Disaster-ready…or not?

The wildfires are raging in CA. Dry Santa Ana winds are supposed to return tomorrow and it is making me nervous. In 20 years of living in SoCal, we’ve had our share of big fires. Fortunately, we did not need to evacuate for any of them but I know plenty to people who had.

Side note: people who don’t live in CA tend to think that the biggest natural disaster we, Californias, are afraid of is an earthquake. Ha! Nope. Yes, earthquakes happen here from time to time. Sometimes we even feel them. And perhaps one day we may get a “big one.” But who knows if it will be in our lifetime and who will be affected? Wildfires, on the other hand, happen every year, and there is a good chance we will be affected directly or indirectly.

View from our backyard four years ago. This fire was small and was stopped quickly.

Emergency evacuation under any circumstances is stressful. Add T1D and Celiac to the mix, and it’s about 100 times more stressful. There are many things we can survive without, but Vic literally cannot survive more than a couple of days without insulin. And she has a million other important diabetes supplies. Plus, she has to have some safe GF food she can eat.

What we (and everyone, really) should do is have an emergency bag always packed and ready to go. Unfortunately, we are not that organized. But as I noticed that our complete lack of preparedness was contributing to my level of uneasiness, I decided that I can at least start organizing some things.

First up: diabetes supplies! I went through everything, spent about 20 minutes looking for the ketone meter, moved things around, and consolidated. In emergency, we grab 1. V’s diabetes backpack that contains opened insulin, pump, glucagon and fast-acting sugar; 2. Box of extra supplies from out bedroom; 3. Insulin from the fridge and 4. Pods and sensors from the family room.

Second: gluten-free food. After surveying our kitchen and garage, I now know that most of the non-perishable GF food is in the kitchen pantry and garage storage. In an emergency, we will grab as much of possible of cereals, bars, trail mix, and oatmeal packets. This will tide us, and especially V, over for a bit.

Third: water. Which maybe should be a priority over food? But in my brain, GF food takes priority over water. I can’t explain it. Anyhow, we usually have 5-gallon jugs, unless it’s a day or two before delivery and we may be running out. For now I’m comfortable taking our chances on one being available.

Fourth: asthma meds and nebulizer. V’s brother can be seriously affected, especially if it’s fires and the air quality is bad. Now they are all in one box that we can quickly grab.

We are nowhere near done, of course. We should have a bag on the ready with extra clothes, toiletries, and other emergency stuff. We need to make sure all important documents, such as passports and birth certificates, are together in one place so we can grab and go. And then we have our two dogs, so we will have to grab their leashes and food. Luckily, it’s all already organized and should not be difficult.

Best case scenario is that we will never have to evacuate. Second best case scenario is, if we have to evacuate, we will have time to pack and get ready. If we don’t have time and have to grab and run, I feel better now that we are more organized and I wrote down our plan. Of course worst case scenario is that we are not even home and are not able to go home to get our supplies. V always carries a backpack with insulin and some other basic supplies with her, so we should be OK for at least a day or two. And in that dire scenario we will have to wing it somehow. May we never need to execute our emergency plans!

Have you ever had to evacuate in an emergency? What have you learned from it? Am I omitting any important things specifically related to diabetes and Celiac? Please let me know in comments.

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2 responses to “Disaster-ready…or not?

  1. But also know these three things: 1. The red cross claims to have emergency diabetes supplies 2. if you have a script with a local primacy ( i use CVS for insulin and test strips) any store int he chain ca access your scripts and transfer them to any place in the country. A pod script sent to a local pharmacy can likely be filled in 48 hours. 3. The DOC is incredibly helpful please reach to us and I promise we will find someone to help.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for these tips! If we are ever in an emergency I will absolutely to reach out to DOC… assuming we have internet connection. Trying to play out all kinds of worst-case scenarios to be prepared.
      Good to know about Red Cross! We do have Rx for insulin and all other meds at CVS, so that’s comforting to know we can access it anywhere. We get our pump supplies directly from Omnipod and form what I’ve heard they are really helpful in sending out pods for people affected by disasters/emergencies. Once again crossing my fingers none of this will ever be necessary.

      Like

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