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Jul
29

10 Steps to Preparing for an Emergency

By

are3

By Eloise D. Keene, MS, MPH, RD, LDN, CDE, DMS Certified Diabetes Educator

When an individual has diabetes, it is important to have a plan in place in case of an emergency situation. These situations may be as a result of a natural disaster such as a flood, tornado, earthquake or hurricane; however, they can also be man-made disasters like gas leaks, power outages, hazardous chemical spills, or even fires. Any of these incidents may cause a person with diabetes to leave or evacuate from their current location and find themselves in an entirely different environment. Having a preparedness plan can make this transition for the person with diabetes easier and more efficient for all those involved.

Here’s how to prepare:
1. Wear a medical ID that informs everyone that you have diabetes.
2. When possible, have a to-go kit or bag already prepared for a possible evacuation (a must during
hurricane season). The bag should include:
  • A plastic baggie with a pen/pencil, notepad/notebook, your current prescription for oral or injected medications and supplies, your health insurance card, living will, and healthcare power of attorney information.
  • Contact information for your healthcare providers and two emergency contacts.
  • A letter from your diabetes healthcare team that provides your most current diabetes treatment regime.
  • If possible, a 30-day supply of all medications.
  • Blood glucose testing supplies with one or two meters and extra batteries.
  • CGM supplies for use with a continuous glucose monitoring system.
  • Insulin pump supplies to include, extra batteries, several infusion sets, several reservoirs or cartridges, and/or pods.
3. A cooler/ice chest with refreezable gel packs ready for insulin and unused injected medications.
4. Two to three day supply of non-perishable food (i.e. meal replacement bars and shakes, peanut butter, cheese crackers and dry cereal).
  • Three day or more supply of bottled water.
  • Rapid acting carbohydrate source to treat hypoglycemia (i.e. hard candy, 6 oz. juice boxes, regular soda, glucose tablets, sugar, honey, or glucose gel).
5. Containers or empty laundry detergent- type bottles for used testing or insulin delivery supplies.
6. First aid kit with cotton swabs, topical medications, bandages. etc.
7. Pack extra comfortable clothing, include extra underwear and socks.
8. Have a mobile phone with extra batteries or an extra charger.
9. Have cash stored in a waterproof and insulated to-go bag.
10. Select a designated location to meet if you and family members become separated and you are unable
to contact them.

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