Tropical Storm Preparation

Hurricane, tropical and storm surge warnings have been issued for the northern Gulf Coast. Tropical Storm Barry is expected to reach the shore on Saturday morning and heavy rain is expected in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Arkansas. Rain estimates of 10-20 inches over the next week will likely lead to river flooding and flash flooding in these areas.

Follow these tips below to prepare for a disaster:

  • Put together a disaster preparedness kit and family communication plan.
  • Follow official updates and instruction, including calls for evacuation.
  • Be sure to check in with family and friends.
  • If evacuated, only return home once it is deemed safe by authorities.
  • If you incur damage to your property, be sure to photograph any damage for insurance claims.

Free emotional support for those impacted:

Optum is offering a free emotional support help line for all people impacted. This help line will provide those affected access to specially trained mental health specialists. The company’s public toll-free help line number, 866-342-6892, will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for as long as necessary. This service is free of charge and open to anyone. Specially trained Optum mental health specialists help people manage their stress and anxiety so they can continue to address their everyday needs. Callers may also receive referrals to community resources to help them with specific concerns, including financial and legal matters. 

Along with the toll-free help line, emotional-support resources and information are available online at View the Important Communications alert on near the bottom of the member home page for local resources. You can find the following resource centers by using a keyword search on

  • Coping Center: Type the keyword “coping” into the search bar, select Coping. Here you’ll find articles, guides, self-help tools and videos on coping with stress.
  • Resiliency Resources: Learn more about bouncing back after difficult times. Type “resiliency” into the search bar, select Recovery & Resiliency Center.

Optum covered members (EAP and behavioral health customers) continue to have their ongoing resources including Critical Incident Response Services (CIRS). We recommend they access through their account-specific support numbers. Emotional-support resources and information are also available online at

Additional National Resources:

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