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Diabetes Disaster Kit Supplies
It is crucial for every family to have a disaster kit ready to go to meet the family food, water and medical needs for at least 3 days. Although you can purchase special emergency kits, it's easy to assemble your own and the quality of the food supplies will be better for people with diabetes. In addition to your basic living supplies you will also need to assemble a diabetes supplies kit. If you evaucate to a shelter there is no guarantee they will have the supplies on hand to deal with your condition. If you are sheltering at home you should be able to take care of your own medical needs for at least three days and possibly longer (e.g. hurricane Katrina).
Assemble the names, addresses and phone numbers of all the members of your medical team in one directory. This should include your primary care physician, endocrinologist, certified diabetes educator, nutritionist, dentist, ophthalmologist, and/or other specialists such as cardiologist, podiatrist, etc.
Prepare a list of all the medications you take including the correct spelling of the name, dosages and frequency, the doctor who prescribed them and your pharmacists name and number. You should also know what types of insulin, if you are insulin dependent, which you can substitute for your own brand. Include the contact information and policy numbers for your health insurance provider.
Carry a copy of those two lists in your wallet at all times and include in your emergency diabetes kit(s). Consider purchasing and wearing a medical alert ID. In an emergency, when you cant speak for yourself, a medical alert bracelet can speak for you. It provides emergency professionals immediate information about your condition that could save your life! Nearly 95% of emergency responders look for a medical ID.
Prepare two diabetes emergency kits; one for the car and the other for the house. A small pack, plastic shoe box or other easy to carry container will do the trick. The car diabetes emergency kit can be left in the trunk, though you have to schedule periodic inventories to make sure the supplies have not expired.
The car is an important location for an emergency kit because you could be stuck in a blizzard such as the one that occurred in Chicago in 2011 stranding hundreds of motorists for over 12 hours. Or, Vermont last year, caught on the wrong side of massive flooding and road and bridge closures.
Diabetes Supply Kit
Test strips, control solutions, back-up meter, extra batteries
Alcohol swabs, lancets, bacterial wipes and syringes (if insulin dependent)
Ketone test strips, ketone meter (and instructions on how to read) if necessary for monitoring your kidney function
Pump supplies (if you use an insulin pump)
Glucagon, glucose tabs or fast acting sugar for lows
Copies of all user manuals and warranties for gadgets
Medications (3 days minimum)
Basic Emergency Supplies
Absolutely Should Not Be Without
Diabetes Emergency Kit (duplicate for auto)
Food (See below) (duplicate for auto at least one day supply)
Water (See below) (duplicate for auto at least one day supply)
First aid kit (duplicate for auto)
A battery-powered, hand crank, or solar radio. A NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert can also be helpful
Flashlight or battery operated lanterns
Should be a part of the emergency kit
Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
Manual can opener
Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
Whistle to signal for help
Crow bar for removing debris
Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
Household chlorine bleach with no perfumes or additives and medicine dropper
Matches in a waterproof container
Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
Did we mention extra batteries?!
Other Items to consider
Spare pair of glasses
Other prescriptions or over the counter medications you take on a regular basis
Infant formula and diapers (if you have infant children)
Pet food and extra water for your pet
Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
Cash or traveler's checks and change if the electricity is out stores (if they are open) may need to resort to manual methods of money exchange
Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from www.ready.gov.
Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate. For the car, a solar blanket is lightweight and compact.
Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
Paper and pencil
Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
First Aid Kit
No home should be without a first aid kit. Here are some items to include:
We all need protein, carbohydrates and fats to keep up our energy, so be sure to store nonperishable foods that will meet these requirements:
If you live alone, or have a small family you might consider buying single-serving sizes whenever possible, because you can't depend on refrigeration after the containers have been opened. Make sure to periodically check the foods in your emergency food pantry, so that you don't keep foods that have passed their expiration dates.
Pack a separate emergency food container and keep it in your car. Choose nuts, crackers, dried beef, dried fruit. If you live in the northern latitudes include a container to melt snow for water.
Collect all the elements of your emergency kit together in one place and pack it in easily transportable carriers (canvas bags, back packs, etc.) You may have to grab your kit and move quickly, so have it in a handy place. Remember, you will need to periodically rotate the food, water, medications and any diabetes supplies that may expire.
Emergency and Disaster Planning
Kentucky Department of Public Health, Cabinet for Health and Family Services
Washington State Department of Public Health
Updated August 8, 2012
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Costa Rica Travel Corp. will donate a portion of the proceeds to and is a sponsor of Defeat Diabetes Foundation.
Send your unopened, unexpired test strips to: