Handy diabetes emergency kit checklist
When an emergency strikes, it is easy to forget to pack everything you need. For someone with diabetes, that lack of preparedness could have devastating consequences. There are certain must-haves for diabetics, essential supplies that people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes need to have on hand at all times. Being stuck without these items when a hurricane, snowstorm, earthquake, or other emergency occurs could put you in a life-threatening situation. The American Diabetes Association recommends keeping a travel kit packed with three days’ worth of these diabetes essentials. It’s actually a good idea to take an diabetes emergency kit with you anytime you travel, stocked with these ten must haves for diabetics:
- Insulin and delivery supplies
Insulin is the most important item in a Type 1 diabetes emergency kit. Pack a three-day supply of every type of insulin you take (oral and injectable), along with extra syringes, alcohol wipes, bandages, and a travel-size sharps container.
Have a small cooler ready to keep your insulin at the right temperature in case you travel or lose power. Make sure you have cool packs chilled in your home freezer, ready to use.
- Glucose meter
You should always take your glucose meter with you, so you can check your blood glucose levels as needed.
- Diabetic testing supplies
Many glucose meters come with carrying cases for supplies, or you can simply use a baggie to keep diabetic testing supplies with your meter. Keep your supplies restocked with plenty of lancets, a lancing device, alcohol wipes or hand cleaner, and your diabetes blood sugar log.
- Extra batteries
Pack an extra battery for your glucose meter and insulin pump, if you use one. Insulin pumps typically warn you when the battery is getting low, but you might not be able to pop into a store to buy another in an emergency. Check your equipment to make sure you have the right types for your particular models.
- Glucagon Emergency Kit
Pack at least one glucagon emergency kit. Make sure that anyone you travel with knows how to prepare and administer the syringe in case low blood sugar renders you unconscious or unable to swallow.
A flashlight will allow you to take care of your diabetes needs even if an emergency leaves you without power.
- Fast-acting glucose
Keep your preferred type of fast-acting glucose stocked in your diabetes emergency kit, in the form of glucose tablets, glucose “shots,” or several tubes of glucose gel.
- Diabetic emergency food kit
It can be difficult obtain the food and drinks necessary to keep your blood sugar levels steady in an emergency. To make sure you are safe, pack a diabetic emergency food kit that includes water, juice boxes (as quick-acting rescue sources of sugar), and complex carb snacks, such as nuts, peanut butter crackers, and tuna and cracker packs.
- Health History
Your diabetes emergency kit should contain a health history in case you need medical treatment. It can be short, as long as it details your health conditions, medications and dosages, allergies, health providers’ names and phone numbers, and your emergency contact information.
You should always make sure you are wearing your medical ID bracelet or necklace that identifies you as having diabetes, so medical personnel will know to check your blood glucose levels if they find you unconscious. If you would like more tips on living with diabetes, www.BetterHealthKare.com has tons of delicious low-carb recipes, exercises for diabetes, tips for managing diabetes naturally, and other useful advice that makes living with diabetes easier.