OGDEN -- It was a news clip of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina that caused Jennifer Lindley to take action. A man stranded on his rooftop held a sign that said, "Diabetic."
"It was a very helpless feeling," Lindley said. "My family was having dinner one night and we were talking about our emergency plan. We started to discuss options for our diabetic supplies and how we would safely store them. I had planned to purchase something online thinking it would be available."
But to her surprise, Lindley, a diabetic herself, couldn't find anything, so she developed her own kit.
Lindley, now the chief operating officer of Essential Preparedness Products on Harrison Boulevard, Ogden, has helped to develop the Diabetic med-Ecase, an emergency storage case that's rugged yet lightweight, watertight, airtight, crush resistant and floats. The case is designed for those with type I and type II diabetes and includes glucose tablets, alcohol swabs, a syringe/utility container, ice pack, five empty medication bottles, a seven-day supplement dispenser and a comprehensive personal logbook designed to aid emergency responders.
"Essential Preparedness Products has created a solution designed to empower people with chronic medical conditions to take care of their emergency preparedness," she said. "It's vital for those of us who suffer from chronic illnesses to be prepared, whether it's a personal circumstance or a natural disaster."
Lindley said although a person can't control when a disaster will strike, if they are as prepared as possible they won't have to fear as much. The cost of the kits is $69.99.
Lindley is one of the 20.8 million people in the U.S. who have diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes affects 246 million people worldwide and is expected to affect 380 million by the year 2025.
Cathy Walser, certified community health education specialist for Western Diabetic Supply in Ogden, said many people don't realize the seriousness of the disease and the complications that can result if not diagnosed and treated properly. Complications can include nerve damage, stroke, blindness, kidney disease and amputation.
"Complications can be prevented by keeping your blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible," she said.
"This is done through a combination of diet, exercise and medications. Sometimes people with type II diabetes can get off medication through proper diet and exercise."