Home Health Conditions The Diabetic Survival Kit

The Diabetic Survival Kit

The Boy Scout motto was “Be Prepared”, and that is the motto that any diabetic needs to adopt as their own in order to live as normal a life as possible. All diabetics should have two emergency bags – one that goes with them wherever they go, and another at home in the household emergency kit. A prolonged situation where no insulin was available would be devastating for a diabetic, so a little bit of planning will prevent a lot of trouble if anything of that nature ever happens.
The diabetic go-bag should have enough supplies to last at least 24 hours, and preferably 48 hours, in case something happens that prevents the diabetic from returning home when they planned to. The bag should contain some glucose packs, juice boxes, or some other fast-acting sources of sugar, as well as complex carbohydrates (crackers with peanut butter work well) to stabilize blood sugar. Most diabetics find it beneficial to take along a sandwich as well, in case of a missed meal. It is easy to find that when you are out with friends, people get caught up in what they are doing and forget to eat. This is not a problem for those who aren’t diabetic, but can bring on a severe low blood sugar episode in someone who is diabetic.
The next items in the go-bag should be a glucose monitor, lancets, test strips, and a lancet device. You should check the batteries in the glucose monitor before leaving, as well, because it won’t help you if it dies halfway through the day. Make sure you have enough test strips to do at least six extra tests over and above what you would normally need, and put in the corresponding number of lancets. One of the issues with go-bags is that you carry it around every day for years, and it never gets cleaned. You will need to make absolutely sure that the bag is clean, and that your glucose monitor and other things are not getting coated in crumbs, or worse yet, covered in mold.
You should always keep a Glucagon kit in your go-bag, in case you have an episode of severe hypoglycemia. Make sure the kit has not expired, and that the alcohol wipes included with the kit are not dry (you can tell because alcohol-soaked pads are cool to the touch, while the ones that have dried out are room temperature) and that the instructions for use are clearly legible – you do not want someone guessing how it is supposed to be used when you are dying in front of them.
You may never need to use them, but ketone test strips are also a good tool to have with you when you leave home. They will be able to confirm whether your blood sugar is insanely high.
Insulin and syringes are a given, of course, and you should always make sure you have more than you think you will need. If you plan to be gone eight hours, pack enough insulin etc. for two days. Remember to put in all types of insulin that you use, and extra syringes and alcohol wipes as well. You will need a small travel-sized sharps container, too, for your used syringes.
Fresh batteries for all of your devices that use batteries are a good idea, as is a bottle of water, some means of keeping your hands clean, like hand sanitizer or wet wipes of some sort.
Diabetics need to be very careful of any injury, since diabetes reduces the body’s ability to fight infections, so a supply of band aids and antibiotic ointment is a must for your kit.
You can fit all of the above supplies into a small lunch-kit sized bag, and carry it with you at all times. This will allow you to be safe and healthy even if you are unexpectedly delayed away from home for a short amount of time.
Your home emergency kit is designed to allow you to get by for at least two weeks in case of a major emergency, such as an earthquake. It should contain enough supplies of all the above items to allow you to get by until society is somewhat back to normal, because after a major earthquake or other disaster, it may take at least a couple of weeks for roads to be cleared so you can leave and go to a place that has the supplies you need. You may want to add painkillers, antacids, and antidiarrheal medication to that kit, as your diet will change drastically during an emergency of this nature, and stomach upsets and headaches are common. You can obtain a full list of what you should have in your home emergency kit from your city’s emergency preparedness website, and you should make a real effort to put together a comprehensive kit so that if it was ever needed, you could get your family safely through a disaster.