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Healthline Connects

Attention Diabetics: Be Prepared for an Emergency

Earthquakes, fires, floods - we all have to keep our emergency supply kits up to date and well stocked. People with chronic illnesses have to go even further and be prepared to take care of them selves in event of emergency. November is National Diabetes Month. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) offers tips for diabetics who want to be prepared for emergencies and disasters:

Have these extra supplies on hand, along with plastic bags which seal tight:
  • Medications and supplies - ADA recommends having 2 weeks worth of supplies on hand:
    • lancing devices, lancets, meters and strips, alcohol wipes
    • extra socks and skin protection ointment
    • For insulin dependent diabetics: syringes, glucose tablets or gel, cotton balls, hand sanitizer, glucagon emergency kit, home sharps container for used syringes, a cold pack
    • For users of an insulin pump: extra batteries, remote control, insertion device, infusion set, tape
  • ADA recommends having at least a 3 day supply of nonperishable food available at all times:
    • canned fruits and vegetables, tuna and other canned meats, beans
    • powdered milk or other shelf stable milk, juice, clean water
    • Boxed items like crackers, dried fruit and nuts
  • Documentation of personal records
    • extra prescriptions of each medication that you are on, signed by a doctor
    • list of all medications taken and doses
    • Contact information for all health care providers, pharmacy, and insurance company
    • Diabetes care plan: medication and meal times, record book of blood sugar results
Diabetics should always identify themselves as such to emergency personnel. The ADA has a complete 36 page guide for sale on their website for $4.95 - The Disaster Preparedness Guide for People with Diabetes.
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