The Diabetes Disaster Response Coalition created several resources to aid people with diabetes in areas of the U.S. that are most at risk for damage from Hurricane Florence. The organization, along with the American Diabetes Association, is calling for preparedness as the storm makes its way toward the Eastern Seaboard.
The storm, which was upgraded to a Category 4 hurricane, is expected to make landfall in North Carolina and South Carolina and impact Georgia, Virginia and Maryland. According to The New York Times, evacuations have already commenced in the Carolinas and Virginia, but there are further precautions that people with diabetes need to take.
“When life is in a crisis mode, diabetes adds even more obstacles,” Kelly Mueller, vice president of ADA and co-chair of the Diabetes Disaster Response Coalition, said in a press release. “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.”
The Diabetes Disaster Response Coalition advises people with diabetes and their family members to have a preparedness plan, which includes a kit to store medical documentation and supplies, such as testing strips and lancets to check blood glucose, extra batteries, coolers and reusable cold packs as well as items to manage both high and low blood glucose levels. Information about medications, insulin pumps and doctor’s contact materials should be included in the kit as well.
People with diabetes in the areas expected to be affected the most by Hurricane Florence are being advised to gather medical documentation and supplies in the days leading up to the storm's landfall.
In addition to the suggested plan, ADA has a dedicated call center for aid during the storm (800-DIABETES or 800-342-2383) and for health care professionals who need diabetes supplies (314-INSULIN or 314-467-8546).
Last year, after hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, diabetes relief organizations noted the need for more supplies before landfall.
“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,” Carol Atkinson, director of Insulin for Life USA and co-chair of the Diabetes Disaster Response Coalition, said in a press release. – by Phil Neuffer