Kids and Diabetes: How to prepare for emergencies, disasters

2014-04-08 16:58:45 by Janet Haas, RN, CDE, as posted on the blog.

Flickr/ Rachel Larue Water and non-perishable snacks should be part of an emergency kit. Flickr/ Rachel Larue

As the parent of a child with diabetes, you may occasionally worry about emergencies or disaster scenarios.

What if you're without power for an extended period of time? What if your child's school goes into lockdown? What if there's a tornado or flood and you need to evacuate your home? With some planning, you can ease your worries.

To be prepared, follow these tips:


  • Assemble a kit with extra medical supplies, such as blood glucose meter, test strips, syringes, alcohol swabs, Glucagon kit and ketone strips. Include a note in the kit as a reminder to take a supply of insulin if you are evacuated.

  • Place the kit, along with the items listed below, in a designated, easy-to-find location so they can be easily gathered.

  • Keep emergency medical information - such as doctors' names and phone numbers - handy.

  • Identify staff members who will help your child in case of an emergency at school and make sure the school has a copy of your child's medical orders.

  • During an emergency situation, try to maintain your child's meal plan and keep him hydrated to the best of your ability.

  • Make sure your child wears shoes and examines her feet regularly.

  • If you are evacuated to a new location, try to touch base with your child's doctors as soon as possible.

  • If you are placed in an evacuation center, let authorities know your child has diabetes.


Keep these items handy, along with the medical kit described above:



  • Cooler and ice packs for storing insulin while without refrigeration

  • Sharps container for syringe and lancet disposal

  • Copies of health insurance cards and prescriptions

  • Glucagon emergency kit (if using insulin) and fast-acting carbohydrates like glucose tablets

  • Non-perishable snacks like hard candies, juice boxes, granola bars and packages of peanut butter and crackers

  • Bottled water

  • First aid kit

  • Flashlight, matches and candles

  • Radio with batteries


Let's hope that an emergency never arises, but if one does, you will be prepared after following these steps.


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