“To the 20 million people in America who suffer with diabetes and other chronic health conditions (and their loved ones) — Planning ahead for an emergency event is even more important for you. Take the time to create a unique survival plan with your family, caregivers, physcians and friends.“ In the meantime, here is a very rough checklist you can follow in case of emergency (downloadable PDF checklist)
“Individuals with diabetes or any other chronic illness should follow guidelines similar to these below, no matter where you live (but first always remember to consult a professional)”
- Medicine and supplies should be stored in a defined location to be easily gathered if you must quickly evacuate home or work.
- Keep cool packs in your freezer to keep medicine cool.
- Compile an easy-to-reach kit including: Medical supplies: syringes, cotton balls, tissues, swabs, blood glucose testing strips, blood glucose meter, lancing device and lancets, urine ketone testing strips, items for your therapy and blood sugar monitoring
- An empty hard plastic bottle to dispose of syringes and lancets
- Cooler for insulin
- Pen and notebook
- Copies of prescriptions, insurance cards, medical information and contact list, including caregiver’s and physicians’ names and phone numbers
- Physician’s orders for your child’s care on file at school and in your disaster kit
- Glucagon emergency kit and fast-acting carbohydrate (glucose tablets, orange juice)
- Nonperishable food such as granola bars and water
- First-aid kit, flashlight, whistle, matches, candles, radio with batteries, work gloves
- Supplies for at least a week
- Something containing sugar in case you develop low blood sugar.
“No one can fully anticipate a natural disaster, but with preparation, people with diabetes can manage their disease,” said Dr. Sherry Martin, medical advisor. “Taking the time to prepare could make a huge difference in an emergency.”~ Dr. Sherry Martin
If disaster strikes, remember to:
- Maintain meal plan, keep hydrated
- Monitor blood sugar and record numbers.
- Wear shoes and examine feet often. If a foot wound develops, seek medical attention immediately.
- If relocated, call your doctors as soon as possible to maintain the continuity of your medical care.
- Parents of children with diabetes should identify which school staff members will assist children in an emergency.
- If you are displaced, identify yourself immediately as a person with diabetes so authorities can provide medical care.