Thoughts of: Emergency back-up fridge for Type 1 Diabetics

This is going to be an odd segment for me, but I need to share this thought with you.

Seeing all the devastation caused by the storms in the Midwest to East Coast and the fires in Colorado, my mind kept throwing me back to my time dealing with the aftermath of a strong hurricane.  Houses were gone and electricity was out for months.

It took only three days for FEMA and the National Guard to come in and help, but in other hurricanes, it took longer.  Much too long for people with type 1 Diabetes and no way to keep their insulin the proper temperature.   (I’ve heard that insulin needs to be kept cool otherwise it will break down.)  Coolers help for a day or two, but if you are caught off guard, you might not have the ice necessary to properly chill the medication.  If it lasts for more than two to three days, you’ll be very concerned about trying to find more ice.

Then I saw the answer in an offroad magazine.  Portable mini fridges.

These mini refrigerators are designed tough and have been engineered to withstand the jostles, bumps, and bangs that come with driving off road in the cab or in the bed of a truck.

They run off a 12 volt system and plug into the cars lighter socket.  This means they use low amounts of energy which is good when electricity is scarce.

They also have an adapter that lets you use a standard plug so you can plug it into a generator or anywhere there is a 110 outlet.

Here’s two that I found online.

The first is by Waeco:

This is the company I read about in the magazine.  A cooler sized model was tied to the bed of a pickup that drove over 500 miles of washboard roads, powder dust, hidden pot holes, and river crossings.   It never failed.  It kept everything cool even though it was outside of the vehicle and had the sun beating down on it.  Waeco also makes an insulated cover for it so it doesn’t have to work as hard in the heat.

My biggest concern about this fridge is the price.  They range from $300 to $400 for the inboard small one to $700+ for s cooler sized one.  And that’s without the cover.

Small Portable

Large Portable

There are people out there who just can’t afford that and I want to give them an optional choice more suited to their budget.  After a little searching, I found this:

The Koolatron 29 quart cooler.

It too is a 12 volt system that plugs into the cigarette plug in your car, but you have to buy the 110 volt adapter plug separately if you want to plug it into a generator or other regular outlet.

The good news is the price.  The list price is $160 for the cooler and Amazon has it listed for $117.00 without the adapter plug.  (The adapter plug goes for around $40.00.)

I have no reports or reviews of this refrigerator other than what people posted at Amazon. Read them and decide if this will work for you.

Amazon reviews

Koolatron on Amazon

Adapter on Amazon

While not having to deal with an emergency is ideal, these two refrigerators give a little help to diabetics that have to deal with a storm or other emergency.  Having these fridges able to be powered by a car battery gives you a way to keep your insulin cold if you lose power to your house.  It also gives you a way to safely transport it if you have to travel a long distance.  If worse comes to worse and your car is destroyed in the event, you can pull out the battery from the remains, yank the plug off the wires, strip the insulation off the wires and tie them to the battery terminals themselves to get the power.  It’s not ideal, but it’ll work.

Going through the cleanup after a storm is bad enough.  Being able to do it without worrying about insulin is a game changer. Stay safe and stay strong.

6 thoughts on “Thoughts of: Emergency back-up fridge for Type 1 Diabetics

  1. I am also looking at getting the 29 quart Koolatron for our daughter (type 1 diabetic). I am also purchasing a 120 watt solar panel ($169), a power controller ($77), a deep cycle marine battery ($85). This would be all I need to have enough power to indefinately power the small refrigerator.

    This way I can run direct DC power off the battery without the $40 transformer for the refrigerator.

    I do plan on getting a power inverter though for about $160 that will offer 120 volt AC current for 2000 Watts continuous/4000 Watts peak power usage. That will be later though when I buy more panels and more batteries so we can run more things off the solar panels.

    Of course, the Housing Association would call out the Nazi’s the second I put out the solar panel but if it’s a SHTF situation where the neighborhood is destroyed and out of power.. screw them, I’m going to do what I need to in order to take care of our daughter.

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