I have found in dealing with patients that diabetes is the new pandemic disease of the USA. I have an employee whose daughter is diabetic and her entire life entails planning and being aware. I was concerned which is why I am writing this blog, “what are these diabetic people doing to prepare of a disaster.” As a person with diabetes, your daily routine involves schedules and planning.
An emergency can seriously affect your health. It may be difficult to cope with a disaster when it occurs. You and your family should plan and prepare beforehand even if the event is loss of electricity for a few hours. The first 72 hours following a disaster are the most critical for families. This is the time when you are most likely to be alone. For this reason, it is essential for you and your family to have a disaster plan and kit which should provide for all your family’s basic needs during these first hours.
BE PREPARED LIST
You should safely store the following medical supplies or have them readily available:
Copy of your emergency information and medical list
Extra copies of prescriptions
Insulin or pills (include all medications that you take daily including over counter medication.
Cotton balls & tissues
A meter to measure blood sugar
Blood sugar diary
Insulin pump supplies (if on insulin pump)
Strips for your meter
Urine ketone testing strips
Lancing device and lancets
Quick acting carbohydrate (for example, glucose tablets, orange juice, etc.)
Longer lasting carbohydrate sources (for example, cheese and crackers)
Glucagon Emergency Kit (if on insulin)
HELPFUL HINTS ABOUT INSULIN, PENS, SYRINGES
Insulin may be stored at room temperature (59° – 86°F) for 28 days.
Insulin pens in use can be stored at room temperature
Insulin should not be exposed to excessive light, heat or cold.
Regular and Lantus insulins should be clear.
NPH, Lente, Ultralente, 75/25, 50/50, and 70/30 insulins should be uniformly cloudy before rotating
Insulin that clumps or sticks to the sides of the bottle should not be used.
ALSO READ-Emergency Preparedness Guide for People with Disabilities/Special Needs (photo & video)
Although reuse of your insulin syringes is not generally recommended, in life and death situations, you have to alter this policy. Do not share your insulin syringes with other people.
THINGS TO REMEMBER
Stress can cause a rise in your blood sugar.
Erratic mealtimes can cause changes in your blood sugar.
Excessive work to repair damage caused by the disaster (without stopping for snacks) can lower your blood sugar.
Excessive exercise when your blood sugar is over 250mg can cause your blood sugar to go higher.
Wear protective clothing and sturdy shoes.
Check your feet daily for an irritation, infection, open sores or blisters. Disaster debris can increase your risk for injury. Heat, cold, excessive dampness and inability to change footwear can lead to infection, especially if your blood sugar is high. Never go without shoes.
HOT WEATHER TIPS
Stay indoors in air-conditioned or fan cooled comfort.
Avoid exercising outside.
Wear light colored cotton clothing.
Remain well hydrated (water, diet drinks).
Avoid salt tablets unless prescribed by your physician.
Seek emergency treatment if you feel: Fatigue, weakness, abdominal cramps, decreased urination, fever, confusion.
FOOD ITEMS TO BE STORED
1 large box unopened crackers (saltines)
1 jar peanut butter
1 small box powdered milk (use within 6 months)
1 gallon or more of water per day per person for at least one week
2 6-pack packages cheese and crackers or 1 jar soft cheese
1 pkg. dry, unsweetened cereal
6 cans regular soda
6 cans diet soda
6-pack canned orange or apple juice
6 cans “lite” or water packed fruit
1 spoon, fork and knife per person
4 packages of glucose tablets or small hard candies for low blood sugar
1 can tuna, salmon, chicken, nuts per person
Daily food intake varies from person to person, but plan on stocking at least 1200 calories per person per day, and more than that for anyone who is pregnant or nursing. Store some foods that you eat regularly and are accustomed to, as well as some high-calorie “survival foods “such as food bars and freeze-dried meals. If you regularly use juice to treat hypoglycemia, make sure to include some in your emergency stock.
Foods that do not require refrigeration, preparation, or cooking are best. Canned goods are ideal, and foods with a long shelf life, such as granola bars, are good, too. Put any boxed foods in waterproof storage bags, and keep cooking and eating utensils, a manual can opener, and waterproof matches in your emergency kit, too. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to do some cooking on a propane or charcoal grill, on a camping stove, or with Sterno.
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Check your stored food each year, and replace anything that has expired or will expire within the year.
Be aware that most “survival” foods are high in calories and will likely raise your blood glucose more than “ordinary” meals. The stress of the situation can also elevate your blood glucose. If you need to sustain yourself with emergency foods, read the package labels carefully so you know what a single serving is, how many calories it provides, and how much carbohydrate it contains. If possible, monitor your blood glucose more frequently than usual.
A person cannot survive for more than a few days without water. This makes water the most important item in your disaster survival kit, particularly since your normal water source is highly likely to be cut off following a disaster.
The American Red Cross recommends storing one gallon of water per person per day. Half of that is for drinking, and half for cooking and sanitation. Store more than that if you live in a warm climate. A two-week supply in your home and a three-day supply in your car is optimal.
