As the Hawaiian Islands brace for Hurricane Lane, a category 4 hurricane that could potentially impact Hawaii between Thursday and Friday, the diabetes community is rallying to make sure that people living with diabetes---especially those who depend upon insulin---are fully supported. The Diabetes Disaster Response Coalition (DDRC) which is comprised of the nation’s leading diabetes organizations is urging all people with diabetes and their loved ones in Hawaii to prepare for Hurricane Lane by putting together a diabetes kit and making a plan to stay healthy and safe during the storm and in its aftermath.
The Coalition has created a Patient Preparedness Plan specifically for people living with diabetes as they face unique challenges 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 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 healthcare, 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 for the latest information. 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 DDRC.
During an emergency, it is critical for people with diabetes to have access to the medications and testing supplies needed to 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; and
• 1-314-INSULIN for physicians and health care providers to get connected to 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.
About the DDRC
The Diabetes Disaster Response Coalition (DDRC) formed in 2017 in response to a succession of devastating Atlantic hurricanes that impacted the mainland US 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 of 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 and Twitter.
AADE is a multi-disciplinary professional membership organization dedicated to improving diabetes care through innovative education, management and support. With more than 14,000 professional members including nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, exercise specialists and others, AADE has a vast network of practitioners working with people who have, are affected by or are at risk for diabetes. Learn more at www.diabeteseducator.org, or visit us on Facebook (American Association of Diabetes Educators), Twitter (@AADEdiabetes) and Instagram (@AADEdiabetes).