Thursday, September 1

Preparing for a Disaster

Greetings. Even though the following article is directed mainly to diabetics, it can apply to anyone. It's easy to say, "If only....," after the fact, but these are things that are worth thinking about and planning ahead of time. And, if you're a diabetic, then you would be wise to consider and follow these instructions. I saw a story this week on CNN where the interviewer was talking with a man who was a diabetic, and all he had eaten in two or three days were potato chips. That's not good.

With that, here's the article, obtained from a diabetes email list.

The following article comes from the American Diabetes Association's "E-News Now":


11. Are You Prepared for a Disaster?
By Kathleen Kissane, RN, MSN, CDE, and Debra Rogan, RN, BS

"The screaming of the wind and the crushing sound of falling trees had ended. I felt water falling on my head and looked up at the closet ceiling and saw
cloudy sky. Part of the roof of my house had blown off. I left the closet and walked into darkness. There was no electricity, no power. I stumbled around.
I couldn't find my phone, there was no water, no food. Furniture and tree limbs were strewn among the rooms... Where were my medications, my insulin and
syringes, my glucose meter??

"I can't go anywhere...a tree has smashed my car...I can't find my car keys... roads are flooded, bridges are washed out, power lines are down...

"I wish I would have listened to my diabetes educator when she said I should always be prepared for disasters..."

Are you prepared if you are caught in a hurricane or other disaster? The first 72 hours are most critical. Planning ahead can save your life.

What To Do

* Have key emergency information available.
* Know the safest places to go, depending on the type of disaster.
* Pick a meeting place in case family members are separated. * Have a local emergency contact. * Have one out-of-town contact that everyone will call.
* Make a list of medical providers, insurance numbers, and pharmacy numbers.
* Keep a list of medications and doses.

Most healthy people can eat just half what they usually eat for a long time, if they aren't active. They can even go without food for a few days if they
have to. Not so for people with diabetes. You need a balance of food groups and enough food, especially if you take insulin or oral agents.

Suggested Food Supply for 7 days Put these food items in a rubber tote or duffle bag. Replace yearly.

Large box of crackers
1 jar of peanut butter
Small box of powdered milk
1 box dry, unsweetened cereal
1 jar soft cheese, or 2 packages of 6 cheese crackers
6 cans regular soda
6 cans diet soda
6-pack canned orange or apple juice
6-pack of Parmalat milk
6 cans lite or water-packed fruit
1 can of prepared meat
1 gallon of water per day
eating utensils
mechanical can opener
disposable cups and plates

Build a Disaster Kit

* Medications
Have at least a two-week supply of medications available (the pharmacy may not be open, or may have been destroyed).

* Medical Supplies
- syringes
- alcohol swabs/anti-bacterial wipes
- cotton balls and tissues
- glucose meter
- blood glucose log
- urine ketone sticks
- insulin pump supplies (if a pumper)
- lancing device and lancets
- Sharps disposal container (hard plastic detergent bottle)
- first aid kit
- quick-acting carbohydrate (glucose tablets, hard candy, OJ)
- glucagon emergency kit

* Other supplies
- cell phone
- flashlight
- whistle/noisemaker (so rescuers can hear and find you)
- extra pair of eye glasses
- female sanitary supplies
- heavy work gloves
- dry socks
- comfortable shoes
- tools
- cooler with dry ice or freezer packs
- radio (NOAA weather radio recommended)
- extra batteries
- pad/pencil
- watch
- clothing and bedding

Kathleen Kissane, CRNP, MSN, CDE, is an inpatient diabetes clinician with Frederick Memorial Healthcare System in Frederick, Md. She is a National Disaster
Response Volunteer with over 20 years of Red Cross experience. She currently serves as the American Red Cross Nursing Coordinator for her local chapter
in Frederick County. She participated in the Florida hurricane disaster response in the summer of 2004, after Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Jean, and Ivan
devastated the state. This past year she traveled as a volunteer with Project HOPE aboard the USNS Mercy, providing tsunami relief in Southeast Asia.

Debra Rogan, RN, BS, is employed by American Healthways as director of the diabetes program for Frederick Memorial Healthcare System in Frederick, Md. She
was previously employed by the Washington, D.C. Chapter of the American Red Cross as head nurse of the Charles Drew Blood Center. She has served as a Red
Cross volunteer in Washington, D.C., Prince William County, Virginia, and Knox County, Tennessee. She lived in Florida for seven years, where she personally
experienced preparing for hurricanes.

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