Diabetes emergency kit

A diabetes emergency kit is a must-have for anyone with diabetes. It can help you manage your blood sugar levels in an emergency situation and keep you safe until medical help arrives.


Keep your kit in an easily accessible place, such as your purse, backpack, or car. Make sure to check the expiration dates on your supplies and replace them as needed. In an emergency situation, every minute counts, so having a diabetes emergency kit can be the difference between life and death.

Your kit should include:

  • A fast-acting source of sugar, such as glucose tablets or gel
  • A plan of action in case of an emergency, including contact information for your doctor or other healthcare provider
  • A list of all your medications, including dosages
  • A list of foods that are safe for you to eat in an emergency
  • A blood sugar testing kit
  • Extra supplies of insulin and syringes, if you use them

Glucose tablets and hypoglycemia

Glucose tablets are a quick and easy way to treat hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. The 15-gram dose of glucose in 3-4 glucose tablets is the amount recommended by the American Diabetes Association to treat low blood sugar. To use glucose tablets, simply take 3 or 4 tablets and wait 15 minutes for the glucose to be absorbed into your bloodstream. If your blood sugar has not risen after 15 minutes, you can take another dose of glucose, up to a total of 15 grams. This is known as the rule of 15s. While glucose tablets are an effective way to treat low blood sugar, it is important to remember that they are only a temporary solution. If you experience frequent episodes of low blood sugar, you should speak with your healthcare provider about other options.

Glucagon Pen

A glucagon pen is a device used to inject a hormone called glucagon, which can raise blood sugar levels in people with diabetes who experience hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Glucagon works by stimulating the liver to release stored sugar into the bloodstream. This can counteract the effects of insulin, which lowers blood sugar levels. A glucagon pen can be a lifesaving tool for people with diabetes who are at risk of hypoglycemia. It is important to know how to use a glucagon pen and to have one readily available in case of an emergency.

Blood glucose monitor and supplies

A blood glucose monitor is a device used to measure the amount of glucose in your blood. It is an important tool for people with diabetes, as it can help them to manage their condition and avoid potentially serious complications. There are a number of different types of blood glucose monitors available, and the one that you choose will depend on your individual needs. Some monitors are small and portable, making them ideal for use when you are travelling or on the go. Others are designed for use at home, and may be more accurate or have more features than a portable model. Blood glucose monitor kits usually include a monitor, lancets, test strips, and control solutions. You will also need to have a carrying case to keep everything together.

Rapid acting insulin

Most people with diabetes need two or more types of insulin injections to control their blood sugar: a long-acting insulin and a rapid-acting insulin. Rapid-acting insulin begins to work within 5 to 15 minutes after injection, peaks in 30 to 75 minutes, and keeps working for 2 to 4 hours. It is used at mealtimes to cover the rise in blood sugar that happens when you eat. Therefore, it is very important to inject rapid-acting insulin at the proper time in relation to meals. If you inject too early or too late, your blood sugar could go high. High blood sugar is called hyperglycemia. Hyperglycemia can make you feel sick to your stomach, give you a headache, make you feel tired and cranky, and can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis if it is not treated right away.

Insulin syringes

Insulin syringes are a vital tool for people with diabetes who require insulin therapy. While insulin can be delivered via an insulin pump, many people with diabetes still require insulin injections. Insulin syringes are designed to deliver a specific amount of insulin per injection, and they come in a variety of sizes. In case of insulin pump failure for example (an endocrine emergency), you may need to rely on an insulin syringe and needle, to administer your rescue insulin.

Insulin pump infusion sets

Insulin infusion sets are a vital component of any insulin pump therapy regimen. An infusion set consists of a small plastic catheter that is inserted just under the skin, through which insulin is delivered. The infusion site must be changed every two to three days, and the catheter must be replaced with a new one each time. There are a variety of different types of infusion sets available on the market, so it is important to choose one that is comfortable and easy to use.

