Being Prepared For Diabetes Needs In Emergencies | Cornerstones4Care®

How to Prepare for Emergencies

No matter where you live, or how well you plan, emergencies can happen. Unexpected power outages, fires, floods, blizzards, and hurricanes can turn everyday life upside down. While being prepared for an emergency is important for all families, it is even more important to be prepared when diabetes is involved. 

Here are some things to do to be ready:

  • Pack an emergency kit. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends packing a clearly labeled emergency kit with at least 3 days’ worth of supplies and storing it in a place where it’s easy to find in a hurry. What is packed will vary based on each person’s individual care plan, but think about including:
    • All medications taken, including insulin, insulin delivery supplies, and any oral medications. Routinely check all medicines and supplies for expiration dates. Also make sure that you are following all medication storage requirements, including need for refrigeration, exposure to light, high or low temperatures, and humidity
    • Lancets, test strips, and any other testing supplies needed
    • Extra batteries for meters and/or pumps
    • Quick-acting carbs to raise blood sugar if it goes too low
    • Glucagon emergency medication in case of severe low blood sugar. Make sure someone with you knows how to correctly use this emergency medication. Ask your health care provider for more information
    • A written emergency contact list (remember, cell phone signals may jam or cell phones may run out of power just when a number is needed, so having a written list makes sense)
    • A copy of the diabetes care plan
  • If your school-age child is the one with diabetes, make sure to have an emergency plan in place at school. Make sure a certain staff member will be in charge of helping the child in the event of an emergency and that everyone involved knows who that person is
  • Make sure the person with diabetes is wearing a medical ID. Whether you choose a bracelet, necklace, shoe tag, or even a tattoo, being identified as a person with diabetes is helpful in getting urgent care in crisis situations

For more information on how to prepare for an emergency, visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  

Remember to talk to the health care team if you have any questions about managing specific diabetes needs in emergencies.

Who’s on Your Team?

You may not always think of it as a team, but the health care providers you work with to manage your diabetes are your diabetes care team. Are you missing any important players? Find out.

Meet the Diabetes Health Coach

One of the many resources you can access on is the online Diabetes Health Coach. This program can help people with type 1 diabetes build the healthy habits and skills that are needed to manage diabetes.