T1D CARE IN THE WAKE OF HURRICANE WILLA

10/22/18
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Updated: October 23,  10 a.m. ET

Willa is approaching the Pacific Coast of Mexico where it will make landfall later Tuesday as a major hurricane with destructive winds, life-threatening storm surge and flooding rainfall.

For a brief time on Monday, Willa was a Category 5 hurricane but it has steadily weakened since then due to an eyewall replacement cycle and increasing wind shear. That said, Willa is still a dangerous hurricane threat for Mexico and all preparations should be complete.

A hurricane warning is in effect from San Blas to Mazatlán, including Las Islas Marias. A tropical storm warning is in effect from Playa Perula to San Blas and from north of Mazatlán to Bahia Tempehuaya.

At a Glance

  • Hurricane Willa remains a Category 4 hurricane off the Pacific coast of Mexico.
  • Willa is forecast to be a major hurricane at landfall in Mexico later Tuesday.
  • A hurricane warning has been issued for a part of Mexico’s Pacific coast.
  • Moisture from Willa will eventually enhance rainfall in Texas and possibly along the Gulf Coast.

Local information

  • Stay informed about the recommendations of the local authority such as the Municipal Civil Protection Unit or the Jalisco State Civil Protection and Fire Protection Unit
  • Stay informed of the weather in official media such as the Institute of Astronomy and Meteorology of the University of Guadalajara, and the National Water Commission (Conagua), through their social networks.
  • Jalisco will be affected by torrential storms and tropical cyclones so listen to the authorities and evacuate your home in a timely manner.
  • In case of emergency, call 911 or 36 75 3060 of the Jalisco State Civil Protection and Fire Department.
  • Be on the lookout for the Jalisco Uepcbj Civil Protection notices and if you live in the area, have your phones at hand in case of emergency:
    • 01 333 675 30 60 – Guadalajara
    • 01 322 225 07 64 – Puerto Vallarta
    • 01 315 355 63 75 – Puerto Melaque

If you’re in the affected area

  • You can mark yourself safe on Facebook
  • Join the Beyond Type 1 app for iOS + Android (also accessible on desktop) – connect with other individuals and families impacted by Type 1 diabetes. The “Find Members Near Me” feature can be especially helpful for finding those who may be able to support with everything from stress to supplies.

Reminders

  • Identify yourself as someone who has diabetes
  • Stay hydrated
  • Keep emergency supplies with you to treat hypoglycemia
  • Secure insulin – If you can get to a pharmacy, it’s the best way to access your medicines or get emergency supplies.

Preparations in case of evacuation

Prepare a diabetes kit in an easy-to-carry waterproof bag or container to hold the documents, information, and supplies that you will want to have with you.

To keep in your kit

  • Type of diabetes, medical conditions, allergies, and previous surgeries and medications
  • Current medications, doses, and time you take them. Name,
    address and phone number of pharmacy
  • Doctor’s name, phone number, and address
  • Phone numbers and email addresses for your family, friends, and work.
    (Include out-of-town contacts.)
  • Copy of your health insurance card and photo ID
  • Letter from your diabetes care team with a list of your most recent diabetes
    medications, if possible.
  • Copy of your most recent laboratory result, like A1C results
  • Make, model and serial number of your insulin pump or CGM. Include pump
    manufacturer’s phone number in case you need to replace your device.
  • Cash

Diabetes supplies

  • Additional week supply (or more) of all medications, including insulin and Glucagon, if prescribed.
    If you lose power and you have unused insulin, don’t throw it out!
  • In an emergency, it is okay to use expired or non-refrigerated insulin.
  • Protect your insulin pump from water.
  • Supplies to check your blood sugar, like testing strips and lancets, extra batteries.
  • Extra supplies for insulin pump or CGM
  • Empty plastic bottle or sharps container to safely carry syringes, needles and lancets
  • Items to treat high blood sugar such as pump supplies (infusion sets) and/or syringes
  • Items to treat low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), like juice, honey, glucose.
  • Cooler and reusable cold packs. Note: Do NOT use dry ice and do not freeze the medication

Other supplies to pack

  • 2-day supply of non-perishable ready-to-go food, like: Pre-packaged tuna, beans, cheese and cracker snacks etc.
  • Nuts or nut butters
  • High-fiber/protein granola bars
  • Dried fruits
  • A 3-day supply of bottled water (or more)
  • Pen/pencil and note pad to record blood sugar, other test results and any new signs/symptoms
  • First aid supplies like bandages, cotton swabs, and antibiotic ointments or creams
  • Extra clothing, including socks and undergarments
  • Cell phone and charging supplies for phone and pump including battery pack
  • Flashlight and batteries

Other recommendations

  • Make sure that all your vaccinations are up-to-date.
  • Choose a meeting place with your family in case you are separated.
    Write down the location and include in your kit.
  • Wear a medical ID or medical alert bracelet or other forms of identification in case you are
    evacuated to a relief shelter.
  • For children, write down the name of the school, address, and phone number.
Note: Beyond Type 1 is proud to be a part of the Diabetes Disaster Response Coalition, alongside American Diabetes Association, Insulin for Life USA, JDRF, the American Association for Clinical Endocrinologists, the American Association for Diabetes Educators, Endocrine Society, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, Lilly, Insulet, and T1D Exchange, among others. 

For building a T1D care kit read The Diabetes Disaster Preparedness Plan. For additional reading, review A T1D’s Guide for Natural Disaster.