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Diabetics Living Along East Coast Urged to Prepare for Hurricane Florence

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09/11/2018 Release from the Diabetes Disaster Response Coalition:

Arlington, VA (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 [pdf] 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,” said 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,” said 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