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#282268 - 09/28/16 04:46 AM Keeping Insulin Safe in Emergency
Ors Offline
Namu (Giant Tree)
Addict

Registered: 09/16/05
Posts: 641
Loc: SoCal, USA
My wife is Type I diabetic and therefore has an insulin pump.

We just moved to SoCal, and the potential for earthquakes disrupting things for extended periods of time.

It needs to be kept cool, or it spoils and can be dangerous for her. She travels with freezer packs regularly, but I'm looking for solutions for the long haul.

I was thinking maybe one of those coolers that plugs into a cigarette lighter and a portable power source, either solar or hand crank.

I would welcome other solutions. This one really could be life or death for my beloved.

Thanks!
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#282270 - 09/28/16 12:53 PM Re: Keeping Insulin Safe in Emergency [Re: Ors]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3599
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I think we've had a few discussions similar to this, and I'll keep searching for some old gems, but here's a link to a good old thread about preparing medications:

http://forums.equipped.org/ubbthreads.ph...true#Post132916


Edited by bacpacjac (09/28/16 01:03 PM)
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#282271 - 09/28/16 02:08 PM Re: Keeping Insulin Safe in Emergency [Re: Ors]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1916
Loc: Washington, DC
I'm going to follow this discussion with keen interest, it is so important. I just did a quick Google and found this link addressing the matter of keeping insulin cool in a power outage:

http://thesurvivaldoctor.com/2012/06/19/insulin-storage/



http://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/ma...dness-diabetes/

Since insulin needs to be kept at a temperature below 86°F, be prepared with a method to keep 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. With reactivation, this will give you up to one month to get to a new source of insulin.

If you do not have an evaporative cooler, for the first day of a power outage, you can keep medications cool in the freezer (although you should unplug it because it will freeze your medications if power is restored). Or you can use an insulated bag or lunchbox with a cold pack, ice, or frozen food from the freezer. (Don’t place your insulin directly on a cold pack, ice, or frozen foo
d.)


Maine's government has guidance: https://www1.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/population-health/dcp/documents/epdiabetes.pdf

This diabetes forum thread mentions, among other things, the utility of a good thermos. Would your wife's insulin vials fit in a thermos? I have a Nissin thermos which is incredibly effective at keeping beverages piping hot or freezing cold for over 24 hours.

http://forums.childrenwithdiabetes.com/showthread.php?78267-Insulin-and-Power-Outages


:
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#282272 - 09/28/16 03:35 PM Re: Keeping Insulin Safe in Emergency [Re: Ors]
bws48 Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/18/07
Posts: 830
Loc: Anne Arundel County, Maryland
I am a type 2 insulin dependent diabetic, and have used several methods for storing insulin, both for routine day to day, during power outages, and travel, both by car and airplane. Here is what I do:

Refrigerator: pretty much everyone's starting point.

Short local travel: Frio wallet (no association). Works reasonably well, holds a pen and a vial (I use both), but that is about it. I have been told that in an emergency, wrapping insulin vials and pens in a wet towel kept in the shade will produce the same evaporation cooling effect, thus allowing storage of more vials/pens. I also have a supply of freezer packs in the freezer (I get them "free" as my insulin is shipped to me in styrofoam containers with cooler packs.)

Backups at home: For many years I used a small generator to power the fridge, then later went with a auto standby generator.

Long auto trips: I have a small 12 volt thermoelectric cooler that doubles as a standard insulated cooler when not powered.

Airline travel: The hardest. Always take all medications and supplies in carry on. As for the insulin, I have one of those insulated lunch bags, and put my pens and vials in a plastic bag surrounded by thin bubble wrap, then one of the freezer blocks, surrounded by regular bubble wrap, and then into the insulated lunch bag. Never had a question from TSA (keep everything in the box they came in with the prescription on in). I have found that this setup will last about 20-24 hours before the freezer block has fully defrosted, but everything is still cool.

I have no experience with off the grid/disaster storage, but I think you should plan on having several options if you can. I took a quick look at the sites Dagny listed and saw one technique that look very interesting----the deep hole in the ground. A variation of that could be as simple as a cool basement.

Hope this helps.
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#282275 - 09/28/16 08:37 PM Re: Keeping Insulin Safe in Emergency [Re: Ors]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2958
Loc: USA
There are refrigerators made for the RV crowd that can run on propane. Some are designed to work on AC as well.

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#282276 - 09/28/16 08:49 PM Re: Keeping Insulin Safe in Emergency [Re: chaosmagnet]
Tjin Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 1732
Originally Posted By: chaosmagnet
There are refrigerators made for the RV crowd that can run on propane. Some are designed to work on AC as well.


I think they are generally '3 way' fridges, that can work on propane, 12v and mains. If i remember correctly, they do consume quite a lot of power compaired to a compressor model. But then again you have the gas option.
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#282277 - 09/29/16 01:12 AM Re: Keeping Insulin Safe in Emergency [Re: Tjin]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2958
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Tjin
I think they are generally '3 way' fridges, that can work on propane, 12v and mains. If i remember correctly, they do consume quite a lot of power compaired to a compressor model. But then again you have the gas option.


I had heard the opposite, but I've never owned one.

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#282279 - 09/29/16 02:47 AM Re: Keeping Insulin Safe in Emergency [Re: chaosmagnet]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4934
Loc: SOCAL
There are refrigerators designed to work with solar systems that would be preferable imo. As I recall, models came in either 12 or 24 volt DC, and were heavily insulated. DC-Powered Solar Refrigerators Freezers
Quote:
...Green Energy Innovations offers an entire line of solar powered refrigerators, solar powered fridge-freezer, solar powered freezers and our newest addition the solar powered medical refrigerator. ...

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#282384 - 10/08/16 06:11 AM Re: Keeping Insulin Safe in Emergency [Re: Ors]
nursetim Offline
Newbie

Registered: 08/29/06
Posts: 31
Loc: the last bastion of PHRASECENS...
Let me make this near impossible. Keep insulin usable, testing strips as well, in Arizona summer with no refrigeration at all. Oh, and no money for gadgets. That what I have to deal with for my patients. I've talked to endocrinologists and they had nothing to add. But the people that reads this are very much of the "adapt, improvise, overcome." Mindset.
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#282389 - 10/08/16 11:00 AM Re: Keeping Insulin Safe in Emergency [Re: Ors]
LesSnyder Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1539
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
would seem like the roto molded (Yeti style)high tech coolers would offer an improved insulation over traditional coolers...there are similar products at a much lower price...Engel (Australian) had a pretty high tech battery powered cooler unit that used a magnetic piston pump IIRC, and not thermo electric

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