National Diabetes Coalition Urges People with Diabetes Living Along the East Coast to Prepare for Hurricane Florence

Contact

Michelle Kirkwood
press@diabetes.org
703-299-2053

Arlington, Virginia
September 10, 2018

As the U.S. Eastern seaboard braces for Hurricane Florence, a category 4 hurricane that could potentially impact several states including Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia between Thursday and Friday, the diabetes community is rallying to make sure that people living with diabetes—especially those who depend upon insulin—have access to resources and support so they can continue to effectively manage their diabetes. The Diabetes Disaster Response Coalition (DDRC), comprised of the nation’s leading diabetes organizations, is urging all people with diabetes and their loved ones to prepare for Hurricane Florence by putting together a diabetes kit and making a plan to stay healthy and safe during the storm and in its aftermath.

The DDRC has created a Patient Preparedness Plan to help people with diabetes face the unique challenges of effectively managing their diabetes during times of disaster. Major storms may knock out electricity for hours, days or longer, making it difficult to refrigerate or store life-saving insulin. Medication and diabetes supplies may be lost, damaged or run out, and drinking water and healthy food may be difficult to find.

“When life is in a crisis mode, diabetes adds even more obstacles,” says Kelly Mueller, Vice President, American Diabetes Association and Co-Chair of the DDRC. “We know securing medication can be a challenge. Our goal, as a coalition, is to ensure that people with diabetes have swift and adequate access to health care, information and supplies.”

DDRC’s Patient Preparedness Plan also includes a checklist of supplies, information and guidelines to best prepare a person with diabetes in the case of an emergency or natural disaster and can be found on the diabetes.org/hurricanerelief site. Click here to download the Patient Preparedness Plan.

“We encourage all health care providers to reach out to their patients with diabetes and urge them to download this plan and put it into action,” says Carol Atkinson, Director, Insulin for Life USA and Co-Chair of the DDRC.  

During an emergency, it is critical for people with diabetes to have access to the medications and testing supplies needed to effectively maintain blood glucose control and to prevent serious sudden complications such as hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia. People living with diabetes should download the Patient Preparedness Plan and gather their important diabetes resources. 

Additional resources are two phone lines for assistance: 

  • 1-800-DIABETES for individuals with diabetes care needs. ADA’s Center for Information, 1-800-DIABETES, is open from 9:00 a.m. ET to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday; and
  • 1-314-INSULIN for physicians and health care providers to get connected to diabetes supplies.
  • Online resources including state-specific contacts at diabetes.org/hurricanerelief

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About the Diabetes Disaster Response Coalition

The Diabetes Disaster Response Coalition (DDRC) formed in 2017 in response to a succession of devastating Atlantic hurricanes that impacted the mainland U.S. and territories. DDRC (formerly known as DERC) is a national coalition of nonprofit and for-profit stakeholder organizations that have a direct interest in serving the needs of the diabetes community and/or a role in planning and executing supply chains, public awareness, and healthcare services during times of disasters.

Membership for the DDRC includes the American Diabetes Association, Insulin for Life USA, JDRF, the American Association for Clinical Endocrinologists, the American Association for Diabetes Educators, Beyond Type 1, Endocrine Society, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, and T1D Exchange, among many others. DDRC and the Diabetes Patient Preparedness Plan can be found on Facebook.

About the American Diabetes Association

Nearly half of American adults have diabetes or prediabetes; more than 30 million adults and children have diabetes; and every 21 seconds, another individual is diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S. Founded in 1940, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization whose mission is to prevent and cure diabetes, and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. The ADA drives discovery by funding 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 works to safeguard policies and programs that protect people with diabetes. In addition, the ADA supports people living with diabetes, those at risk of developing diabetes, and the health care professionals who serve them through information and programs that can improve health outcomes and quality of life. For more information, please call the ADA at 1-800-DIABETES (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)