Tacticool Diabetes

Let the diabetes preps begin!

Type 1 diabetics need to have their insulin supplies with them at all times. They set up pretty well before we left the hospital – insulin, pen injectors, blood glucose meter, and emergency supplies. They put it all in a pretty cool little lunch-box sized pack – pink camo, no less. It goes everywhere Ginger goes now.

Not good enough. After all, one is none.

I started running through scenarios that could result in losing access to Ginger’s kit. The simplest one, and at the top of my mind since my recent bug-out bucket build, is a fire in the house. Imagine a fire downstairs forcing evac through the upstairs windows. The kit usually lives in the kitchen, so we might not be able to fetch it before bugging out. Yes, we could just bring it upstairs at night, but that relies on remembering to do so, and still leaves us with the “one is none” problem.

Tacticool diabetes – choose your camo.

So I decided to build a second kit for Ginger, to be kept upstairs and only for use in an emergency. And what would a prepper dad do for his diabetic daughter but build it in a tactical IFAK pouch? In digital ACU, no less. I had an extra S.O. TECH SIMAP pouch, left over from my recent blow-out kit rebuild. It looked like a pretty good size for the required supplies, so I started stuffing things in. I think it came out great.

Insulin and glucagon - perfect fit!
Insulin and glucagon – perfect fit!

Most diabetics need two types of insulin – a long-acting injection, where the insulin forms crystals under the skin and slowly dissolves over 24 hours to provide a baseline dose. They also need the fast-acting stuff, injected right before a meal to allow the incoming glucose bolus to be absorbed. We use pen injectors rather than old-school syringes, so the two pens go into the tourniquet pouch on the outside. We’ve also got to carry an emergency supply of glucagon, in case of an insulin overdose. Glucagon is a hormone that stimulates the liver to release glucose from the glycogen it stores, and quickly spikes the blood sugar – if it gets too low, you can pass out. The glucagon kit fits nicely in the pocket with the insulin pens.

Click for larger image
Click for larger image

Inside, I was able to include everything needed for at least a couple of rounds of injections, plus emergency supplies. Every diabetic needs a blood glucose meter, and we were lucky enough to have yet another spare meter – manufacturers basically give away the meter so they can clean you out on the cost of their test strips. And luckily, this meter has replaceable batteries, unlike our main meter, which is rechargeable. That’s key, since this kit will be sitting idle in a refrigerator most of the time – insulin needs to be refrigerated until ready to use.

Refrigeration is the next redundancy point to address. If you recall my karma-inducing diss in my comments on the fictional father in “One Second After,” he struggled to keep his diabetic daughter’s insulin supply viable through a year-long, EMP-induced grid-down scenario. I will be adding a propane-powered refrigerator soon, but for now, a small dorm-sized fridge upstairs will store the new emergency kit. That’ll provide redundancy for the main fridge itself – a much more likely failure mode than EMP attack would be a bad compressor or motor start capacitor in the fridge, and having somewhere to keep the insulin cold while we effect repairs is important.

I’ve got much more redundancy planned – another generator, off-site stash of insulin, and supplies up the yin-yang. This is a good start, though, and not a bad looking kit, if I do say so myself.

1 Comment

  1. This makes you probably the most awesome dad a type 1 diabetic could have.

    I suppose some good news about keeping the insulin refrigerated is that in the event that “SHTF” the insulin is fine at room temperature for up to 30 days. That would give you time to figure out how to refrigerate it again.

    I really like this idea and will be making myself a bug out diabetic kit for myself here soon.

    With a father like you, I’m sure diabetes is a little less of pain in the ass for your daughter.


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