How will you manage your diabetes if a disaster hits? Have you ever thought of that? This diabetes disaster kit is helpful if you have to deal with a major storm, extended loss of electricity or possible evacuation from your home .
What to do in an emergency
Building a “diabetes disaster kit” now can save a lot of time and worry if a disaster strikes.
Your diabetes kit can be stored in an easy-to-carry waterproof bag or container to hold the documents, information, and supplies that you will want to have with you. It’s a good idea to pack this kit now and leave it in a cupboard. Hopefully you won’t need it any time soon!
Important information for your diabetes disaster kit:
Write or print out the following information, and laminate it (so it doesn’t get water damaged).
- Name, surname, date of birth
- Type of diabetes you have
- Other medical conditions, allergies, and previous surgeries
- Current medications, doses, and time you take them
- Your next of kin’s contact number
- Your doctor’s number
- Your medical aid details, if you’re on medical aid
Diabetes supplies to pack:
- Glucometer (blood testing meter), testing strips and lancets.
- Extra batteries!
- Extra supplies for insulin pump or CGM – these may need to be added at the last minute if you don’t have extra supplies (most of us don’t!)
- Spare needles for your insulin injections
- Empty plastic bottle or sharps container to safely carry syringes, needles and lancets
Add at the last minute:
- Insulin or tablets
- Cooler and reusable cold packs – make sure you always have a cold pack in the freezer in case you need it.
- Remember: Do NOT use dry ice and do not freeze your insulin
Food supplies to pack
It’s a good idea to pack some non-perishable foods that are ready to go, for example:
- Super Cs/sugar to treat low blood glucose
- Nuts and dried fruits
- Peanut butter
- Bottled water
- Granola/energy bars
- Cup of soup
Other optional supplies you can pack:
- Pen/pencil and notepad to record blood sugar, other test results and any new signs/symptoms
- First aid supplies like bandages, cotton swabs, and antibiotic ointments or creams
- Gloves and hand sanitizer
- Power bank for charging your phone
- A torch and batteries
Diabetes disaster kit checklist
Have you got:
- All your information on a laminated card?
- All your diabetes supplies – including the ones you need to grab at the last minute?
- Food supplies?
- Optional supplies?
Do you think we should add anything else to this list? There’s more information here: Patient preparedness plan.
What to read next?
What do we know about COVID-19 and diabetes? We get the most important facts from Prof. Joel Dave, South African endocrinologist and diabetes expert.
SMART goals: what they are and why you need them.
The Type 1 diabetes toolkit: what you need to carry at all times