This year we have seen many mandatory evacuations because of both hurricanes and fires. When you live with diabetes in your home, how do you prepare for disasters? Do you have a list of evacuation supplies checked off and ready to go?
People in the hurricane states, often have an emergency tote or bag that they can grab on the way out of the door but remembering everything that you could need can be a challenge. Over the years, we have come up with a detailed list of evacuation supplies for people with diabetes. In lieu of recent events, I thought that it might be a good time to go over some of the items we think you need when preparing for disasters with type 1 diabetes.
Keep a diabetes bag near the door
As I mentioned, it is important to have all of your supplies in a quick, easy-to-grab container. Evacuations can be planned, but sometimes you are only given minutes to have all of your valuables ready to leave. Make sure your diabetes bag is always in the same place so that you won’t waste valuable time trying to find it.
Make sure that you have some of the basics like a Frio pack if you live in a warm climate. You will also want a flashlight and spare batteries in case your area loses power. Candles and wooden matches can also provide light and heat if need be.
A first aid kit should also be in your emergency container. While you may have a lot of diabetes supplies, other medical emergencies can happen and basic first aid is a must. Don’t forget to add anti-diarrhea and anti-nausea medication to your kit. You should also have copies of all prescriptions in case you are away from your home pharmacy and need to access your medication refills.
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.
It is recommended that you pack two weeks worth of diabetes supplies 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
Don’t forget to bring spare blankets, cash in case bank machines are down, and pet food for your furry family members.
I am sure that I have forgotten a few things but I would suggest that you view the Diabetes Advocacy Emergency page or download the evacuation checklist. This will help you feel a bit more prepared should a disaster hit your community.