Posted by & filed under Disaster Strategies, In-Home Preparations.


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.


You should safely store the following medical supplies or have them readily available:

  1. Copy of your emergency information and medical list
  2. Extra copies of prescriptions
  3. Insulin or pills (include all medications that you take daily including over counter medication.
  4. Syringes
  5. Alcohol swabs
  6. Cotton balls & tissues
  7. A meter to measure blood sugar
  8. Blood sugar diary
  9. Insulin pump supplies (if on insulin pump)
  10. Strips for your meter
  11. Urine ketone testing strips
  12. Lancing device and lancets
  13. Quick acting carbohydrate (for example, glucose tablets, orange juice, etc.)
  14. Longer lasting carbohydrate sources (for example, cheese and crackers)
  15. Glucagon Emergency Kit (if on insulin)
  16. Empty hard plastic detergent bottle with cap to dispose used lancets and 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.

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.


  1. Stress can cause a rise in your blood sugar.
  2. Erratic mealtimes can cause changes in your blood sugar.
  3. Excessive work to repair damage caused by the disaster (without stopping for snacks) can lower your blood sugar.
  4. Excessive exercise when your blood sugar is over 250mg can cause your blood sugar to go higher.
  5. Wear protective clothing and sturdy shoes.
  6. 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.


  • 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. 


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

Mechanical can opener


1. Food and water supply may be limited and/or contaminated. Do not eat food you think may be contaminated. It may be necessary to boil water for 10 minutes before use.

2. Drink plenty of water.

3. Maintain your meal plan to the best of your ability. Your plan should include a variety of meat/meat substitutes (i.e., peanut butter, dried beans, eggs), milk/milk products, fruits, vegetables, cereal, grains.

4. Limit sugar/sugar-containing foods. These foods include:

Jellies, jams, molasses, honey, syrups (fruits canned in sugar syrup, pancake syrup), Tonic (dietetic tonics with less than one calorie per ounce are allowed), Frosted cake, Presweetened or sugar-coated cereals, Pie, pastry, Danish pastry, doughnuts, Chocolate, Custards, pudding, sherbet, ice cream, Gelatin, Soda, Cookies, brownies.

 I am just putting my quick ideas of what people with diabetes should do. Please talk to your doctor about better planning.  BUT just do it.

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