T1D Exchange reached out to Dr. Mark Atkinson and Carol Atkinson, who have been working around the clock to get insulin and supplies to people affected by the hurricanes. Carol Atkinson, Director at Insulin for Life USA, speaks with T1D Exchange’s Dr. Alicia McAuliffe-Fogarty about the current needs of Insulin for Life to help people affected by the recent hurricanes.
T1D Exchange: What are the biggest challenges right now with helping people affected by the hurricanes?
Carol: The challenge is that there are limited communications in Florida due to the widespread electricity outages statewide which is different than Hurricane Harvey. This is day 4 of nothing working (e.g., power, internet, toilets, AC, water). There are probably needs out there that we aren’t reaching, we just need to spread the word that we are here and can help!
T1D Exchange: What are your organization’s most immediate supply needs right now?
Carol: Always insulin! Insulin in any form of delivery (vial, pen, or cartridge) and any brand!
Insulin must have been properly refrigerated, in expiration (not expired), and unused. We also need test strips (within expiration) and the usable meters (we can accept meters without strips and strips without meters). We also need syringes, lancets, and pen needles that are unused and within the expiration. Glucagon is also needed. We cannot take any pump or CGM supplies—we are just distributing emergency relief supplies.
T1D Exchange: Other than supplies, how else can the DOC (diabetes online community) help Insulin for Life distribute supplies?
Carol: Monetary donations are helpful for sending out supplies.
We need to let people in affected know we are here. We also need to let people know that we can’t just give insulin directly to people (individual patients); we need to work through their licensed health care providers. If you are a person with diabetes who needs help, contact your doctor’s office and the doctor will contact us to get you supplies.
T1D Exchange: Is there somewhere else we should send donations because you are in Florida?
Carol: Send them to us! The Insulin for Life facility was lucky that the facility was not affected. We are still receiving and sending packages out—we are more than fully functional (working a lot of overtime).
If you have supplies to send to help people affected by the hurricane, please send them to:
Insulin for Life USA, Inc.
5745 SW 75th Street, No. 116
Gainesville, Florida 32608
Here is additional information on donating: http://ifl-usa.org/how-you-can-help
– The Glu Team