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The NDSS is administered by Diabetes Australia
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Questions about the emergency plan and kit

Why am I at greater risk in an emergency?

During an emergency your body processes blood glucose differently. Stress, changes in physical activity and the food mean you eat, mean you may need to adjust your medication during and after an emergency.

If you take insulin, you should consult a health professional before adjusting your dose. If no health professionals are available during or after an emergency, monitor your blood glucose closely and seek medical attention as soon as possible.

What if I am unable to manage my diabetes in an emergency?

If your diabetes is not managed during and after an emergency, changes in blood glucose levels can lead to hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose), or hyperglycaemia (high blood glucose) and ketoacidosis (very high blood glucose).

These conditions can cause loss of consciousness and longer-term health problems that are less obvious. If left untreated, they can be fatal.

Read more in our fact sheet Managing hypoglycaemia.

How do I prepare a diabetes emergency kit

My diabetes plan for natural disasters and emergencies—has a checklist for preparing a diabetes emergency kit. It has space for you to list your medical details and important contacts.

The plan has an emergency kit checklist that will help you to prepare a portable, insulated diabetes emergency kit to take with you if you need to leave at short notice. Keep the plan and your kit together. Every 3 months check the expiry date of your supplies and make sure the medical information and contacts on the plan are up to date.

The plan is available in other languages (Arabic, Chinese simplified, Chinese traditional, Turkish, Vietnamese).

Why do the plan and kit need to be updated every three months?

To make sure food and medical supplies are within their use-by date, and your medical information and important contacts are current.

Preparing a kit and keeping it up to date will save time. If disaster suddenly strikes and you need to leave at short notice, the kit is all you need to take with you.

The plan lists other items to pack in your kit. Why do I need protective clothes like heavy gloves and socks?

People with diabetes have a higher risk of developing complications from skin wounds and sores. Scratches, insect bites and blisters must be treated early to prevent serious infection.

Do I need insulin if I have not eaten?

You should continue checking your blood glucose levels as usual, even if you have not eaten. Monitoring is the only way to know how much insulin to take in an emergency situation.

During an emergency, your body processes glucose differently. Stress, changes in physical activity and the food you eat, mean you may need to adjust your medication during and after an emergency.

How should I store insulin in an emergency situation?

Try and keep insulin as cool as possible, but make sure it does not freeze if you are using ice or an icepack. To keep insulin cold and protect it from freezing, first wrap icepacks in newspaper or cloth. Do not use insulin that has been frozen.

What if I cannot keep my insulin cool?

Once opened, insulin vials can be kept at room temperature (15-25 degrees) for up to 28 days. Insulin must not be left in direct sunlight.

In an emergency situation you may have to use insulin that was stored above room temperature. Discard it as soon as properly stored insulin is available.