During Hurricane Season, Make Sure Your Kitchen and Your Diabetes Supply Kit are Stocked and Ready!


(Summer 2020) There are many important things to consider when preparing for a hurricane, and your health is one of them. Things to anticipate during and after a storm are power outages, temporary lock downs, and/or flooding. These stressful moments can lead to increased eating and snacking. As a result, your sugars may fluctuate more dramatically if you do not have the appropriate items on hand.

So how can we keep our glucose from fluctuating so much?

• The kitchen needs to be smartly stocked with non-perishable items.
• FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) recommends having at least a 3-day supply of food and 1 gallon of water per person per day in the household.

• Keep nutrient-dense foods and leave out the highly processed and sugary snacks. Read food labels and compare packages before choosing an item.

• Remember that if you lose power, some items in the fridge/freezer will only last up to 4 hours. Prepare fresh foods first and try keeping the refrigerator/freezer door closed as much as possible.

• To make a balanced meal, try including at least three of the following food groups – fruits, vegetables, lean protein, starch, and healthy fat. Having a combination of a carbohydrate with a fat and/or protein will help slow down glucose absorption.

• Canned items may contain extra salt in order to preserve them longer. Look for those items low in sodium or no salt added. If that is not available, simply rinse the food inside the can with water before you start preparing your meal.

• Keep foods in a dry, cool spot. Keep foods in airtight containers. Empty any open packages and transfer them to a sealed container.

Types of Foods


• Grains usually last about 6 months.

• Whole grains are more nutrient dense than refined grains by having more vitamins/minerals and fiber.

• Aim for at least 1-3g of fiber per serving.

• Choose items like: Bran cereals, air popped popcorn – no salt & fat free, whole wheat crackers, brown rice cakes, brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat pasta


• Vegetables are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and they should always be part of your diet. Try not to skip out on these.

• Fruits and veggies shelf life will vary depending on whether you buy fresh, frozen, or canned.

• Generally, you want to eat the fresh produce first, frozen second, and canned last. Choose fresh items that will last longer – see chart.

• Fruits that are packaged should be “in water.”

• Choose items like: canned green beans, corn, tomatoes, carrots, peas / Fruit cups: peaches, apple sauce (unsweetened), mixed fruit 


• Nut butters or dried nuts & seeds are a great source of protein and healthy fat.

• They also have a long shelf life and can be great sources for meals and snacks.

• Choose items like: nut butters, dried nuts and seeds, ghee. Look for items with less sugars, such as nut butters that have only the nut and oil as the ingredients


• Protein sources can come from animals or plants. Try incorporating a little bit of both.

• Choose items like: canned tuna, chicken and/or salmon (packaged in water) / beans, legumes either dried or canned (low or no salt added), rinse if needed.


• Ready to eat meals can be easy and an alternative to cooking. However, you need to be careful as these types of foods can be highly processed and contain higher amounts of sodium, fat, and sugar.

• Choose items like: canned soups (low/reduced sodium), chicken or vegetable broth (low/reduced sodium), mustard


• Trail mix
 > Cereal (whole grain and low in sugar)
 > Nuts and seeds of your choice
 > Dried fruit

• PB&J
 > Whole grain toast
 > 1 tbsp of peanut butter

• Bean salad
 > Black beans, kidney beans, and cannellini beans (low sodium or sodium free)
 > Canned green beans (low sodium or sodium free)
 > Olive oil, vinegar, salt

• Tuna/chicken/salmon salad

• Oatmeal

• Black eyed pea soup

• Click here for more recipes


Another thing to take precautions with during hurricane season is care of your medications and diabetes supplies.

As with food, you should make sure that you have enough diabetes supplies to get you through, in case there are temporary lockdowns, loss of electricity, or flooding.

Create a “hurricane diabetes supply kit.” It should include all your daily diabetes supplies, such as medications, meter, test strips, ketone test strips, rapid-acting glucose, lancets, pen needles or syringes, pump supplies, CGM supplies, extra batteries for any device that requires one, etc…

Try getting a 90-day supply of your diabetes supplies/medications instead of a 30-day supply to ensure you have enough on hand.

Review all your supplies to ensure that they have not expired. If expiring soon, use these items first so you will not waste your supplies or money.

If your medication requires refrigeration and you have electricity, you do not have to worry. However, if you have lost power, you want to make sure that your medications do not spoil. A couple of options to keep them cool include an ice chest/cooler (make sure to put your medication in a water-proof bag), or place ice in water-proof bag & place inside another container with your medication. If you have any medications in a pen or vial, a “Frio Pack” is ideal. It does not need to be frozen or refrigerated, it only needs water to work. /

If you are on an insulin pump, make sure you have a backup plan if the pump fails or runs out of battery. This should include long-acting insulin and rapid-acting insulin, and the supplies needed to give an injection, either pen needles or syringes. If you are on a Tslim Tandem insulin pump, it is recommended to obtain a car charger for the pump in case of loss of electricity in your residence. If your pump requires batteries, make sure you have enough on hand that are not expired.

Remember, emergency services may not be available right after the storm due to flooding, downed trees or power lines. If you do not think that you will have enough food, water, medication, or other supplies, please seek shelter at a medical shelter in advance.

Find more support with the Diabetes Disaster Response Coalition

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