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NEW YORK (FOX5NY) – The frantic rush to prepare for a natural disaster is stressful for everyone but people with diabetes have an extra worry – protecting climate sensitive insulin and blood monitoring equipment.
For people who are evacuees or are in an emergency situation, the CDC says it is of prime importance to identify yourself as a person with diabetes and any related conditions, so you can obtain appropriate care. It is also important to prevent dehydration by drinking enough fluids, which can be difficult when drinking water is in short supply.
In addition, it is helpful to keep something containing sugar with you at all times, in case you develop hypoglycemia (low blood glucose).
Patients should try to keep their insulin as cool as possible, avoiding direct heat and direct sunlight as well as freezing if placed on ice. Although a physician should supervise when switching insulin products, here are recommendations for emergency situations.
Blood Glucose Meters and Hurricane Disasters
Heat and humidity can damage blood glucose meters and test strips. If you use a blood glucose meter, check the meter and test strip package insert for information on use during unusual heat and humidity.
Find important tips for caring for yourself or a loved one with diabetes in an emergency, as well as a checklist of essential items to include in an emergency evacuation kit.
Dialysis treatment may not be available during an emergency, but these critically important steps can help safeguard your health. For immediate assistance, call the National Kidney Foundation help line at 1-888-33KIDNEY.
To prevent infections, which people with diabetes are more vulnerable to, pay careful attention to the health of your feet, and get medical treatment for any wounds.
People often receive wound injuries during and after a natural disaster, and wound care is of particular importance for people with diabetes.
Foot wounds or infections can develop into serious problems for people with diabetes, so foot care is especially important.