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Irene Taught Me ...

Oh, this is mesmerizing.Hurricane Irene taught me:

  • That coolers aren't just for the beach or for beer ... they are for stashing insulin and cold packs, in the event that the power goes out.  Especially if you just had a 90 day supple of Humalog shipped to the house in that weird space-bag and now there are many, many bottles crammed into the butter compartment.
  • That having a gas stove is really convenient.
  • That we don't really need a flashlight, since I wear one attached to my hip at all times.
  • That putting away the deck furniture was really smart because the wind was crazy and everything that wasn't tied down or in the garage ended up taking flight ... except for that one, empty box of raisins that ended up being left outside by accident.  And didn't move.  The entire time.  Wind is no match for that SunMaid lady!
  • That when a tree falls in the yard, it makes both a huge sound and a huge mess.  
  • Also, that same tree can obliterate a fence in a matter of seconds.
  • And that it can come crashing to the ground in a matter of seconds, but it takes over a week to clean up the chaos.
  • That making sure the windows are securely shut is really important, because you never know when you'll wake up to the sound of the window slamming against the side of the house, banging away in the gale force winds.
  • It's surprising how animals and babies have this acute sense of impending inclement weather, but I didn't have a clue until the window started slapping.
  • That when you really calculate how many bottles of test strips you need over the course of a potential emergency evacuation, you can't count high enough.
  • Which made me wonder what I'd really do in a serious emergency, and that prompted me to panic about my survival rate. 
  • "We'd just have to eat you first."  Standard zombie apocalypse answer.
  • No, but seriously, do you have a diabetes emergency kit?  I always make one (with test strips, pump sites, insulin and insulin pens, etc.) but then I start grabbing things out of it and eventually it becomes just a plastic box with a few dust bunnies and one or two AA batteries.  Oh, and a quarter to change the battery of the pump with.  Chris and I talk about the importance of having a grab-and-go emergency kit for my diabetes stuff, but I never get around to making a proper one. 
  • Suddenly, a proper emergency kit has been added to my weekend to do list.
  • That entertaining a 16 month old babbling, pigtailed hurricane of our own, indoors, while the hurricane raged on outdoors was going to be a bit of a challenge.
  • That I want to submit "Siah" as a potential hurricane name for 2011.  Because she's worth it.
  • That the power can be knocked out for days just a few streets over while we enjoy the lights, cable, and Internet of our lucky home.
  • (And that being one of the few towns in RI that didn't lose power would make our house very popular for overnight guests, laundry-doers, and people who wanted to de-grime themselves.  Which is nice because working from home creates a certain sense of "talking to the cats as if they are actual co-workers," so I appreciate the visitors!)
  • That Twitter never, ever sleeps.  Even when hurricanes are beating down doors, Twitter continues to blaze on.  That's so the epitome of this song.
  • That bullet points are sometimes my favorite way to blog.


I love the fact that you store your insulin bottles in the butter bin too. My husband thinks it's weird that I do that so now I can tell him I'm not the only one! Glad you survived the storm.

I laughed at your first bullet point - many, many bottles of insulin crammed into the butter compartment. You are not the only one who does that! When I get my humalog, lantus and symlin, that compartment can't even fit any butter! It is taken over by my medicine. Glad to know I am not the only one. :) Oh and glad you survived the storm!

I was fortunate enough to survive relatively unscathed in my nice house on the hill, while neighbors very close to the west, east, and south of me had their entire homes flooded beyond repair (dam those Rockaway and Passaic Rivers!).

But the biggest D-lessons I learned (other than the precautions I didn't heed and fortunately didn't need) is that one should ALWAYS temp-basal when clearing the yard of patio furniture - by a lot. That BG of 39 that hit me afterwards wasn't much fun.

I totally agree about a need for a d-emergency kit but how do you make one with things that expire (insulin)? Do you waste a bottle of insulin every few months just in case or do you pack everything else then hope you can grab a bottle before disaster strikes?

