TABLE 1.

Focus Group Qualitative Themes

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FoodPower“My power went out for about seven days, so we ended up cooking everything we had in the freezer, but some of the churches had hot meals…”
“We couldn’t cook a lot of things without power. They weren’t in the shelters during Florence.”
Diabetes Management“Accessing a balanced diet was hard. We didn’t have access to food. Our stores were shut down.”
“And with diabetes, the kind of food you have to eat—it’s hard to get it”
“Everybody had to change [their diet]. You ate all your reserves, ate out of a can, and when you went to the store, everything was gone or very expensive.”
Emergency Shelters“The Red Cross—they don’t care about us. The food doesn’t benefit us.”
Community“There were [many] going through this and they worked together… to get food and we all went together.”
Flooding“But each time we had to evacuate, we had to go and stay with one of our children and they were fast food eaters.”
MedicationsEmergency Shelters“CVS came down [to the shelter] to fill the prescriptions. One [time] in eight days.”
“As far as it goes for my doctor, I can just reach out. Like I can just use my phone to email my pharmacist to get it sent in, but if I’m at the shelter without my phone, somebody needs to be able to go and get it…”
Community“I guess you could get your medicine before, like if you see it on the radio, TV, or news, you can go and get everything you need.”
“If the pharmacy or drug store was closed, you couldn’t get [your medications]. Many of them were robbed to get the medicines.”
Flooding“Those shelters need to be able to have the medications for you. In case the storm hit [and] you didn’t pack your insulin, they need to be able to have that insulin for you.”
“I was out of my medication and [the closest supplier] was 170 miles away.”
Diabetes Supplies and Community ResourcesPower“If you didn’t have a cell phone, when the power went out, there was no way to get in contact with the doctor.”
Diabetes Management“There were a lot of changes you have to go through [when evacuating]. And we couldn’t carry it all with us because carrying all that I have to medically… the old oxygen thing with us was a big inconvenience.”
“I think it was harder for everyone. It was something new to us. When Florence came along, at least we had some idea of what to do. But when Matthew came, we were in the dark about everything.”
“[Diabetes education] would’ve helped during this time.”
“.it didn’t take but three days, but I was out of my test strips [then].”
Emergency Shelters“Yeah just having someone to check your blood pressure and blood sugar [at the emergency
shelters] is needed. Like if you get sick, who does that?”
Community“During Hurricane Matthew, they seemed more readily available for us to fill out the FEMA application. My situation is a little different… I’m still out of my home.”
“Gas prices went sky high. Prices everywhere.”
“Yeah, you can see the difference [in FEMA funding] because if you drive down to the Tanglewood area (North Lumberton), you can see all the sides being torn out and being repaired, but down this way (South Lumberton), nothing.”
“5th Street did better off with funding, they had more funding. In regards to FEMA, they would turn people away from the other parts of town saying, ‘Sorry, your area wasn’t affected.’”
Flooding“No transportation to [the doctor’s office]. Roads were closed and you couldn’t get to it. they weren’t open anyways.”
“First time that we had water in this area, I saw the water; it was coming down the street. So, the emergency vehicles… they ain’t coming down.”
  • Participant demographic identities (n = 25)

  • Sex: male (50%), female (45%); Race: Black (75%), White (20.8%), American Indian or Alaska Native (8.3%)