Why (and How) to Make a Diabetes Emergency Plan

Disasters, natural and otherwise, are very disruptive to those living with diabetes. The best thing you can do for yourself is to have a plan, and be prepared.

A study published after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast confirmed what many already knew anecdotally: major disasters have a significant, negative impact on diabetes management. The study also showed that those who are negatively affected can face long-term health and economic setbacks.

Hurricane season lasts through November 30th, but disaster can strike anytime. Protect yourself by having a plan and being prepared — especially if you or someone you care for has diabetes.

Why is diabetes disaster preparedness so important?

Everyone is susceptible to disaster. Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, winter storms, and other threats can cause prolonged power outages, exposure to extreme temperatures and the need for evacuation.

Managing diabetes is a daily activity, and your medical needs won’t wait until normalcy is restored. Further, those with diabetes face certain side effects of their condition, such as higher risks of heat stroke and dehydration, that make preparedness extra important.

Protect yourself by making a diabetes disaster kit

In your kit, you’ll want to include:

  • Shareable information
  • Medications and supplies
  • Food and beverages

Shareable information

If you become unable to care for yourself, it’s essential to have your important diabetes management information written down so someone else can. This list should include the type of diabetes you have, all of the medications you’re on and when and how you take them, and your doctor and pharmacy’s contact information.

Medications and supplies

It’s extremely important for people with diabetes to maintain the insulin or medication routine prescribed by their doctors — even during times of emergency. If you can, keep your insulin as cool as possible without freezing it, and make sure you’re stocked up on all of your prescription medications and that they are stored in their labeled pharmacy bottles. Don’t let lack of affordability keep you from having a fully-stocked prescribed medication supply; check prices on Blink to see if you can get a better price for your diabetes prescriptions.

Food and beverages

Continuing to eat the right foods for you and staying hydrated are especially important for those with diabetes. Food and water, however, are resources that can become strained in any disaster situation. Diabetics should have items that treat low blood sugar, like juice, soda or glucose tablets, as well as healthy ready-to-eat snacks like high-fiber or protein bars, ready-to-eat tuna, beans or cheese and crackers. And, of course, plenty of bottled water.

See if you can check all the boxes

Refer to this helpful diabetes disaster planning and kit-building guide from the Diabetes Disaster Response Coalition, and be sure to check off as many of the boxes as you can. You won’t regret it.

This article is not medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your physician or dial 911.

Savings based on comparisons between Blink Health prices and retail prices without Rx coverage. Blink Health is not insurance. The discount prescription drug provider is Blink Health Administration, LLC, 233 Spring Street, 8th Floor East, New York, NY 10013, (844) 366–2211, www.blinkhealth.com