Also, what if your kit is at home and you are at work? Do you make another set to leave at work?

Ugh! This is freaking me out/giving me a headache. If you have any suggestions/websites that could help with a proper d-emergency kit that would be much appreciated. :)

Outstanding post, Kerri. I cracked up on the standard zombie apocalypse response, and also the Siah name... Classic. I envision a tagline: "Hurricane Siah... bent on World Domination while spinning in circles chasing her tail."

ahahha "because she's worth it". glad you made it through everything relatively unscathed. thanks for the reminder about the emergency kit.

I have a blue insulated lunch bag that my insurance company sent me when I first joined their mailing program. It's really meant for storing supplies, but I find that I can't fit all that much in there-400 test strips, 400 lancets, a few boxes of alcohol wipes, and an extra UltraMini meter. It sounds like a lot, but for two people, it really isn't much. I pretend to use it for storing supplies (even though the overflow goes to a cardboard box), but I know that it's really our emergency kit.

And we got incredibly lucky-no power outages, no flooding, no down trees on our property (though part of our street was blocked off for days because a tree fell on a power line and they didn't get around to it until yesterday. And there were some really stupid people who kept moving the cones away from the area and driving around it!)

Glad to hear you survived intact, Kerri!

I delayed getting my son's insulin refilled (local RX 34 day, no mail order) until after the hurricane, so I didn't have to deal with coolers and ice packs. Had power through the hurricane, lost it for 6 hours after the sun was out. My gas stove has an electric glow starter, no pilot light. If yours is the same way, the no electric, no gas stove.

I too use the butter compartment for my insulin...that way the boxes don't fall out when you open the door. I love reading your blogs because it makes me realize that there are other people doing the same things as me such as the butter compartment and keeping a coin handy for my pump. Also, on an earlier blog you mentioned the 5 million test strips that fall out of your meter case...happens to me all the time! Keep up the good work Kerri!

I have been kicking myself for not having an emergency kit either! But what do you guys do about the insulin? We all keep the unopened ones in the fridge, but that's not practical for an emergency kit. Do you leave it unrefridgerated and change it out once a month? Or keep the whole kit in the fridge?

I vote for them to add Siah to the list of hurricane names for this year. I wonder what that storm would be like?

I keep a stash of supplies in my work bag, including a bottle of insulin. When I need a new bottle of insulin, I sometimes put the new bottle in my work bag and take the "old" bottle from my work bag. That way, I rotate the bottles pretty frequently. Humalog and Novalog last 1 month unrefrigerated (see bit.ly/nBkuVX).

Silly people- if you make an emergency kit including insulin and so on, keep it in the fridge! That way it'll be good until the power goes out, and the cold is good for batteries, too. It probably won't hurt the quarter.

FWIW: I'm on the left coast- rarely any weather disasters, but an earthquake can ruin your whole day. Still, I don't have an emergency kit put together. :-/

Yep, there is no butter behind my butter door, either! And I always have a nickel so I can change the battery, too! These are just some of the reasons I love this blog. I could have written so many parts of it, too!

It's like they actually had insulin in mind, not butter, when they designed our fridges. Fridge engineers must be diabetic.

I had to laugh that your first bullet was about insulin in the butter section of the fridge- then it was even better to see that so many of the comments were too! Sometimes we have to find the small things to make us smile when dealing daily with diabetes! Thanks for the great post! It reminded me to re-stock my emergency kit as well!

We take a diabetes backpack with us everywhere for my six year old son. Inside is this nifty little case that we got from Animas. It's perfect for storing emergency supplies for about a week or so. (My hubby uses his Animas case for travel.) As for the insulin, we put it in the insulated pocket in the backpack inside a Frio. We rotate the insulin out when we need a new bottle and put one from the fridge in the backpack. Just call me OCD, since I used to live on the left coast near a fault line and now live in the midwest in blizzard/tornado country. Glad you're all ok Kerri!

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