There are some general health tips that you should remember during a disaster. These are very important in the proper care and management of your diabetes.
It is important for you to stick to your meal plan as much as possible during a disaster. Make sure to check your feet and skin every day. Make it a point to check your blood sugar at least once a day. Take your medications as prescribed and wear your diabetes ID.
If you need medical help, make sure to get it. Remember that stress can cause your blood sugar to rise. Don’t overexert yourself. If the weather is extreme, you should seek shelter. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. If you are under the weather, remember your sick day guidelines. Make sure to get as much rest as possible.
Identify family meeting places within and outside the neighborhood. Include escape routes (two ways out of every room in your house). Plan how to stay in contact if separated. Make a list of emails and phone numbers of each family member. Also list phone numbers of out-of-town relatives or friends for each family member to contact.
Be sure everyone has coins, a cell phone or prepaid phone card. Build a kit that includes basic supplies: water, food, first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, battery powered weather radio and flashlight, extra batteries, important documents, and cash or credit cards.
Don’t forget your diabetes supplies. Stock a fanny pack with medications and testing supplies. Include an insulated bag for emergencies when no refrigerator is available.
Make sure you have your blood glucose meter with extra lancets and test strips. Keep all medications, including insulin/supplies in original containers or the prescriptions. Keep a glucagon emergency kit in your supply kit.
Also include foods to treat hypoglycemia, such as glucose tablets/gels, juice, hard candies and regular sodas. Place a pair of comfortable footwear in your kit also.
Be informed. Know the nature or man-made disasters that might happen in your area and know the location of the fire departments, police stations and hospitals in your area.
Learn your community’s warning signals. Take safety precautions and learn the location of water, gas and electricity shut-offs. Be sure to have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and test them monthly. Post all emergency phone numbers near all phones and organize and practice family drills.
For more information about diabetes care during natural disasters, contact your local health department or see resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov/diabetes/news/docs/disasters.htm.
Diabetes Basics classes will be offered from 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 8 and from 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Clark County Health Department, 400 Professional Avenue.
This is an abbreviated version of the Diabetes Self-Management Series. It is a good choice if you have just been diagnosed with diabetes and are waiting to get into a diabetes self-management series class or if you have never been to class.
Call the Health Department at 744-4482 and ask the operator to put you on a sign-up list.
The department offers a variety of services for the community and families, including well child, immunizations, family planning, WIC and HANDS. For more information on any health department programs, call 744-4482 or visit www.clarkhealthdept.org.