More importantly, it is important to have extra infusion sets in your emergency kit. While infusion sets are generally very reliable, there are a few problems that can occur. The most common problem is that the cannula, the small tube that goes under the skin, can become bent or kinked. This can cause the insulin flow to be blocked, and it can also be very painful. If this happens, you will need to remove the infusion set and replace it with a new one. Another problem that can occur is that the tape holding the infusion set in place can come loose. This can cause the set to come out completely, which can be very dangerous if you don’t notice it right away. If this happens, you should check your pump and change your infusion set immediately.


Insulin pump cartridges and pods are small, disposable containers that hold insulin. The cartridge or pod is then replaced with a new one when it is empty. Insulin pump cartridges and pods come in different sizes and capacity levels. The size of the cartridge or pod you need will depend on the type of insulin pump you use, as well as your personal insulin needs. Some brands of insulin pumps use prefilled cartridges or pods, while others allow you to fill the cartridge or pod yourself with the type of insulin you need. You will need extra supplies of cartridges or pods (for emergency use).

Ketone testing strips

Ketone testing strips are an important tool for people with type 1 diabetes. When ketones build up in the blood, they can be a sign that the body is not getting enough insulin. This can lead to a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis, which can be very serious. Ketone testing strips can help people with diabetes to monitor their ketone levels and take action if necessary. By testing their ketone levels regularly, people with type 1 diabetes can help to prevent diabetic ketoacidosis and other serious complications.

Pump or glucometer batteries

If you have diabetes, you know that it is important to keep a close eye on your blood sugar levels. That’s why many people with diabetes use insulin pump or glucose monitoring devices. These devices rely on batteries to function, so it’s important to know how to troubleshoot them when something goes wrong. When troubleshooting battery issues, the first thing you should do is check the battery contacts. Make sure they are clean and free of debris. Next, check the battery itself. If the battery is old, it may need to be replaced. Finally, make sure that the device is turned on. If it is turned off, the battery may not be able to power the device properly. By following these simple troubleshooting tips, you can keep your insulin pump or glucose monitoring device running smoothly. Finally, always carry an extra supply of batteries for your devices (where relevant)

Skin preparation with wipes

Alcohol wipes are often used in conjunction with insulin injections. The wipes help to clean the injection site and prevent infection. In addition, they can also help to dissolve any residual oils on the skin, which can hinder the absorption of insulin. For best results, it is important to use a fresh alcohol wipe each time you administer an injection. Once the injection site has been cleaned, simply allow the alcohol to evaporate before injecting the insulin. This will help to ensure that the insulin is properly absorbed and prevent any potential side effects.

Diabetes emergency Kit

It’s also important to always carry emergency contact information in case of a diabetic emergency. If you or someone you know has diabetes, make sure to include emergency contacts in your phone or wallet in case of an emergency.

Current insulin pump settings

A copy of your current insulin pump settings should always be available, in case your pump fails and you need to revert to multiple daily insulin injections (MDIs). Refer to this guide for transitioning from insulin pump (CSII) to injectios (MDI) in case of pump failure.

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Sample Diabetes Emergency Kit

Being prepared for an unexpected problem with your infusion set or pump is very important. By having the necessary insulin pump supplies with you at all times you can quickly fix the problem and prevent an emergency.

Keeping your supplies organized in a case is helpful for you or a loved one to have all the supplies you need when you need them.

Your kit should include the following:

  • A rapid acting source of glucose such as glucose tablets
  • Glucagon Emergency Kit
  • BG monitor and supplies
  • Rapid acting insulin
  • Insulin syringes
  • Infusion sets
  • Cartridge/reservoir/pod
  • Ketone testing strips
  • Extra batteries for pump and BG monitor
  • Alcohol wipes/skin prep
  • Emergency contact phone numbers of family and health care provider
  • A list of your current pump settings

 We encourage you to wear a medical identification indicating you have diabetes

Check your supplies frequently to make sure your kit is complete and the supplies are not expired.

Emergency Kit for diabetes (download pdf of the diabetes emergency kit)


The opinions expressed here represent the views of a practicing hormone specialist (endocrinologist) and must not substitute the advice of your health care provider. This blog post is written for a non-medical audience interested in learning more about hormonal disorders. The author has no commercial conflicts of interest to declare. Also, read our privacy policy.

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