Ready for Hurricane Sandy


Yesterday at home, we discussed a reasonable amount of preparedness for the oncoming Hurricane Sandy, predicted to reach New Jersey later today (Sunday) and affect regions hundreds of miles from its center. My husband and I live in the Boston area with our children, and although the storm still seems like an abstraction, we want to be ready enough with food, batteries, blankets, and card games in case schools are closed and power down.

Jimmy asked me, “How’s your supply of insulin?”

Normally, when a person close to me asks about how things are going with my Type 1 diabetes or implies that I need something I haven’t myself thought of, I can feel defensive. Because I handle about 95% of my diabetes care both independently and invisibly, it irritates me when loved ones want to get involved in the other 5%. I’m not saying this is rational; it’s simply my internal reaction.

In this instance, though, I kept my composure. “Good thinking,” I replied. “I’ll check.”

diabetes and other supplies for Hurricane Sandy

Looking through my stash, I discovered that I did indeed need an insulin refill, and I called in the order to the pharmacy. I also counted insertion sets and reservoirs for my pump and found a package of fresh AAA batteries, checked on test strips, and assessed the juice box situation to treat blood glucose lows.

Check, check, check: I’m ready.

We’re not survivalists, and I don’t fear being trapped in the house by flooding. Still, strong winds, tree damage, and power outages are anticipated. I live only three miles from the world-class Longwood Medical Area, and no doubt could call 911 and get insulin and medical care quickly if needed, even in a weather disaster.

And yet I don’t want to neglect to do for myself what I can do, or ignore the help and suggestions of others when they are offered. That combination of foolhardiness and pride are what can bring people down in an emergency.

If we do experience a loss of power and school closings over the next few days, I want to be safe and even enjoy the forced togetherness. We have already supplied ourselves with food that can be eaten without cooking or refrigeration (hello, peanut butter and tuna fish!) and flashlights. Today, before the rain hits, we have one more task — to pick up a battery-powered lantern we reserved at the local hardware store. We plan to pass the time indoors with some intense, four-handed games of Phase 10, and for that we need some light at the table.

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