Diabetes Emergency Relief Coalition Has Resource Lists for Residents in the Path of Tropical Storm Nate and Continues to Support Puerto Rico and the Caribbean Devastated by Hurricane Maria


Michelle Kirkwood

Arlington, Virginia
October 6, 2017

Two call centers: 1-800-DIABETES for patients and 1-314-INSULIN hotline (phone and text messages) for physicians and health care providers who need diabetes supplies

Convened by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), a group of eight leading diabetes care and research organizations continue, through their Diabetes Emergency Relief Coalition (DERC), to help provide critical diabetes supplies to regions impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, and Tropical Storm Nate. 

In preparation for the landfall of Tropical Storm Nate in Louisiana and Mississippi this weekend, a list of emergency resources including government contacts, pharmacies and a checklist of to dos for people with diabetes is available at www.diabetes.org/hurricanerelief

Given the extremely limited communication capacity and logistical challenges to ensure the safe and timely delivery of supplies to Puerto Rico, the group is coordinating through the professional members of the DERC, volunteers and relief organizations to identify needs. Supplies continue to be sent to Puerto Rico, St. Croix, most of which have been made possible through personal deliveries to health care providers using volunteer-based private flights. 

The most significant and accessible resources are two phone lines for assistance: 

1-800-DIABETES for individuals with diabetes care needs; and 

1-314-INSULIN for physicians and health care providers to request diabetes supplies.

ADA’s Center for Information, 1-800-DIABETES, is open from 8:30 a.m. ET to 8:00 p.m. ET (7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. CT), Monday through Friday.

The 1-314-INSULIN supply request hotline is staffed by members of the DERC and open from 9:00 a.m. ET to 6:00 p.m. ET (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT), Monday through Friday and with the same hours on Saturday and Sunday, October 7 and 8. Physicians and health care providers in need of supplies can also contact the hotline via text message and via WhatsApp. 

Please check diabetes.org/hurricanerelief for the latest information, including specific resources for support in Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Puerto Rico, and other islands in the Caribbean including the U.S. Virgin Islands, and:

How to donate unexpired and unopened diabetes supplies to Insulin for Life USA

Visit mydiabetesemergencyplan.com for a storm preparation checklist

Link to list of open pharmacies in the hurricane-impacted regions (This website is updated regularly.)

Link to list of open Walgreen’s pharmacies in Puerto Rico

Link to list of open CVS pharmacies in Puerto Rico

Live map of open shelters from the American Red Cross or 1-800-RED-CROSS

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

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

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or 1-800-621-3362

To check on the status of loved ones in Puerto Rico, the Federal Affairs Administration asks family and friends to call 202-778-0710 or to send an email to maria1@prfaa.pr.gov

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 hyperglycemia¹. 

The Diabetes Emergency Relief Coalition, convened by the American Diabetes Association, includes JDRF, Insulin for Life USA, Endocrine Society, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, American Association of Diabetes Educators, Research! America and T1D Exchange. For more information about the DERC, click here. Every day since September 3, the DERC has sent one to two packages to the areas impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, each package containing approximately 80-100 pounds of insulin and diabetes management supplies. 

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.