When you have a medical condition, your goal is not only Diabetic Survival but flourishing regardless of what threatens you.
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.
Prepare for a Diabetic Emergency
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. 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. You never know when something may happen to prevent you from returning home when you planned to.
Items needed for Diabetic Crash Bag
The bag should contain some glucose packs, juice boxes, or some other fast-acting sources of sugar. It should also have some complex carbohydrates (crackers with peanut butter work well) to stabilize blood sugar.
Most diabetics find it helpful to take along a sandwich as well, in case of a missed meal.
When you are out with friends, it’s easy to get caught up in what you are doing and forget to eat.
Diabetic Survival: Sugar
This is not a problem for those who aren’t diabetic, but can bring on a severe low blood sugar episode in a 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. It won’t help you much 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. Don’t forget to put in the corresponding number of lancets.
One of the issues with go-bags is that you carry it around every day for years, but seldom remember to clean it.
You will need to make absolutely sure that the bag is cleaned on a regular basis. Check that your glucose monitor and other things are not getting coated in crumbs, or worse yet, covered in mold.
Medical Items Critical for Diabetic Survival
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 still usable. You can tell by feeling the packages. Fresh alcohol-soaked pads feel cool to the touch, while the ones that have dried out are room temperature. Make sure the instructions for the Glucagon kit are clearly legible – you do not want someone guessing how to use it while 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 extremely 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 the 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. Put in some means of keeping your hands clean, like hand sanitizer or wet wipes of some sort.
Diabetic Injury Concerns
Diabetics need to be very careful of any injury, since diabetes reduces the body’s ability to fight infections. 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 couple of days.
Earthquake survival with Diabetes
Your home emergency kit is designed to allow you to survive for at least two weeks in a major emergency. An earthquake, catastrophic flooding, or storm damage could keep you from getting supplies for weeks.
It should contain enough supplies of all the above items to allow you to get by until society is somewhat back to normal. Remember that after a major earthquake or other disaster, it may take at least a couple of weeks for any sort of supplies to be available.
You may want to add painkillers, antacids, and antidiarrheal medication to that kit. Your diet may 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. 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.
Remember, its about thriving regardless of what life throws at you, not just diabetic survival.