‘Business Finder’ App is State’s Latest Tool to Protect Residents During Times of Emergency
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy and the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) today announced the launch of a brand new public tool in the event of a natural disaster, storm or other type of emergency that will provide consumers with information they need in order to quickly and safely get medicine, supplies, or treatment when travel is difficult and business closures are prevalent.
“Business Finder” – located at http://businessstatus.ct.gov – is a web-based, mobile optimized database that allows pharmacies, dialysis centers, and oxygen suppliers to update business information in real-time before and during an emergency, so customers can find a store or treatment center that is open and can meet their needs.
“We do everything we can to protect citizens in an emergency,” Governor Malloy said. “As we’ve learned from previous crises, we must always make every effort to use the latest technology and collaborate with the private sector to ensure the public health and safety. ‘Business Finder’ is a tool that we encourage consumers to begin using during these emergency periods when certain medical and safety supplies are needed but business closures may be prevalent due to power outages, impassable roads, or other factors.”
“A hallmark of Governor Malloy’s strong leadership, which has been particularly evident to all in times of emergency, is his commitment to ensuring that state government works with community partners and private industry to consistently inform and protect Connecticut citizens,” DCP Commissioner Jonathan A. Harris said. “In chaotic times, accurate and timely information is an imperative, and we’re confident that the new Business Finder will help meet a critical need.”
“Business Finder” is voluntary for businesses to participate in this effort, and the first round of pharmacies is still entering their information into the database. In the event of an emergency, businesses can then update their listing with new information, such as limited hours, operating without power, operating without phone service -- whatever conditions they are experiencing.
“As far as we know, this is the very first mobile optimized website anywhere that’s specifically designed to provide information on pharmacy operations, portable oxygen, home medical supplies and dialysis treatment to the general public and to the State’s emergency Operations Center as part of an emergency response,” John Gadea, Director of Drug Control for DCP, said. “We anticipate that it will also be a great tool for visiting nurses, the United-Way’s 2-1-1 service, shelters, and other facilities that need to locate life-saving medicine or services.”
Without graphics to slow its function, the website is clean and designed to work with all major browsers including Safari, Chrome, Internet Explorer and Firefox on PCs, Macs, notebook computers and all types of Smart Phones, as long as you can access the internet.
“Our Drug Control Director and his staff worked with state IT personnel to develop this tool from the ground up,” Commissioner Harris said. “It will help consumers find the pharmacies and dialysis centers that are open and operational during any type of emergency. The listings can be maintained in real time at no cost to consumers or the state, and can be accessed from any computer, notebook, or smartphone as long as some type of internet access or Wi-Fi is available.”
Using their device’s geo-positioning function, residents can search for nearby options, or they can enter a street address, town and zip code. This will allow consumers to find a place to get the medication and supplies they need without having to call a dozen or more stores to find out who’s open.
“We believe this tool is going to be a great asset to consumers and businesses,” Commissioner Harris said. “We’ll invite Connecticut’s, dialysis providers, grocery stores and gasoline retailers to participate in this database on a voluntary basis as well, and are setting up a portion of the database for them.”
Only authorized staff of authorized businesses, using a specific passcode, can go in and add or edit their information in the database.
DCP has broad responsibilities, including oversight and regulation of the state’s 695 pharmacies through its Drug Control Division. The division regulates all persons and businesses involved in producing and distributing all legal drugs, medical devices and cosmetics in Connecticut, and oversees licensing for pharmacies, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and other related groups. Its goal is to ensure that safe and steady supplies of medicine and other health care devices are available to Connecticut’s residents.