Since insulin needs to be kept at a temperature below 86°F, be prepared with a method of keeping it cool in the event of a prolonged power outage in hot weather. One option is to have an evaporative cooler such as a FRIO insulin cooling wallet, which is activated by water, keeps insulin cool for two days, is reusable, and does not require ice packs or refrigeration. If you don’t have a FRIO wallet, use an insulated bag or lunchbox with a cold pack, ice, or frozen food from your freezer. (Don’t place your insulin directly on a cold pack, ice, or frozen food.)
Your emergency kit should include copies of all of your prescriptions (including glasses or contact lenses) and a current dosage regimen in case others need to give your medicines to you. For pump users, this should include basal rates, insulin-to-carbohydrate ratios, and correction factors. If you subscribe to a medical identification service, include a printout of all of your information. Put this information in a ziplock bag.
Take action now
Even a simple power outage can turn into a dangerous situation if you’re not prepared. But with adequate supplies of water, food, ways to keep warm (or cool), and supplies to take care of your diabetes, you can survive all sorts of situations and stay in good health while doing it.
Take some time now to assess how prepared you and members of your household are to survive on your own for a few days. Note what steps you need to take to become prepared, then take action. By putting together an emergency plan and an emergency kit today, you can enjoy peace of mind in the days ahead.