Are you ready for an emergency situation like a severe thunderstorm, snowstorm, or even a hurricane? You may not be able to get food or supplies for several days. Do you know what to do or who to call?

Natural disasters usually happen when you least expect them. Be prepared so that you know what to do in an emergency. Know the necessary steps that you need to take to manage your diabetes, especially if you are in a situation where you may lose power or need to relocate. September is National Preparedness Month. Don’t put it off. Take time NOW to prepare!

The National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has resources to help you plan for an emergency or natural disaster.

Follow these steps to prepare for an emergency:

1. Put together an emergency kit in a waterproof container with at least three days’ worth of your medicines and supplies.

  • Blood sugar testing supplies, including your meter with extra lancets and test strips.
  • All of the medicines prescribed by your doctor, such as insulin or pills, in their containers, as well as prescriptions. Put insulin into an insulated bag.
  • Glucagon emergency kit.
  • Foods to treat hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), such as glucose tabs/gels, juice, hard candies, and regular sodas.

2. Make a plan with your loved ones.

  • Talk to your family about how you can stay in contact during an emergency and discuss possible meeting places and escape routes.
  • Identify what materials/supplies you will need to manage your diabetes during an emergency, such as water, healthy foods, comfortable shoes, a flashlight, a can opener, etc.
  • Let your family members know if you may need to take any medicines during an emergency, in case you need their help.

3. Identify emergency contacts.

  • Email and direct phone numbers for each family member in your household.
  • Phone numbers of family members or friends that live out of town.
  • Contact information for your local police and fire departments and emergency management offices.

For more information, call 1-800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636).
TTY 1-(888) 232-6348 or visit
To order resources, visit

Additionally, the Nursing Department at the University of Southern California recently published “What Can Chronically Ill Patients Do to Brace for Natural Disasters,” a written and visual resource that delves into response and contingency plans, as well as the impact of natural disasters.  It is also a great resource for emergency preparedness.