Friday, August 1, 2014

Reply to: “Solar Storm: How to Get Ready” & Diabetes

Hello Fernando,
I ran across your blog a couple of years ago and have enjoyed it very much.
In reading your latest post “Solar Storm: How to Get Ready” it reminded me of the book “One Second After” which talks about life after an EMP event.What struck home to me was the main character had a daughter that was 12 and was a type I diabetic (insulin dependent). When I read it my 11 year old son had only been diagnosed with Type I Diabetes for a year. That and I have family an hour and a half from where the book’s story is located in North Carolina.
I thought I would share some of the things I have done that might be helpful for other Type I diabetics or parents. In addition please feel free to offer any other suggestions.
Feel free to use any of this information or images in any way that will help others.
Thank you for your blog and books.
Building up Diabetic supplies…
Inline image 2
Building up Diabetic supplies…
Here is what we do. Basically it is like the “pantry” system for food. We order just a little extra with each order. Not much, just a little more than we need. In about a year and a half you’ll have a good amount on hand. Just make sure and keep it rotated out!! What those dates! (You’ll notice numbers on the strip cartons, they are months. Also that picture is really old. We don’t have any 2012 stuff! hahaha!!)
Build a good relationship with your doctor…
Things got a little worrisome at my job and it looked like their might be a layoff, so we told our doctor our concern and he increased our prescription for insulin so we could store a little extra just in case. not sure if all doctors are this way but when we got started I mentioned I liked having extra insulin on hand in case of an emergency. So we worked it out where we would get a little extra insulin with a 3 month order and that helped to get us ahead.
Build a network…
No man is an island… get networked with other diabetics in your community. Work together. You’ll be surprised how many people keep extra supplies on hand. Plus sometimes people will change meters and have a few boxes of test strips or switch gauge needles, etc…  they might give you some or sell to you cheaper than you could buy them.
We have ran out of Ketonestrips once (key word ONCE! Hahaha!!) and had a sick child and it was late at night. One phone call and we had a bottle in less than 15 minutes.
We have a list of Diabetic Parents we keep, and the group is quick to reach out to newly diabetic parents to help them cope.
Keeping your cool…
Insulin must be kept cool until opened. Test strips should not get too cold or overly hot. (About 43 to 100 degrees.) In case of power outages (which we have had in the winter) I have a few systems set up.
1. Generator
2. 1 Liter Frozen Ice bottles and small cooler just for insulin & strips)
3. 12 Volt Car cooler (in case we need to leave or use it to keep insulin cool and we are out of ice.)
Diabetic Emergency Supplies…We keep an emergency Diabetic Supplies kit in all our vehicles.
These are basically for the “Oops” times when my son runs out of something while we are out.
Yeah, it has happened. (They are all stored in a Gluclose tablet bottles, they are rotated our during the time change.)
Inline image 1
Contents from picture… (From top to right):
10 – Pen Cap Needles (For Insulin Pen)
6 – 30 Unit Syringes (We are using the rest of the up and moving to the 50 unit ones.)
16 – Lancets
4 – 50 Unit Syringes
20 – Alcohol Prep Pads
“There is nothing nobler or more admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as man and wife, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends.” – Homer
Thanks for sharing your experience MIke!
I read “One Second After” and liked it a lot, recommended reading.
Regarding keeping the medicine cool, I think a portable compressor Freezer/Refrigerator like this one the Dometic (CDF-11) would be a good idea.
Its portable and can be run using any vehicle as a power source rather than needing a generator. Of course there’s not much space, but it should do ok for medicine.
Another thing to keep in mind as a last resort is the Zeer pot, or Pot-in-pot refrigerator, which can be easily made for little money using two clay pots, one smaller than the other. Sand is placed in between the pots and its kept wet. Food is placed inside the smaller pot and covered with a wet cloth. Evaporation does the rest, removing some of the heat.
Don’t expect a lot, but it is surprisingly cool and it sure would help to drop the temperature some.
Thanks for your email and good luck!


Unknown said...

I've seen those pots before, great idea!

Anonymous said...

The Zeer pot will only work in arid areas. It will fail in areas with high humidity. The Zerr pot works by evaporation.

emdfl said...

I doubt that those pots would be very efficient anywhere the humidity was 90-100% - as often happens in the south. Kinda like swamp coolers; they work really well as long as they are in a low-humidity environment.