Any kind of emergency or disaster can be devastating. And even more so to someone that has diabetes. Medical care and supplies are often hard to come by after any kind of natural disaster. Individuals that live with diabetes greatly depend on getting their medication and supplies in a timely manner. If that ability to access their diabetic supplies and medication is taken away, the situation can become life threatening.
It is always good to be prepared for an emergency in general. If you live with diabetes you need to make an extra effort to make sure that you also have a diabetes disaster plan. You need to inform your family and friends of this plan so that in an emergency you can get the care that you need.
It is scary enough to be a part of a disaster, don’t add more worry on by wondering whether or not you will have enough supplies to care for your daily diabetic needs. By following these tips you can be assured that in the case of an emergency your diabetic needs will be one thing you don’t have to worry about.
KEEP SUPPLY ON HAND
Keep at least a 30 day supply of all medications and other diabetic supplies on hand. It is always better to be prepared with extra supplies than not enough in the event that you lose contact and access to your local pharmacy. Make sure that you also have a way of keeping insulin cool.
Put together an emergency diabetes kit which includes:
- An extra glucose meter
- Test strips
- If you use a pump, you should include 3 days worth of supplies for your pump (infusion sets, reservoirs, batteries, etc.)
- Extra syringes
- Make sure you have a bottle of insulin or your daily medications in a place that is easy to access so that you can add them to your kit if needed
- Alcohol swabs
- Snack or glucose tablets to bring your bring your blood sugar up
Make a list of all medications that you are currently taking as well as any treatments that you are receiving. Include this along with any other relevant medical history in your emergency kit. It is also a good idea to keep this list in your purse or wallet.
Have a source of carbohydrates in case of a low blood sugar. It is smart to keep imperishable food such as granola bars and water on hand. Make sure you have a 3 day supply in your kit.
EMERGENCY CONTACT LIST
Make an emergency contact list. This list should include:
- Names and phone numbers for all of your doctors
- Phone numbers for the best people to contact in case of an emergency
- Insurance information. Copy your insurance and medical cards to keep in your emergency kit as well
FIRST AID KIT
Make sure that you have a first aid kit that is well stocked. Wounds for a diabetic take longer to heal and are more prone for infection, so make sure you have everything you need to keep any wounds clean and covered. Here is what the American Red Cross suggests you include in your first aid kit:
- 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
- 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
- 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
- 5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
- 5 antiseptic wipe packets
- 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
- 1 blanket (space blanket)
- Breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
- 1 instant cold compress
- 2 pair of nonlatex gloves (size: large)
- 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
- 1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
- 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
- 5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
- 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
- Oral thermometer (non-mercury/non-glass)
- 2 triangular bandages
- First aid instruction booklet
Have a medical ID bracelet or necklace that you can wear if needed. Keep an extra change of clothes with clean socks and a sturdy pair of shoes to keep your feet protected. In the event of an emergency try to stick to your meal plan as close as possible. Throwing your routine off can send your blood sugars on a roller coaster. Keep your own health at the top of your priority list so that you can be there for those that need you.