Prepping with diabetes is rarely discussed, as most prepping lessons center on healthy individuals without unique health conditions. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t do well in a survival rush, far from it. Like all critical health conditions, prepping with diabetes may, however, require more effort and, more importantly, excellent foresight on your part.
Prepping with diabetes is more complicated than usual. Let’s not mince words: persons with special diseases are especially vulnerable when SHTF. A diabetic person requires several medications and a special diet to stay healthy and alive. Thus, you must have a stream of supplies enough to live on in the case of unavailability for weeks, months, or, possibly, years.
Regardless, you can prep excellently during a survival situation as long as you keep to specific rules and regulations.
It is important to note that your prepping techniques, as a person with diabetes, barely depend on the type of diabetes you have. A type 1 diabetic patient does not necessarily have to follow different strategies from what a type 2 will. Therefore, below, we’ll look at general prepping guidelines for type 1 and type 2 diabetic patients.
Prepping With Diabetes — Type 1 & 2
Nearly 80% of adults with type 1 diabetes have had to manage with the condition since early childhood. Also, kids with this type of diabetes are often well cared for, even pampered perhaps, by their parents. So, I’m not doing this solely to discuss how to manage diabetes when SHTF, instead I’m specifically to recommend prepping strategies for you as a diabetic, such that you can stay perfectly healthy and happy come what may.
A Reservoir of Insulin
Insulin is arguably the most crucial supply for all diabetics, especially type 1, and must, therefore, be abundantly available during emergencies as it is regularly used. Should any situation make it impossible for a type 1 or 2 diabetic to use insulin, it can result in extreme complications, even death. However, having a surplus supply of insulin isn’t enough— you must also store it as well, else it’d spoil. Before setting up your insulin reservoir, take note of the following:
Stockpiling Insulin is Costly
Insulin, unlike other emergency drugs purchasable over the counter, is strictly prescribed and, thus, generally expensive. Your reservoir is therefore determined by the policy of your insurance company. A smart move when stockpiling insulin is to refill prescriptions as soon as possible, which is ideally six days before you need to use it.
Alternatively, you can reach an agreement with your insurance company to stockpile more than initially agreed, advisably a 30-day to 90-day refill.
Refrigeration is Key
The general belief is that insulin will remain good for only 28 days without refrigeration, and while this is a fair amount of time, I’m afraid it may be inadequate. A disaster could last for as long as a month and a half, and there’s no guarantee of power. I’d suggest a fridge that runs on propane or a generator as the solution.
Since you’re buying to stockpile, you can try out generic insulin as it is cheaper and available on shelves of stores like Sam’s Club and Walmart. However, note that generic insulin is not the actual prescribed insulin. You, therefore, have to seek your doctor’s advice before switching.
Other Useful Tips For Prepping With Diabetes
Insulin is essential, but it isn’t the sole consideration to make ahead. Here are other tips to consider for a diabetic prepper.
Own A Special Supply Bag
If you have type 1 or 2 diabetes, owning a supply bag specifically for your diabetes supplies is an excellent move. This will make it easier for you to access or find your medications, especially during a rush. You wouldn’t have to search and search to get your drug even during an emergency.
Stock Healthy Foods
For a person with diabetes, eating healthy foods is as important as medications. Remember that type 2 diabetes is mostly caused by what we eat. Stockpile healthy foods that are rich in nutrients and very low in sugar. In addition to your food supply, it is recommended to keep a lot of snacks available if you have a child or younger sibling with diabetes. These snacks should be low-sugar and no-carb as well.
A Tank of Drinkable Water
Persons with type 1 diabetes drink water more often than normal. So, you have to keep a tank available. Of course, a “tank” is merely an exaggeration, but it should tell you that you should have a lot of water in your stockpile. If you aren’t sure of power supply, you can always harvest rainwater through simple collection systems at little or no cost.
Come With Testing Kits
Although testing kits should already be included in your supply bag, coming with extras is advisable— after all, they are cheaper and easily carried. And as we always say, “you never know what might happen when SHTF.”
Important testing supplies to pack include pen needles and test strips, so you may consider stockpiling these in bulk quantities. Lest I forget, a spare glucose monitor and a pair of second batteries are also recommended inclusions.
Keep in mind that diabetic patients need a bolstered immune system to keep healthy. With that in mind, you sure understand why vitamins are a necessary supply. Stockpile a wide variety of vitamins, particularly vitamin D, which may be unavailable in the absence of sunlight.
Additionally, studies indicate that vitamin D may help regulate the levels of blood glucose. As such, stockpiling it and other classes of vitamins is advisable.
Check For Urine Test Strips
Your glucose monitor can become defective during a survival situation, perhaps due to dropping or breaking, which is why I advised a spare one. However, in case the situation is critical, and you lose the extra monitor also or cannot afford more than 1, you can opt for urine test strips.
Although these are less accurate and not very convenient, they would still be useful in an emergency. Note that you may be holed up for months, so make sure you can track your levels during this period.
Conclusion On Prepping With Diabetes
As discussed, prepping with diabetes is possible, but costlier and takes more effort. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t do well when SHTF. By planning, keeping to the above guidelines, you’re assured of a good and happy stay throughout your time in the bunker or wherever.