No insulin today, Ma’am! I stared back at the pharmacist in utter disbelief.  What do you mean there is no insulin today?   I am a diabetic and need insulin to survive – what do I do?

For 50 years, I have purchased my insulin and diabetic supplies from the drugstore – and have never experienced a shortage of insulin.  No Insulin today – this can’t be right – or can it?

shocked woman
I only thought I would have trouble purchasing insulin in a disaster. How can this be?

I thought the only time I would not be able to purchase insulin was when faced with a disaster – but as I found out today, that may not be the case.

Let this be a lesson – we must always be prepared!  We need insulin before, during and after a disaster to survive!

After a significant disaster, drug stores may not be open, hospitals may be overwhelmed, and we may not have easy access to the drugs we need to survive.  In my case and millions of others, we require insulin daily to stay alive and healthy.  Today, there was no earthquake – yet I could not purchase insulin. It scares me to think – what will it be like after a disaster?

Thank goodness I had extra insulin safely stored in my fridge to get me through till their shipment of insulin arrived.

Lessons Learned from not being able to Purchase Insulin?

Keep a Supply of Medications Safely Stored Away!

Emergencies and disasters come in all shapes and sizes; as I found out today, we may not have easy access to the meds we need to survive. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about your family’s medications to ensure you are prepared.  Don’t forget your pets – if they are on meds, speak to your veterinarian.  Make sure all your Emergency Kits have the medications you will need.

Purchasing Meds – Don’t Leave to the Last Minute!

insulin bottle and syringes for a disabetic
Make sure you have your insulin properly stored for disasters

It scares me to think about what I would have done if I had been down to my last insulin bottle.  What if I ran out?  What if I dropped the bottle on the floor, shattering it into a million pieces?  Make sure; you have some extra medications safely and properly stored away.

Have a Backup Plan

What other options are available if I can’t purchase an insulin bottle? Using an insulin pump, I need to buy insulin in a bottle to fill my pump.  The pharmacist had prefilled needles with insulin, but switching from the pump to the needles was not straightforward.  I would need to know the amounts of insulin to take, which would involve changing to two types of insulin.  Confirm with your Dr what options are available as a backup plan to ensure access to your required medications.

Next Steps

As we turn the corner on COVID, we must adjust to the new challenges.  Our world is different; we have seen global shortages of many necessities – infant formula, cold medications, Tylenol for kids and even computer chips are difficult to find.  Who knows what will be next?

Please don’t take chances regarding life safety; ensure you have what you need safely stored away.

How we prepare our family and pets for disasters may need a different approach.  Not only are we preparing for earthquakes, floods and forest fires, but in addition we must be prepared in everyday life. We see frequent shortages of items we rely upon to keep us alive and healthy. For additional info on preparing diabetics for disasters  visit ADCES for some tips!

Don’t be panicked – be prepared.

Stay Safe

Jackie Kloosterboer