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dthomasdigital

Medications during a SHTF.

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As an insulin dependent diabetic this is something I think about all the time. Those handy electronic blood glucose monitors are great but they need batteries and test strips what happens when they run out. What about my other medications, and those of the rest of my family? Well I guess I'm what you call a medication hoarder. I always fill prescriptions way before they run out and as a result over the years I've created my own little pharmacy. I've broken all our medications into 30 day supplies and now have enough to keep the rotation going for 12 months. Now insulin that's another story as it must remain refrigerated and for that I have a small refrigerator (with 2 more in a box) that runs on solar and batteries that works great but even then I am at the mercy of the supply.

What do yo do with your medications,  have any good ideas?

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I have the same issue with being insulin dependent. Have a couple of backup cooling ideas, the root cellar is generally around 5 C so effectively a refrigerator. Another option is a plastic pipe with sealed threaded "clean out" ends ( maybe with a tire valve to allow slight pressurization ) and a few weights for negative buoyancy, on a cord and down the well or cistern. Here I'd need to break through the ice on the cistern if  using it after November, but the water at the bottom will be at exactly 4 C until the ice finishes melting. Warmer places, it would be a good idea to take a few readings so you know what you have first.  The now unused well will be at 4C all year round, not safe to drink due to wood cribbing , bacteria and mineral content, but a sealed container solves those problems and if pressurized ( about 1 PSI for every two feet of submersion ) should be dry even with less then ideal seals.

Also have some frozen containers in the deep freeze , regular ice in plastic jugs to put in the refrigerator during longer power failures, and some frozen saturated brine to act as ballast in the freezer ( keep everything else frozen to -18 C (( 0 F )) until they finish melting ).

Test strips, I keep 200 extra on hand and cycle through, batteries.. well have to disqualify myself from that part of the problem since I've got over 1 kilowatt hour in charged Li-Ion cells at the bench, but if your test unit uses 2016, 2032 etc Li-Ion cells there are rechargeable versions and an old hand crank flashlight will put a usable charge on those in a few minutes . Some of the new test units are rechargeable from a USB port , so a power bank would keep them up for over a year ( well past the last of the test strips ).

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29 minutes ago, Thomas said:

Is there no viable alternative to the refrigerated insulin? :(

Learning to harvest pancreases and process them for insulin. Easier if you have hogs or cattle that you know are healthy but it's still a complex and temperature sensitive operation also involving controlled PH , centrifuges and a few chemicals that should be well defined. For me not eating also works, but with a limited time to expiry of metabolic processes from other side effects. 😬

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Have a small fridge set up with batteries and solar for my insulin as well. Door is locked, the fridge and batteries are kept off the ground, but are still secured to the floor to try and prevent floodwater or wind from destroying it

 

It'd be nice to have a root cellar or well thats got cold water, but neither is a good option for me down here.

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@zackmars funny you say root cellar, I've been looking at locations on my land for just such an thing. Once I find the perfect location I'm going to start getting the supplies together to build one. 

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13 hours ago, Thomas said:

Is there no viable alternative to the refrigerated insulin? :(

Nope not yet, at least you can keep the new pen injectors out for 28 days, but that is it and you still have to watch the temperature.

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10 hours ago, dthomasdigital said:

Nope not yet, at least you can keep the new pen injectors out for 28 days, but that is it and you still have to watch the temperature.

I hope some new discovery occurs that mitigates the risk for folks with diabetes, must be stressful.

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