Connecticut residents can now have a database of pharmacies, dialysis centers and oxygen suppliers at their fingertips during an emergency, state officials announced Monday.
The state launched “Business Finder,” a web-based database that enables those businesses to update information in real time to help consumers access medicine, supplies or treatment during times when travel is difficult.
The site, at businessstatus.ct.gov, is mobile-optimized so it’s easy to view on smartphones as well as computers.
“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,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said in a statement. He announced the site’s launch with the state Department of Consumer Protection.
“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,” he said.
The site also allows users to search for information on nearby grocery stores and gas stations.
Users can search for businesses near their current location, using a phone’s geolocation service, or type in an address they want to search near.
DCP is reaching out to businesses, asking them to participate in the voluntary database. The first wave of pharmacies is still entering information onto the site, according to the department.
Once they are on the site, business representatives can update their listings with timely information, such as limited hours or whether a store is operating without power or phone service. Only authorized staff members from authorized companies can access the password-protected database.
“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,” DCP Commissioner Jonathan A. Harris said in a statement.
The site’s design, which has no graphics, is intended to help it load quickly. It can be accessed via all web browsers and on any smartphone that can get online.
State officials believe the site is the first of its kind, according to John Gadea, director of drug control at DCP.
“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,” he said in a statement.