There are approximately 25 million people with diabetes living in the United States. While having a Diabetes emergency kit may not be something you think about often, having a few extra items stashed away in a safe place may mean the difference between life and death in the event of a natural disaster. Given the prevalence of major natural disasters around the country, there should also be enough diabetes supplies in your emergency kit to last at least three days. This should allow you to safely wait out the aftermath of an earthquake, hurricane or anything else that can impede your progress to your home or medical center.
These supplies are going to vary depending on your particular condition and how you manage your diabetes, so be sure to create a diabetes emergency kit that is customized to your specific medical needs. Please feel free to add your thoughts and suggestions to the comments section and we will regularly update this list.
Diabetes Emergency Kit Essentials
1. Extra bottles of insulin, medications, test strips and pump sites. Check with your insurance company about ordering your supplies in 60 or 90 day supplies.
2. Alcohol wipes. Prior to insulin injections it's important to sterilize the area.
3. Cooler. Use a cooler to store insulin and other medications. If you keep a stash of cool packs in the freezer these will keep your meds cool for up to 48 hours. Ice may not be the best option since it will melt much faster than a cool pack.
4. Flash light. If the power goes out a flash light is essential. Having several fully charged flash lights stashed around the house is a much safer and longer lasting option that candles.
5. Extra batteries. You never know when an extra battery may come in handly, but having several sizes available during an emergency could mean....
6. Medical ID bracelet. Anyone with a chronic disease should understand how important it is to have a diabetes medical ID bracelet or other form of emergency medical ID that can inform first responders in the event of an emergency. You should consider having your name, diabetes, insulin pump or insulin dependent, known allergies, medications and emergency contact numbers engraved on your medical ID tag.
7. Personal diabetes medical plan. In case others need to care for you or if you are unable to communicate if is important to have an updated personal diabetes medical plan. This plan would include your medical history, emergency procedures and contact information among other things.
8. Blood sugar log. Since high blood sugar can be caused by a lack of insulin, too much food, illness, inactivity or stress it's important to maintain an accurate record of your blood sugar levels. High blood sugar generally develops over a longer period of time, so keeping a blood sugar log during an emergency may prove vital if you find yourself unable to communicate.
9. Drinks and snacks. It's always important to have non-perishables and plenty of water on hand as part of any emergency preparedness plan. If you have diabetes having snacks and water is life saving. Try keeping a stash of health snacks and water bottles on hand in both your home and car.
10. Cell phone, pager or other communication device. You should also have a way to contact others or be contacted in case of emergency. If you find yourself away from home for any extended period of time, it can be helpful to let someone you are with know where you keep your emergency kit. Taking the time now to put your diabetes emergency kit together can help you in an otherwise uncontrollable event later.