Diabetes in emergencies
It is crucial that people with diabetes pay close attention to
their health during emergency situations. Diabetes Queensland has a
nine-step checklist to help you manage your health during stressful
1. Monitor your health
For people with diabetes, physical and emotional stress can take
a toll on health and well-being. Blood glucose levels may go up or
down when a person is under stress. It is important you take notice
of how you are feeling, take regular rest breaks, increase your
monitoring and contact your GP or health professional if you have
2. Eat well
Access to fresh fruit and vegetables may be difficult when road
transport is disrupted, but that doesn't mean you cut them out.
Look for specials and cheaper varieties. As an alternative eat
frozen, dried or canned fruit or vegetables.
3. Eat safe
Make sure you know where your food is coming from. If you loser
power, you may have to throw away food that wasn't properly
refrigerated to avoid any food-borne illnesses.
4. Drink safe
Make sure your water source is safe. If possible, stock up on
bottled water. If you're concerned, call your local council.
5. Clean safe
When cleaning up after a natural disaster make sure you're
dressed the part ; a long-sleeve shirt, gumboots and thick
6. Look after your feet
Feet hygiene is extremely important for people with diabetes.
Make sure you wear protective foot wear at all times - a simple cut
can quickly develop into something more serious like an ulcer. Try
to keep your feet dry, wash them properly after any work and
inspect them frequently. Contact your doctor if you have
7. Bugs and repellent
Natural disasters often mean mosquitoes and other insects are
more prevalent. Cover up with repellent, wear protective clothing
and check for bites and scratches that may not be healing. Contact
your GP if you have concerns.
8. Check diabetes supplies
Power loss may affect the action of insulin. Keep insulin in a
cooler bag if the power is out. Youmay need to obtain new insulin
if it is damaged. Put blood glucose monitor and test strips in a
zip lock bag to protect them. If they have been damaged or exposed
to moisture or heat, you may need to replace them.
9. Who to call
In a medical emergency situation, contact 000. If you need
urgent access to medication or supplies, or have any medical
concerns, call Queensland Health on 1343 2584 (13 HEALTH).
For information or support, call Diabetes Queensland on 1300 136
588. If you NDSS sub-agent is affected by a natural-disaster, call
1300 136 588to register for NDSS consumables by mail order.