American Diabetes Association, JDRF and Insulin for Life Respond to Catastrophic Flooding Due to Hurricane Harvey in Texas

Arlington, Virginia
August 29, 2017

More than 3,750 pounds of supplies, to serve the Houston, Galveston, Harris County and Corpus Christi communities, will arrive by this Friday, and 1-800-DIABETES to have extended phone hours this week and weekend

In a landmark partnership, the American Diabetes Association (ADA), JDRF and Insulin for Life (IFL USA) have secured and shipped more than 3,750 pounds of donated diabetes supplies to people with diabetes affected by Hurricane Harvey. Five pallets, each of which includes 200,000 syringes, 50,000 pen needles and 20,000 alcohol pads, are already en route to the Houston area. Accompanying each pallet are separate packages containing dozens of blood glucose meters along with thousands of glucose test strips and lancets, which will allow an individual to test his or her blood glucose three times per day for nearly two months. More than 25,000 units of analogue and human insulins, in both vial and pen forms, will also be delivered for each pallet, pending safe delivery and temperature control conditions at the locations. 

One pallet is for immediate distribution by the Houston Health Department to evacuees with diabetes who are sheltered at the George R. Brown Convention Center. The second pallet will be distributed by Sen. Larry Taylor’s office to the Galveston communities of Clear Creek, Friendswood, League City and Victory Lakes. Two pallets are being delivered to the Harris County Health Department. And the fifth pallet is going to the City of Corpus Christi Health Department. 

The ADA’s Center for Information, 1-800-DIABETES, will have extended phone hours this week to assist anyone in need: 

- 8:30 a.m. ET to 10:00 p.m. ET, Tuesday, August 29 through Friday, September 1; and 

- 10:00 a.m. ET to 4:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, September 2.

On the special web link launched yesterday, diabetes.org/hurricaneharvey, information will be updated regularly to include the latest resources, including the Red Cross’s live map of open shelters; tips for how to advocate for yourself or a loved one with diabetes; recommendations on how to help someone with diabetes and signs of a diabetes emergency for caregivers and emergency personnel; a list of open pharmacies; and additional resources from partners on how to access or donate supplies and/or medications. 

Information and resources include: 

- How to donate diabetes supplies to Insulin for Life

- Live map of open shelters from the American Red Cross, or 1-800-733-2767

- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and federal aid programs for Texas residents

- Department of HHS support services, HHS Disaster Distress Line 1-800-985-5990

- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hurricane resources

- Link to list of open pharmacies in the Houston area

- Texas Health and Human Services – call 211 for assistance

- The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies has a hotline, 1-800-626-4949, to help people with disabilities and the elderly to safety and provide immediate needs of durable medical equipment and supplies 

- Americares is providing emergency support and services 

- List of Texas food banks

- South Texas Blood and Tissue Center – to find a South Texas location to donate blood, call 210-731-5590

- American Red Cross – for nationwide locations to donate blood or platelets 

An additional four pallets of donated diabetes supplies have been secured by IFL USA, and the ADA and JDRF will continue to work on delivery of these supplies to shelters and county health leaders in the region as soon as possible. As additional supplies are donated, all three partners will continue to collaborate to provide even more life-saving supplies and medications to those in need.

During an emergency crisis such as this, it is critical for people with diabetes to have access to the medications and testing supplies needed to maintain proper blood glucose control, and to prevent serious sudden complications such as hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia 1. Visit diabetes.org/hurricaneharvey for the latest information. 

About the American Diabetes Association

More than 30 million Americans have diabetes, and every 21 seconds another person is diagnosed with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association (Association) is the global authority on diabetes and since 1940 has been committed to its mission to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. To tackle this global public health crisis, the Association drives discovery in research to treat, manage and prevent all types of diabetes, as well as to search for cures; raises voice to the urgency of the diabetes epidemic; and provides support and advocacy for people living with diabetes, those at risk of developing diabetes and the health care professionals who serve them. For more information, please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETESS (1-800-342-2383) or visit diabetes.org. Information from both of these sources is available in English and Spanish. Find us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn)

1 W Cefalu et. al. The Hurricane Katrina Aftermath and Its Impact on Diabetes Care. Diabetes Care 29:1, 158-160. http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/29/1/158.