The simplest and most reliable method is to use specially packed emergency water that has a five-year shelf life. You can also use regular bottled water, but it will need to be replaced about once a year. Although most experts agree that bottled water doesn’t actually go “bad,” it does pick up flavors from its packaging and can develop a musty taste.
Learn where to find other sources of water in or near your home. A hot water tank, if you have one, is one of the best sources. There is also water in canned foods, in fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, and in your pipes. To get to water in your pipes after the faucets have run dry, turn on and leave open the highest faucet in your house. Then turn on the lowest faucet in your house, and more water should come out.
There is water in your toilet, but it must be purified for human consumption. Also consider rainwater, streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, or natural springs. Avoid water with floating material, an odor, or a dark color. Before drinking water from any of these sources, purify it by boiling it, distilling it, or adding chlorine or water purification tablets designed for purifying drinking water. (Faucet-mounted or pitcher-style water filters are not sufficient for purifying water from these sources. To learn more about purifying water,( click here.) Camping equipment and sporting goods stores often sell water purification kits for backpackers. Saltwater can only be used if it is first distilled, and you should never drink flood water.
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In most of the United States, it can be cold for much of the year. If your electricity or gas is cut off, so, probably, is your usual source of warmth. If you have a fireplace, keep a stockpile of wood. This old-fashioned source of warmth could find sudden practicality in an emergency.
Pack blankets and sleeping bags in your kit. You can purchase inexpensive, very compact survival blankets made of Mylar, which reflects back body heat; these are easy to store in a car or “go bag.” Check any cloth emergency blankets yearly for mold or moth damage. Keep extra gloves and socks in your kit, as well, along with instant heat packs (usually available at camping or sporting goods stores).
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Insulin and blood glucose meters are vulnerable to cold: If insulin freezes, it is rendered permanently useless, and meters can cease functioning in very cold temperatures. You may be able to keep your meter warm by placing it inside the clothing you are wearing. An insulated carrying case – the same type that’s used to keep insulin cool – can protect insulin from extreme cold.
Shelter and tools
It’s possible that your home may become damaged and uninhabitable in a disaster, so set up a buddy system with friends or relatives so that you’ll have someone you can stay with. Ideally, you should have a local buddy, as well as one who does not live in the geographic area. It’s best that the buddy system be reciprocal: That way, both parties stand to benefit.
You should also pack a tent or some tarps in your kit for short-term shelter. And your home kit should include basic tools such as a shovel, pry bar, hammer and nails, manual screwdriver and screws, duct tape, marking pen, hard hat, work gloves, safety goggles, dust masks, and a wrench that can be used to shut off your gas and water connections.
Become familiar with how to shut off your gas, water, and electricity. If you don’t know how, this video help you (video) .In the event that you need to turn your gas off, do not turn it back on yourself. Your gas company will need to do that for you.
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Power outages are common after a disaster. Be prepared with a flashlight in your emergency kit, your car, and in at least three rooms of your house. Test the batteries regularly, just as you should be doing with your smoke alarm.
The ideal flashlight for your emergency kit is one that can be powered by battery, electric, solar, or hand crank. In your home, keep a rechargeable flashlight in an outlet so that it is fully charged when the power goes out.
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Sanitation and hygiene
The last thing you want to do during or after an emergency is to get sick or to spread a sickness through your household. The best way to avoid that is to keep your hands as clean as possible. If you have running water, wash your hands frequently with soap and water. If you don’t have water, use a waterless hand gel or moist towelettes. Keep a stock of these in your emergency kit.
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Remember to include personal hygiene items such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, comb, brush, contact lens supplies, and feminine supplies in your emergency kit. Travel-size containers are good for stowing in your “go bag.”
Also keep a bucket, a portable toilet seat (available from emergency preparedness retailers), toilet paper, and a box of large trash bags in your home kit.
Take action now
Even a simple power outage can turn into a dangerous situation if you’re not prepared. But with adequate supplies of water, food, ways to keep warm (or cool), and supplies to take care of your diabetes, you can survive all sorts of situations and stay in good health while doing it.
Take some time now to assess how prepared you and members of your household are to survive on your own for a few days. Note what steps you need to take to become prepared, then take action. By putting together an emergency plan and an emergency kit today, you can enjoy peace of mind in the days ahead.
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Other useful resources:
Alive After The Fall (Advice onto handling crisis situations )
US Water Revolution (Have Plenty of Water when others don't have any!)
Blackout USA (EMP survival and preparedness guide)
Conquering the coming collapse (Financial advice and preparedness )
Backyard Innovator (All Year Round Source Of Fresh Meat,Vegetables And Clean Drinking Water)
Liberty Generator (Easy DIY to build your own off-grid free energy device)
Backyard Liberty (Easy and cheap DIY Aquaponic system to grow your organic and living food bank)
Bullet Proof Home (A Prepper’s Guide in Safeguarding a Home )
Family Self Defense (Best Self Defense Strategies For You And Your Family)
Sold Out After Crisis (Best 37 Items To Hoard For A Long Term Crisis)