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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Refrigerated Medications in a SHTF situation

Original Article

Ok, so this picture is pretty old-school with more diabetics using pens and pumps now-a-days, but the morale to the story is the same.

What do you do if you are dependent on drugs that must stay in a cool dry place and you’re faced with a power-grid down situation long term?

I remember Hurricane Hugo. I was living in Charlotte, NC and the storm barreled up through South Carolina and hit Charlotte, NC as a Cat 1 storm. No one was prepared for that! That was 1989.
I was diagnosed in 1987 with Type 1 diabetes (insulin dependent or some refer to it as juvenile diabetes) and all of a sudden, I was without refrigeration for my medication.

Luckily, ice was to be found, after a 100 mile search and the med’s were safely stored for the 3 week duration of no convenience of grid power. (as a note: the ice plant in the town I lived sold out of ice within the first hour after the sun rose. Yes, it was an ice plant that manufactured ice and the line was 5 blocks long. Fights did break out as well.)

In my own opinion, at times, I believe the recommendations are a little over exaggerated but I do believe in trying to stay within the recommendations for any med’s that need to stay refrigerated. They may still work, if you don’t follow the recommendations, but they may not work as effectively. Effectively is the keyword.
So, I found this video by The Patriot Nurse and she has a great idea for any refrigerated med’s you may have to keep cool and dry in a long term situation. I don’t agree that the hole must be 4′ – 5′ deep – that seems a little extreme but I can see a hole being a couple of feet deep. I do like her choice of container and the importance of keeping the box and insert with the medication.


I would add – write the expiration date on the outside of the box and be sure you have a list with you (somewhere) showing the expiration date of med’s you buried! Also, cleverly mark where you buried your meds! What good is buried med’s if you can’t find them!
Let me know your thoughts! Comments are always welcome!


  1. I couldn't bury them that deep where i live because i would hit water(Louisiana swampland) but could get them a couple of feet down under the house,It would be at least 30-40 degrees cooler in the summer.good idea

  2. TIP: Non-liquid meds do NOT expire (they don't go bad). They may lose their effectiveness but you don't have to worry about getting sick from taking old meds. Only our gov requires expiration dates, which could be considered more like "best by" dates.