18, February 2013
Rummaging through a drawer for candles and a lighter is a romantic’s approach to a power outage. No batteries, no problem, right? Not so for people living with insulin-dependent diabetes. In honor of American Diabetes Month, November is a good time for this special subset of the population to stock up on alkaline batteries. Why? With battery- operated devices such as glucometers and insulin pumps, diabetics can ill afford to be caught without a fresh supply of alkaline batteries.
It’s a common situation for any season of the year: a storm hits and your electricity goes out. Most people worry little about an outage unless the storm is catastrophic or the time period of the outage is extensive, as we’ve seen with Super Storm Sandy. But even a much shorter, much less dramatic outage can spell trouble for someone who depends on a glucometer or insulin pump.
The average glucometer clocks many hours each and every day, and most models are battery-operated. Low batteries can cause error messages, unreliable readings, and eventually a glucometer gone kaput until fresh batteries arrive. As for insulin pumps, a dead battery isn’t even an option. The simple solution is to keep your alkaline battery reserves stocked up, making you ready to power all of your devices at a moments notice.
Insulin can actually go for weeks without refrigeration but does need to be kept relatively cool—which means it can’t survive a prolonged power outage during warm temperatures. Also, some diabetics take additional meds that need to be refrigerated. Battery-operated coolers can provide a safe backup during extended outages. Having guaranteed alkaline freshness on your side will prove to be a life-saver!
Scrambling around in the dark to find a flashlight or candles is one thing. Scrambling to find a source of light so that you can then scramble some more to find fresh batteries is quite another. Please make sure you’re armed with plenty of fresh alkaline batteries to help you weather any storm!