Preparing an Emergency Diabetes Kit

Mary Kate Cary Health Guide
  • This just in, from the Texas Extension Disaster Education Network at Texas A&M University:

    With hurricane season starting up again, it’s a good idea to have emergency supplies ready. So along with the things that the rest of the world stockpiles – such as a three-day supply of bottled water and non-perishable food for each member of the family, water purification tablets, cash, clothing, blankets, batteries, radios, flashlights, toilet paper, a can opener and a standard first aid kit, to name a few– you probably should stock up on diabetes supplies too.

    Dr. Carol Rice, the Texas extension health specialist, advises having enough diabetes supplies and medications for at least two weeks.
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    "Individuals' diabetes supply kits will vary," Rice said, "but here are some things to think about including: diabetes pills and/or insulin and syringes or insulin-pump supplies, lancets, blood sugar meter with strips and batteries, a hard-sided container to dispose of needles and lancets, urine ketone strips, glucagon emergency kit, glucose tablets, sugared sodas, juice and hard candies, other medications (such as those for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol) if necessary, over-the-counter medications for pains, nausea and vomiting, and diarrhea, antiseptic wipes, hand sanitizer and a cooler pack for insulin."

    People with diabetes should also keep medical information available, Rice said. This includes insurance, Medicaid or Medicare card, list of medications and doses, list of doctors and their phone numbers, and the pharmacy's phone number.

    All medications and supplies should be kept together in a waterproof container, and placed in an easy-to-access location, Rice said. During a disaster, insulin can be stored at 86 F or less for up to 28 days but should not be frozen or placed on dry ice.

    Be sure to check the expiration dates on the prescription items first, in case they expire quickly.

    Good luck!

    Tell us how you prepare for emergency situations in the message boards.
Published On: June 21, 2006