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Published 9th July 2009, 4:34pm

Natural hazards can potentially disrupt access to patient's diabetes care. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) is urging people with diabetes to make preparations now. They have provided a check-list which diabetics can refer to develop their own diabetes disaster plan. They suggest the following preparatory activities:

Prepare a portable diabetes disaster kit that is both insulated and waterproof containing the following items:

  • List of all medical conditions and prior surgeries.
  • Information about your diabetes including past and present medications, any adverse reactions to medications, and past and present complications.
  • List of all your health care professionals with their contact information.
  • Letter from your diabetes health care professionals detailing most recent diabetes medication regimen (especially for insulin) and containing most recent laboratory results.
  • List of all medications which should also include pharmacies and active prescription information and eligible refills.
  • A 30 day supply of medications for diabetes and all other medical conditions. This should include insulin, oral antidiabetic agencts and glucagons emergency kit (if prescribed by your physician).
  • Blood glucose testing supplies including lancets, test strips and preferably at least two glucose meters with extra batteries.
  • A cooler and at least four refreezable gel packs for storing insulin (do not use dry ice when storing your medication). Empty plastic bottles and/or sharps container for syringes, needles, and/or lancets.
  • Source of carbohydrate to treat hypoglycaemic reactions (e.g. glucose tablets). Ideally should also have one or two day's supply of food that does not require refrigeration (e.g. non-perishable).
  • At least a three day supply of bottled water.
  • Pen and/or pencil and notepad to record blood glucose and any other test results and any new signs/symptoms suggesting medical problems.
  • Additional medical/first aid supplies like bandages, cotton swabs, dressings, and topical medications (antibiotic ointents or creams) to treat cuts or abrasions.

Other recommendations:

  • Wear shoes at all times and examine your feet often for infection.
  • Make sure that all immunizations including tetanus are updated.
  • Pack extra comfortable clothing including undergarments.
  • Take a cellular phone with extra charged batteries for you and family members.
  • Consider choosing a designated meeting place in case you are separated from your family and unable to reach them by phone.

This release has been sponsored by Hazard Management Cayman Islands and the Diabetic Support Group. To contact or meet the support group phone Christina Rowlandson on 926-1053. To view more information on AACE visit their website.