, Central Texas and Alexandria Health Care Systems are all open and operating on normal schedules.

gettyimages 843861792 Veterans Affairs fighting back at Harvey & Irma

TOPSHOT – A photo taken on September 7, 2017 shows damage in Orient Bay on the French Caribbean island of Saint-Martin, after the passage of Hurricane Irma. (LIONEL  HAMOISEAU/AFP/Getty Images)


VA Caribbean Healthcare System:

With the exception of St. Thomas, the San Juan VA Medical Center and all community clinics in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands now have normal operating hours. The St. Thomas Community Based Outpatient Clinic was damaged in the storm and is closed and it’s unknown when it will reopen.

The San Juan Regional Benefit Office is closed on Friday.

Miami VA Healthcare System:

All scheduled appointments are canceled through Monday, Sept. 11.

The Miami Healthcare System is NOT a shelter. Here’s the evacuation and shelter information for Broward County, Miami-Dade County and Monroe County.

West Palm Beach VA Medical Center:

The Medical Center is canceling all outpatient clinics and operations through Monday, Sept. 11. Patients with scheduled appointments will be rescheduled.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management website has shelter and evacuation information.

North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System:

The following facilities are closed on Monday: Jacksonville OPC, Lecanto CBOC, Marianna CBOC, Ocala CBOC (and Ocala West Specialty), Palatka CBOC, Perry CBOC, St. Augustine CBOC, St. Marys CBOC, Tallahassee HCC, The Villages OPC, Valdosta CBOC and Waycross CBOC.

Medical Center outpatient clinic appointments are all canceled for Monday. The Lack City and Gainesville VAMC’s are closed Monday as well.

Bay Pines VA Healthcare System:

C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center is fully operational, but all outpatient services are closed Saturday – Monday. Outpatient clinics at Lee County Healthcare Center and all CBOCs will close Saturday through Monday.

James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital – Tampa:

The main hospital are open through Saturday. Monday, all outpatient services, including elective service procedures are canceled and all outpatient clinics will be closed.

Orlando VA Medical Center:

All Orlando VAMC clinics are closed through Monday. Veterans needing emergency medical services should visit VA’s Urgent Care facility at 13800 Veterans Way in Lake Nona.

Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center:

All outpatient clinics and elective procedures are canceled through Tuesday, Sept. 12. Goose Creek Outpatient Clinic is closed on Wednesday as well.

gettyimages 839566842 Veterans Affairs fighting back at Harvey & Irma

A car lies abandoned after heavy damage when Hurricane Harvey hit Rockport, Texas on August 26, 2017. (MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

VA’s Vet Centers in Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, Miami, Palm Beach and Jupiter are closed through Monday.


VA Pharmacy Disaster Relief Plan:

VA has activated the Pharmacy Disaster Relief Plan for Veterans in Hurricane Harvey and Irma impact areas. Eligible Veterans in the affected areas with a VA ID Card needing emergency supply of medications will be able to go to any retail pharmacy open to the public with a written prescription or active VA prescription bottle (not older than 6 months and with refills available) to receive at least a 10 day supply. Note: This does not include controlled substances. Patients must present a valid VA ID Card.

The Heritage Health Customer Care Line is available for VA patients in the affected areas at 1-866-265-0124, option 1. Heritage’s hours of operations for hurricane coverage: Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET, Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET

Pharmacy refill emergency procedures are still in effect for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Eligible Veterans with a VA ID Card who need an emergency supply of medication can go to any retail pharmacy open to the public with a written prescription or an empty VA prescription bottle to receive at least a 10-day supply, with the exception of controlled substances.

Connect: @JonathanVets1 |

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