As Hurricane Florence Makes Landfall, Diabetes Patients Urged to Prepare

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By : Suvarna Sheth

As the U.S. Carolina Coast hunkers down for Hurricane Florence to make landfall today, people with diabetes, especially those that use insulin to manage their blood sugars, are being urged to make sure they are prepared with everything they need during and after the storm.

The Diabetes Disaster Response Coalition (DDRC) has a host of patient preparedness resources that include a checklist of supplies, real-time updates for open pharmacies in the community, and guidelines on how to best prepare a person with diabetes for an emergency or natural disaster.

The coalition, comprised of the nation’s leading diabetes organizations, has put together a Patient Preparedness Plan to help people with diabetes face the unique challenges of effectively managing their diabetes during times of disaster.

You can download the plan in English here.

Download the plan in Spanish here.

A list of state resources can be found here.

“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 in a press release.

The organization stresses major storms may knock out electricity for hours, days or longer, making it difficult to refrigerate or store lifesaving insulin.

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.

Other resources provided by DDRC include:

Open Pharmacies: Real-time updates for open pharmacies In hurricane-impacted regions find a list of open pharmacies in the community.

Help for People with Disabilities: Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies helps people with disabilities and the elderly to safety and provide immediate needs for durable medical equipment and supplies hotline: 1-800-626-4949.

Find a Shelter: Live map of open shelters from the American Red Cross or 1-800-RED-CROSS.