Get Ready – How to Prepare for Natural Disasters

As we enter fire and storm season, it’s always a good idea to think ahead and be prepared for disaster. For people living with diabetes, a “diabetes kit” is an important part of emergency preparedness. We are excited to share a few getting ready checklists and resources that we think are really helpful.

For any emergency scenario, it’s important to have an emergency preparedness plan that includes a meeting point, an exit route, a “get-away” bag, and communication strategies. Identify and inform the people who will be included in the emergency plan ahead of time and make sure everyone clearly knows what to do and what action to take.

An easy way to get started is to download the Checklist and Plan created by the Diabetes Disaster Response Coalition. We have also created a Disaster Checklist Word document that you can download and customize for yourselves. These checklists can help you start the conversation and commit the details to paper.

Disaster can happen in a moments notice. It’s important to plan ahead and be ready, especially for people living with diabetes.

Here are a few helpful resources for ourselves and our community:

Resources for People with Diabetes

General information from the Diabetes Disaster Response Coalition (DDRC) on preparedness for people living with diabetes.

Have an Emergency Diabetes Plan and Kit Ready: DDRC’s Diabetes Plan and Kit checklist includes helpful steps to take in preparation for disaster. The checklist details needed supplies and information that should be written down and kept in a waterproof container for emergency situations where is can be found by a health care provider to make informed emergency treatment decisions.

Stay Updated: Visit JDRF Disaster Relief Resources and Diabetes Disaster Response Coalition includes information on how to access medical support, shelters, and open pharmacies during times of disaster.

Individuals with diabetes who need help: Call 1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2383). The American Diabetes Association Center For Information is open, MON.-FRI. 9 a.m. TO 7 p.m. ET. Representatives are regularly updated with information on how to access medical support, shelters, pharmacies, and more.

American Red Cross Shelters: Contact the American Red Cross directly at 1-800-RED-CROSS.

Resource For Health Care Providers:

  • Insulin Supply Hotline: During a disaster, call the emergency diabetes supply hotline 314-INSULIN (314-467-8546) if you know of diabetes supply shortages in your community (i.e. shelter, community center). The hotline is for health care providers only.
  • Diabetes Disaster Response Coalition (DRRC). If a disaster hits, people with diabetes may need emergency supplies and help fast. Please visit the DRRC website if you are a diabetes health care provider and are requesting information about diabetes supplies during disasters.

In addition to the items listed below, make sure to pack hand sanitizer, wipes, and masks due to the current pandemic. Also, bring your own pillow and bedding in case you need to spend time in a shelter.

Download, Share, and Personalize this Emergency Checklist

Emergency Evacuation-Items to Gather for People with Diabetes
We thought this list was a helpful way to prioritize what items to grab given different time frame limitations. We found it online and customized it for people with diabetes. It is available in Word or PDF. Thank you for sharing with your colleagues and community.

1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2383) is an excellent referral resource for people with diabetes to call toll-free for updates on accessing medical support during an emergency.

10 Ways to Help the Planet

Change isn’t easy. We aren’t going for perfect, we are starting with intention and slowly moving to action, giving ourselves lots of grace along the way. I am excited to share my successes and wrong turns with you on this journey and we would love to hear from you too!

  1. Grow plants native to your area.
  2. Compost kitchen scraps and cut down on waste
  3. Eat more sustainable veggies, fruits, grains and less meat, processed foods.
  4. Drive less and walk more, especially in nature
  5. Think of 3 ways to use less water
  6. Use cold water to wash, hang clothes to dry.
  7. Turn appliances, lights and computers off when not in use.
  8. Purchase used items and re-use everything you can. Swap and trade instead of buying new.
  9. Try to use less plastics
  10. Trade out filament light bulbs for new LED bulbs.

Read more on our blog, Earth Day Secrets to Improving Planet Health

Stay tuned and we share details and resources on each of these 10 Steps over the next few months. And, please send us your stories too at We want to hear from you!

How to Protect the Planet Resources Page

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