In today’s world, preparing for disasters when you have diabetes has become extremely important. Each year we see more and more mandatory evacuations because of natural disasters.
If you live with diabetes preparing for disasters involves more than just saving your birth certificate however. You need to have supplies and prescriptions in a safe and easily accessible place.
Have a bag of supplies ready to go
One way to prepare for a disaster is to have an emergency tote or bag that you can grab on the way out of the door. Rather than wait until the last minute to remember everything you need, we suggest having a list prepared of items you will need to gather at the last minute and one of items to keep in a go bag.
It is important to have all of your supplies in a quick, easy-to-grab container or bag. Evacuations can be planned, but sometimes you are only given minutes to have all of your valuables ready to leave. Preparing your diabetes bag ahead of time and always keeping it in the same place will make life a little easier during such a stressful time.
Disaster Pack Basics
In preparing for disasters when you have diabetes, there are certain things that always should be packed and ready to go. If you live in a warm climate you will want to have a Frio pack to keep your insulin cool. You’ll need a flashlight and spare batteries in case your area loses power. Candles and wooden matches can also provide light and heat if need be.
Pack a basic first aid kit in your emergency container. While you will also have to pack a lot of diabetes supplies, other medical emergencies can happen and basic first aid is a must. Things like anti-diarrhea and anti-nausea medication are often overlooked. Make sure to have copies of all prescriptions in case you are away from your home pharmacy and need to access your medication refills. You should also carry a list of the phone numbers for your pharmacy, doctor and diabetes clinic.
Food and drink
We have all seen the images of people stocking up on cases of water and in an emergency it is vital. If you have drinkable tap water, fill up milk jugs, juice jugs, and other items with water to take with you. Also pack juice packs, tinned food as well as cheese and cracker snacks. If you pack tinned items, don’t forget a hand can-opener as well.
You will also should ensure that your vehicle always has a supply of water, juice, and non-perishable snacks. You may not grab enough from your cupboard when you are leaving or may find yourself caught on a road unable to get back home to get these supplies.
When you are preparing for a disaster, pack at least two weeks worth of diabetes supplies to take with you during an evacuation. Consider bringing a spare meter, spare batteries, alcohol wipes, pump supplies, insulin, syringes, ketone strips, and medical tape.
Other items to remember
In an emergency, it can be easy to focus on things like food, water and medications while forgetting other important things. Make sure to also bring spare blankets, cash in case bank machines are down, and pet food for your furry family members.
To help you to ensure you have everything you need, please refer to the checklist below. Let us know if we have missed anything!