Emergency Preparedness for the Diabetic Adult/Child

Out of curiosity, how much in the way of emergency diabetic supplies do our members have stored? I'm especially curious about how long you can go without any outside assistance, (including a wholesale failure of the utility infrastructure) in the worst-case. I would also be interested in hearing the storage strategies used by anyone who is a bit "survivalistic" and is responsible for the care of a minor child with diabetes.

Anyone care to opine?

In the event of a complete "Apocalypse" scenario, whether someone panics will determine their ability to survive.

Run higher than "perfect" number whatever you conceive that number to be. Bluntly 200, 300 will not kill. You can survive without testing entirely. What will be required is absolute minimal usage of insulin period. Less food should make that easy.

Return to the era of pre-testing procedures and protocols. Refrigeration is not required ever for insulin unless the temps are 90's or above. Same with low temps, provided the insulin is not freexing, there is no problem at all there either.

Food, its the same game that has always existed. Are you eating enough to stay alive? Portions will be reduced all over the place. No garbage eating period because insulin won;t be easy access anymore.

Survival is simple and nothing remotely difficult about it, except some changes in approach, and likely tools. But it is not hard at all.

Reuse insulin syringes but never mix two types in the same syringe. Reuse them until they break!

Thanks for your input, Stuart! Good thoughts, all.

As a family we have always planned for periods of privation, so it was a natural thing to roll my sons diabetes supplies into this ethic, but I'm always looking for anything I've missed. The more dialogue and opinions expressed here, the better. I'm always learning a new angle.

You basically have underscored what I've been thinking, IE, tight control isn't necessarily beneficial or necessary when the chips are down. There is a point of diminishing returns (in other words, if you have to test 10 times a day to have an A1C of 6.5, but could also test 4 times a day and get an A1C of 7.5 AND in doing so significantly extend the test-strip exhaustion endgame, then it's a no-brainer).

Thanks again for your thoughts! Hopefully this discussion will grab the attention of someone who hasn't really thought about the possibility of a period of interruption. If this dialogue stimulates them to cache a few supplies against future need, then I'll be a double-happy camper. :)

Hopefully, none of us will ever be faced with having to deal with this kind of situation.

For whatever reason, Calamity seems to follow me. Did a few earthquakes when I lived on the West Coast (ground zero at Northridge, CA), and most recently Hurricane Ike.

We were out of power for 19 days during Ike. :slight_smile: Not my idea of fun, but it went off very well considering all the curveballs pitched at us.

These experiences have taught me that I need to be a bit more pessimistic and forward-thinking… Especially now that a diabetic child is also in the picture. Watching him sleep I find myself wondering if his absolute trust in his father is justified, or if I have missed something.

Last summer Hurricane Irene hit and although we didn't need to evacuate, we were without power for 3 days. Add to that the joy of getting discharged from the hospital the afternoon before it hit and you can imagine that I was ALMOST caught flat. Fortunately I have a "go bag" and checklist just in case.

One thing to keep in mind is that most things PWD use have expiration dates, i.e.: insulin, infusion sets, test strips, batteries, etc. Always rotate your supplies. For example, when you get a new supply of insulin put it in the back of the refrigerator and use the oldest (unexpired!) vial first. When that is used up, use the next oldest next and so on.

In my "go bag" I have 2 bottles of glucose tabs, a box of syringes (I pump but I have those "just in case") and a checklist of "expiration date items" - insulin, glucagon, infusion sets, pump reservoirs, test strips, Ketostix and spare batteries for both my glucose monitor and my insulin pump. I list appropriate quantities to last 21 days since that is as long as I could possibly expect to have to gut it out before sufficient stocks of medical supplies would be able to be brought in after a natural disaster. Added to the bag are a notebook and pencil to keep my BG log up to date as well as a flashlight and all other prescription & first aid items. One thing that helps is that I keep all of this stuff (except the insulin) in one place and not scattered around. Also in the bag is a copy of my health care directive, emergency contacts list and an abridged personal medical history.

We call ours a “ditch kit”. Same thing. We plan for 30 days out of pocket in the Kit. After that, we have between 9 months and 1 year worth of all other supplies cached. If the lights go out, we are prepared. Extreme perhaps, but its 20 miles to civilization, so we see things a bit differently than most. The infratructure out here is pretty fragile at times.

One thing I realized as I read your post: I FORGOT TO PUT COPIES OF THE SCRIPTS IN THE KIT!!! Aagghh!

This is why this sort of dialog is great. There is always something to do better, and your post triggered this realization for me. Thanks!

I keep a regular soda by my bed side along with a package of poptarts. I keep sweets (candy) in car and in my suit jacket at work since I work alone on weekends. I also keep a One Touch meter with me at work. I keep enough supplies in house I could go 7 to 10 days if all power,gas fails. I keeep enough test strips with me at all time (rotate as needed)