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Guidelines for Diabetes Care during Disaster Conditions

A disaster is a sudden occurrence that inflicts widespread destruction, hardship, loss of life, and distress. Natural disasters include fires, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes. Disaster brings chaos to people and their environments.

Since the lifestyle of the person with diabetes involves schedules and planning, an emergency can be a serious threat to your health. It may be difficult to cope with a disaster when it occurs. You and your family should plan and prepare beforehand, for any event, even if it’s only the loss of electricity for a few hours.

Be Prepared List

Helpful Hints about Insulin and Syringes

Things to Remember

Always wear a medical alert tag for identification

Food Items to be Prepared and Stored

These supplies should be checked and replaced yearly:

Food Considerations during a Disaster

  1. Food and water may be limited/contaminated. Discard any food you think may be contaminated. It may be necessary to boil water for 10 minutes before use.
  2. Maintain your meal plan as best you can.
  3. Sugar and sugar containing foods should be avoided.
  4. Avoid products with these (sugar) ingredients: dextrose, sucrose, corn, sweeteners, honey, molasses, sugar and fruit syrup.
  5. Avoid greasy foods.
  6. Try to eat meals and snacks at the same time every day.
  7. Increase food intake during periods of increased activity by either eating between meal snacks before the activity or by carrying additional food with meals.
  8. Carry a fast source of sugar with you at all times:

Sick Day Rules during a Disaster

  1. Always take your insulin or pills on time or close to it. NEVER OMIT YOUR INSULIN UNLESS PHYSICIAN DIRECTS YOU TO DO SO. Insulin is still good if there is no refrigeration available. Bottles of insulin may be kept at room temperature for one month. Discard unrefrigerated insulin after 30 days.
  2. Keep an extra bottle of insulin on hand at all times.
  3. Eat no later than 30 minutes after taking your insulin. Try to eat on time.
  4. Never skip a meal! If you are unable to eat due to nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, sip a regular soft drink, eat hard candy, or fruit instead of your regular meal plan.Most importantly do not let yourself become dehydrated, drink plenty of fluids and in-between meals sip diet soda (this will replace water, sodium, and potassium into your body)
  6. Check your blood sugar. Notify your doctor if your blood sugar average is over 240mg, or if you have been ill for 2 or more days.
  7. If you use insulin, test your urine for ketones when: