7 Hurricane Preparation Tips for Diabetics
Forecasters are calling for another above average Atlantic Hurricane Season for 2022. La Niña will still be in play, which brings neutral atmospheric patterns with lower wind shear across the Atlantic basin. Couple this with water temperatures higher than normal across vast swaths of the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean, and it adds up to favorable conditions for the formation of hurricanes this summer.
However, whether we see an above average number of named storms or not, all it takes is one hurricane to throw a community into turmoil. Everyone needs to be prepared for hurricane season, and those of us with diabetes should remember to take some extra precautions.
Preparing beyond the basics
Everyone who lives along the eastern seaboard and in the gulf states should be preparing now for hurricane season. That means stocking up on non-perishable food items, batteries, fresh water, medicine, and other essentials. But when you or someone in your family has diabetes, hurricane preparation goes beyond getting storm shutters ready and basic provisioning. You have to be ready to continue managing your disease in a potential disaster, including testing your blood sugar, administering insulin treatments by syringe or insulin pen, and making sure you have diabetes friendly options for food.
Advanced planning is everything
The importance of thinking ahead cannot be overstated when it comes to managing your diabetes during a hurricane emergency. You very well may find yourself without power, refrigeration, air-conditioning, or any access to quick medical treatment or necessary diabetic supplies. On top of this, the added stress that comes with coping during a natural disaster full of the unknown can elevate your blood sugar and make it harder to control. Being prepared doesn’t just alleviate some of this stress, it makes sure you have the essentials you need to control your blood sugar for an extended period of time – until the crisis alleviates or you can get somewhere else safe. So, are you ready to plan and prepare? Here are some important things you can do to start getting ready right now.
Stock up on diabetes medication and supplies
The first thing you need to do is make sure you have enough of everything you need to stay diabetes healthy after the storm passes. This includes prescribed insulin, test strips, lancets, glucose tablets, insulin syringes or pens and pen needles, and probably an extra glucose meter with plenty of batteries, so you never run out of juice. If you use an insulin pump, make sure you have extra infusion sets and cartridges or reservoirs. You should also make sure you have two glucagon emergency kits as a back-up to insulin.
The American Diabetes Association recommends having at least one week’s supply of all your diabetic necessities packed in an easy-to-identify, hard plastic, waterproof container that will serve as your diabetes emergency kit. Put your kit where you can easily get at it because the last thing you want in an emergency is to be fumbling around looking for your diabetic supplies.
Many people find it’s easier to stock up for hurricane season using online diabetic suppliers like Diabetic Warehouse. You’ll find everything you need in a one-stop shop and enjoy free delivery on your order. It’s fast, easy and can save you up to 65% off typical pharmacy prices.
Remember your medical information
It’s important to make sure others know you or a loved one has diabetes. Wearing a medical bracelet or necklace is a great way to let others know about your condition should you become incapacitated during the emergency. Also carry a list of your emergency contacts, medications and scheduling, allergies, and any other important information with you. Carry these items in a waterproof plastic bag to prevent damage from the elements.
Stock up on non-perishable carbohydrates
You never know when your blood sugar might drop due to extra activity post-storm or a disrupted eating schedule. Make sure your hurricane provisions include fast-acting carbs like peanut butter crackers, canned beans, trail mix, granola bars and whole-grain crackers. Glucose tabs can also help do the trick. Just make sure you have a quick and handy way to stabilize your blood sugar should it drop suddenly.
Make sure you have plenty of water
Drinkable water always tops the list of hurricane provisions. However, for those with diabetes it’s especially important. People with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are more susceptible to dehydration and those without the disease. Additionally, dehydration can lead to increases in blood sugar, further complicating an already dangerous situation. Make sure you have plenty of water stored away for hurricane season. If you haven’t stocked up already, do it now because once a storm is approaching supermarket shelves start emptying quickly.
Prepare a diabetes first-aid kit
It’s always a good idea to include first-aid items in your hurricane emergency kit. Diabetics run a higher risk of infection, so antibiotic creams, alcohol swabs, gauze bandages, cotton swabs and hand sanitizer are all important items to include. You never know what’s going to happen during a major storm or in the aftermath. For instance, clearing debris can result in cuts, scrapes and even more serious wounds. Always have your supplies ready and treat open sores immediately. Pay special attention to the feet as they are prone to infection. Always wear shoes outdoors and when walking through any standing water.
Try not to skip meals
Whether you’re riding out the storm at home or in a shelter, you should have enough food and supplies to closely adhere to your normal meal sizes and schedules. Skipping meals can throw you blood sugar out of whack, so try not to do it. Of course, in an emergency this can be easier said than done but try. If you head to a shelter, make sure you bring your own stockpile of food and supplies, as you cannot be sure what is available at the shelter will be suitable for your diabetes needs.
Grab your kit and go if evacuated
If you live near the coast or in a flood zone, you will likely be evacuated during a major storm. Heed the warning. Take your diabetes emergency kit and other supplies and head to the nearest shelter or someplace you can get to out of the impact zone. Remember, if things go south during a storm, emergency personnel may not be able to reach you, so if you can minimize your risk by evacuating, do it.
We all hope the 2022 hurricane season is a very dull and boring one. However, we can’t rest on hope. Preparation is everything when it comes to managing your diabetes should a storm head your way. The season officially kicks off on June 1st and waiting until the last minute is not a good idea. Load up on your diabetic supplies now. Meet with your diabetes physician and care team to discuss your medication needs and options. Stock up on water, non-perishables, and batteries while there is still plenty left on store shelves.
Remember, you can’t be too prepared for hurricane season. But you can be underprepared. Now’s the time to get ready.
We hope you found this post helpful. At Diabetic Warehouse, we committed to keeping you up to date with the latest news and insights on living with diabetes. We’re also proud to help you stick to your doctor-prescribed diabetes treatment plan with a huge selection of diabetic supplies and equipment at prices up to 65% less than you’ll find at pharmacies and other suppliers.
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Diabetic Warehouse is a trusted supplier of diabetes care products and accessories. For more information and to explore a complete range of products, including glucose meters and test strips, insulin syringes, pen needles, continuous glucose monitoring systems, and more, visit www.diabeticwarehouse.org.