Friday, January 18, 2008

Contingency Plans

Yesterday it snowed. It also sleeted and rained, sometimes separately, sometimes together! I work at a small private school, and we were inundated with phone calls from our parents, asking if we were closing early. Often we like to take cues from the county public schools. We kept checking their web site to see what they would do. Nothing. Nothing.

This week in the public high schools, the kids were taking mid terms. This is a county that usually closes schools when a snowflake is spotted in the far western corner of the boundary; however, I think they were gritting their teeth yesterday, waiting out the weather because they did NOT want to mess with the mid term schedule. We decided at our school to cancel after school activities and asked parents to pick up all children at the end of the school day so that our after care providers could shut down and make their way home.

Parents started trickling in after lunch to get their kids. I heard stories of accidents, slipping and sliding, trucks turning sideways... I was a little nervous, thinking about my kids on the school buses. I work part time, and get out of work just as Daniel is getting out of school. He's not allowed to use us cell phone during the school day, so after I got out I called Daniel to find out if he was already on his way. I was thinking that I'd rather pick him up this time... but he was on the bus with his friends and they were just starting off. So I headed off to my daughter's middle school & my youngest son's elementary school to get them. The weather kept changing. I drove through bands of snow, sleet, and rain. While waiting in the pick-up line at the elementary school, the precipitation changed back to all snow for a while. The flakes were enormous and heavy. It looked like ostrich feathers were falling from the sky.

When Nora and Dominic returned from sledding, later, they were completely soaked.

The heavy precipitation caused a power outage last night. Daniel had 2 friends over celebrating the end of mid terms. I had just gotten one in a long line of leftover dishes cooked in the microwave when the lights went out. AGH!

Luckily I can still light the gas on the stove when the power is out, so leftovers took a little longer to cook, but not much. We ate by candlelight. After his friends left, Daniel and I played Scrabble. I started wondering how long the outage would go, and thought about generators and whether we should get one. We've thought about getting one on and off for a few years. There have been a few times when we have lost power for a few hours, and once for most of a day. Back then we didn't have medicines to deal with.

How long does the insulin keep in the refrigerator once the power goes out? I know the insulin pens can be stored unrefrigerated, but that's usually after they are opened. What if the power goes out and the temp in the refrigerator slowly goes up? I started thinking about all kinds of natural disasters, and what it must be like to live in a place that is prone to earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc., and have diabetes.

I am going to call the companies and find out what they say, and go from there. I think we need to have a back up medicool kit, or something like that at least, just in case. A contingency plan.


jules said...

Good morning! Well... honestly, I don't keep my insulin in the fridge [except the vials I've not opened yet] I was told that Lantus and Novolog are fine at room temperature and can withstand higher temps for a few hours. Just make sure that the clear hasn't become cloudy and there aren't any particles that look crystalized in the vial. Also, being from hot southern hurricane land I know from experience that insulin can take a temperature beating and still be good. Thanks for reading my blog I think you're the only one! :)

Jillian said...

Like Jules said, insulin can definitely take a bit of a beating. I know over the years we have accidentally left it in the car on a summer day, or I've had a pen in my purse in the beating sun. Also when I was in 7th grade we didn't have power for more than a few days, and we just used the don't open the fridge unless it's absolutely necessary rule. But I do know that after awhile we took it to our neighbors house to put in their fridge because they had a generator, just in case. We also gave them my birthday cake which was a Carvel ice cream cake, that melted in their freezer. So I don't know how cold a generator actually keeps things.

I am a rambling rambler, who is now done talking.

Cara said...

Hi! Thanks for leaving a note on my blog. I wouldn't have known you were here otherwise! I have gone back an read most all of your blogs. It's nice to get a feel of a person that way. I am sorry to hear that your son and daughter have also been diagnosed w/ celiac disease. I, like your daughter, love my glutten. I try to low carb, but sometimes I just can't help myself. Sometimes, nothing but a piece of cake or some pasta will do. Sigh.
As for the natural disasters: my biggest fear has always been that a tornado would come and I would loose my diabetes supplies! Yikes! I have no idea why I have that fear, but I am less worried about my stuff and way more worried about my diabetes. Even when I was younger.
I gather from your posts and your blogger profile that you are in Maryland. I saw in one post that you went to the Rennisance Festival. I have always wanted to go. I have a friend who lives in Rockville and I actually am coming up to visit her next weekend!
Anyway, I look forward to reading your blog.

Naomi said...

Thanks everyone! It's good to know that the insulin can take a bit of a licking and keep on ticking. Not that I want to lick insulin (although one of the first questions out of my kids mouths after Daniel was diagnosed was, "I wonder what insulin tastes like?" But they think it smells pretty horrible so I think there's a pretty good chance that they will never find out. Anyway. I digress.

We are still discussing generators. My brother in law sells them, so we may be able to get a discount, but he is in NH, so shipping/driving would negate the discount.

It's nice to meet you, Cara! The Renn fest was so much fun. We went for the first time this year. I hope you visit your friend in Rockville when the Renn fest is on! It stays here for something like six to eight weeks. My advice: Bring lots and lots of cash!