Jenilee Matz has a master’s degree in public health and worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a health communications specialist. She writes for several health publications including Everyday Health, HealthDay, and Diabetic Connect.
Unexpected emergencies are a part of life. Natural disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and blizzards can happen almost anywhere. Acts of terrorism also occur and could send your daily routine into turmoil.
Then, after the horrible event ends, you'll face another battle. There's a chance you could be stranded in your home without power or away from your home for days, weeks, or even months. If you don’t have access to your medication, blood sugar testing supplies, and other necessities, you’ll face a medical emergency.
It’s crucial for you to be ready for an emergency. Taking the time to prepare now can save your life in the future.
Items for Your Diabetes Emergency Kit
The American Diabetes Association suggests stocking up on enough diabetes supplies to last for at least three days. Store these items in a waterproof, insulated container that’s easy to carry. Tell your family and friends where the kit is located in your home in case you’re unable to get to it. It’s a good idea to stock regular safety items—such as flashlights, batteries, and first aid supplies—near your diabetes care kit.
Fill up your kit with the following supplies
Insulin and syringes or insulin pump and supplies.
Medication including oral diabetes meds and any other prescription or over-the-counter drugs you take regularly. Store all medicines in their original containers.
Blood glucose meter. Be sure to include your lancing device and lancet, alcohol swabs, test strips, and extra batteries for your meter.
A safe location to dispose your used lancets in such as an empty bottle with a lid.
Items you would need to treat hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia, such as glucose tablets, hard candy, or fruit juice. Include a glucagon emergency kit and urine ketone testing products if you use them.
Water and healthy, non-perishable foods. Drinking enough liquids to prevent dehydration is a must. Having nutritious foods on hand can help keep your blood sugar in check.
Diabetes tag or medical ID bracelet so others know you have diabetes.
Copies of important items. Make copies of all your prescriptions and health insurance cards in case you need prescription refills or medical care.
A detailed medical list. This list should include the exact doses and times you take your medications. Also note any allergies you have to medications.
Emergency contact list of family members, friends, and doctors.
Comfortable, close-toed shoes. You’ll need good shoes to protect your feet.
Set a reminder to check your supply kit every few months and replace expired medicines. Update your medical and emergency contact lists regularly.
The road to recovery
The days and weeks following a disaster can be especially stressful. Take care of yourself and stick to your diabetes treatment plan to stay on top of your health. If you run out of insulin, medication, food, or water, contact a local hospital or the American Red Cross.
Do you have an emergency kit? What's in yours? Comment with your answers below.