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Disaster Preparedness for Diabetes and Chronic Illness

Disaster Preparedness for Diabetes and Chronic Illness

In Mississippi, we typically identify natural disasters in the spring and fall when flash floods, high winds, and tornados. In July, we more commonly face high temperatures and high electric bills from running our air conditioner 24/7. We designate July as the perfect month to put together your disaster preparedness for diabetes and chronic illness plan. You’re not under the gun to gather supplies before bad weather hits tomorrow and can reserve some time to consider your options.

What exactly do you need in your disaster preparedness kit?

disaster preparedness for diabetes

The list in this image covers our diabetic patients, but what about those with other chronic conditions? 

Food, water, and medical supplies to last for 72 hours. Store a small box of non-perishable items in a pantry or closet for easy access. These include bottled water and canned goods Medical supplies could include over-the-counter medications in addition to prescription. Some ideas include pain relievers, antibiotic ointment, bandaids, hand sanitizer, gloves, and other first-aid kit needs.

Prepare 7-10 days of prescription medication. Should a natural disaster force you from your home, this kit allows you to access all your medications until you can reach a pharmacy for refills or return home. Store all prescription medications in a waterproof container.

Copies of important documents and medical records. Asthma patients need their asthma action plans. Cancer patients will need information about their doctors and treatment plans. All patients with a chronic illness will need lists of current medications, contact information for providers, copies of insurance cards and IDs. 

Updating your disaster preparedness kit

Once you’ve assembled your kit and stored it in a place where you can easily access it, you need to check the contents once a year. Even non-perishable foods have an expiration date as do over-the-counter medications and prescription medications. If your insurance cards, provider contact information or IDs have been updated, add those new documents to your disaster kit.

We never want to think about disaster striking our home or community, but we’ve witnessed the devastation left in the wake of tornadoes, flash floods, and hurricanes many times over the last twenty years. If disaster strikes your body will endure under enough stress coping with the sudden changes and decisions. Being prepared allows you a better chance at staying healthy while managing the chaos disaster brings with it.

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