I've Been Asked to Make a Presentation

By GabbyPA Latest Reply 2013-01-24 12:36:38 -0600
Started 2013-01-24 09:05:22 -0600

I have been asked to be a speaker at a meeting on the topic of Emergency Preparedness. They asked me to do a presentation on how diabetics should prepare in case of long time power outages and disasters. I am honored to do so and have much to draw from because of all the great input and ideas so many of you have shared with me over the years.

My experience is in Type 2, but I would love some additional input from those of you who are type 1.
What types of insulin doesn't require refrigeration?
What do you do to naturally keep your glucose levels low?
How long can you store your insulin without refrigeration?
What foods help you the most?
How long would your pump work if the power is out?
What is in your car kit or work kit?
Best places to get your glucagon kit and other supplies?

Any little tips would be appreciated to add to my presentation. I will let you know how it goes.

6 replies

Type1Lou 2013-01-24 12:36:11 -0600 Report

Congratulations Gabby!… Just a few thoughts from a Pumping Type 1 perspective… I would want to be certain that I have enough batteries to assure that my pump is always functioning (Mine takes 1 AAA battery per month) and I use the same batteries in my OneTouch meter. My Medtronic pump and BG meter is unaffected by a power outage, as long as the battery is working. I would also make certain to have enough pump reservoirs and infusion sets on hand (I replace them every 3rd day), as well as my "Quick-serter" device which helps me apply my infusion set. One vial of insulin lasts me 1 month and I do continue to refrigerate it since I only draw from it every 3rd day. Once you begin to use an insulin vial or pen, most needn't be refrigerated but we are usually advised to discard it 28 days after opening, regardless if any insulin is left in the vial or pen. Many Type 1's use more insulin than I do.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-01-24 10:07:04 -0600 Report

Gabby I once wrote a training manual on disaster preparedness. You are asking questions instead of giving information. Most diabetics know what they have and how to store medications what they need is information on what to do to prepare for an emergency.

Keep in mind there are two kinds of preparedness. In home and total evacuation. In home is easier.

When you hear of an impending storm you should:

1. Put all medical information such as doctors name, address and phone number, medical insurance card, list of medications with prescription numbers and numbers of refills with the number of the pharmacy and any other medical information for everyone in the family including the pets and place in a water tight container in an area where you can get it should you have to leave and to protect it from water. You can do the same with all other information you will need such as homeowner/renter policies, life insurance and social security or social services paper work. List model numbers for all high end appliances, computers, stereo/tv equipment and take photos of them. Include information on Medical Equipment with the name, address and phone number of the supplier
Account numbers you may need. Include recent photos of members in the family with age, weight, height, birthmarks, birth date, etc. Include the name address of their schools, doctors etc.
2. Address and phone numbers of family and friends should you or emergency personnel have to contact them on your behalf
3. Purchase non perishable foods that will help you maintain control of your diabetes. Depending on the kind of storm or its severity, organic, and fresh veggies may not be available to you for a while. You can put crackers and other items like them in zip lock baggies. Include food for your pets. Also buy a manual can opener.
4. Water for at least 3 days for each person in the household including pets. Also fill the bathtub with water.
5. Fill containers with water and put them in your freezer. This could be empty water, milk, soda bottles. Wash them you can thaw them should you need the water and it will keep foods frozen longer in the freezer.
6. Put all of your medications in one location in a water tight container. Insulin can be put in a zip lock baggie in the fridge. Should you have to leave it is ready to go with you. Ask your doctor how long insulin can be stored out of the fridge. Also ask if you can put ice cubes in a container and sit the insulin in it in the fridge once the power goes out. Will keep it cold longer
7. Purchase Camp Lanterns. They run by batteries and are safer than candles. Also purchase a battery powered radio to keep you updated should you need it.
8. Gabby I know nothing about insulin pumps but if they run by batteries, make sure you have extra batteries and if they can also be charged keep the charger near by in a water tight container with the extra batteries.
9. Pack a bag for each person in the family with clothing for at least 3 days and pack a bag for the pets with their food. Put this where it will stay dry and easy to get should you have to leave. Do the same for any diabetic items such as glyco tables, shakes, nutrition bars etc.
Hope this helps.

GabbyPA 2013-01-24 10:08:33 -0600 Report

Thank you, this is helpful. My questions are for you guys to help me give people ideas of what they can do or different things they can look into in case there is an emergency.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-01-24 11:09:10 -0600 Report

I owe you an apology, I forgot to tell you that I am so glad you are doing this.

Gabby unfortunately people don't think to be prepared for an emergency. For instance, it doesn't have to be a natural disaster or a fire. It could be an emergency at work, school or on the highway. You never know when something is going to happen and as a diabetic you always have to have a snack and medication with you.

GabbyPA 2013-01-24 11:28:36 -0600 Report

Yes that is so true. The bend on this is really how diabetics prepare differently from the average person. I am speaking more on the food types, alternatives to the staples that the average family might consider. I am looking at more of a long time lifestyle altering situation versus a medical emergency or a storm. This group is very prepared for many kinds of emergencies. That is why I am helping them see some special needs among the group.

jayabee52 2013-01-24 12:36:38 -0600 Report

are you giving your talks to so called "preppers"? That what I seem to be understanding from this end of the wire.