Security allows diabetes gear in carry-on bags
: I'm diabetic and planning on going on a cruise to Alaska. What do I have to do to take my insulin and needles with me? Can I take the gel pack to keep the insulin cool on the airlines? Also, what kind of clothing do we need to take? Does it get cold in the summer in Alaska? Everyone is giving us a different answer.
Answer: The Transportation Security Administration has granted numerous exceptions to its list of restricted items, including all diabetes-related supplies, medication and equipment.
However, the items will be subject to inspection, so you're advised to carry aboard only what is essential. Also, if any liquid medications are in volumes larger than 3 ounces each, they may not be placed in quart-size bags and must be declared to inspectors.
For more information, go to the TSA Web site, tsa.gov, or e-mail questions to email@example.com.
You shouldn't have any problems taking your diabetes-related items with you on the cruise ship, but should check with the company about its restrictions, as well as what it recommends for travelers.
You can get information about Alaska from the Alaska Travel Industry Association, online at www.travelalaska.com or by writing to the association at 2600 Cordova St., Suite 201, Anchorage, AK 99503.
Temperatures in Alaska during the summer range from 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, although they dip to the 40s and 50s at night and early in the morning. By late August it gets cooler, with fewer hours of sunlight.
Q: I got this e-mail from a friend and want to know if it's a hoax: "If you should ever be forced by a robber to withdraw money from an ATM machine, you can notify the police by entering your PIN in reverse. For example, if your PIN is 1234, you would put in 4321. The machine will still give you the money you requested, but unknown to the robber, the police will be immediately dispatched to help you. This information was recently broadcast on Fox TV and it states that it is seldom used because people don't know it exists. Please pass this along to everyone possible."
A: Most people don't know about the PIN reversal because the warning is a hoax and there is no such system in place.
You can easily check the veracity of any such warnings by just doing an Internet search. Two helpful sites are snopes.com and urbanlegends.com.
In this case, both sites say the warning has been circulating on the Internet since 2006.
A Chicago businessman and inventor, Joseph Zingher, patented the SafetyPIN System (involving the reversal of numbers) in 1998 as a way to alert police if a cardholder was being forced to withdraw money at an ATM.
Neither he nor others have succeeded in persuading lawmakers in any state to make it mandatory. The banking industry also has not been convinced that a reverse PIN system is workable or even a good idea, considering the circumstances under which it would be used.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
. See also: Useful phone numbers