2014 is here. Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the Philippines in early November, reminds us of how critical it is to review survival stocks in order to be prepared for the unexpected. Here are five things you should do now to be prepared during the new year:
Rotate your stored fuel supply.
If you’ve had gasoline in canisters sitting for more than one year, it’s time to freshen up. Top off your car with the stored fuel now. Then, replenish your gas cans with fresh gas. Gasoline is a refined product, created to perform best within certain parameters. Over time it degrades, causing it’s performance, and subsequently your car’s, to fall short.
Check expiration dates on medical and pharma supplies.
Pharmacists regularly warn to toss expired medication. Expiration dates on medicine don’t necessarily indicate that a certain medication will “go bad”. Rather, these dates are more indicative of the manufacturer’s recommendation of the time frame for use because stated dosage may not be as potent following its expiration. Regardless, now is a good time to review your survival kits and replace expired medicine, especially if it has expired within 6 months or more. This is especially true for any medicine that has been opened. If it’s expired, toss it.
Update your bug-out bag.
If you live in a climate that has marked seasons, go through your bug-out bag and make seasonal adjustments. When you originally prepped it, it may have been spring or summer. We’re in the winter season now, and it’s crucial to make the right seasonal adjustments. While you’re at it, double check that all of your items are working properly or are within their stated usage period. If not, replace items as necessary to ensure your bag is prepped and ready roll.
Round out your supplies with the items you’ve been putting off.
For a variety of reasons, there are always those items that seem to get pushed down the priority list. Make them a priority this year. For example, do you stock liquid bleach for purifying water but know it might be better to move to tablets or granules? Do it this year and stop putting it off. Many survivalists store tablet or granular form of common pool shock, also known as calcium hypochlorite, instead of bleach.
Review and update your emergency contacts and procedures.
This should be an annual exercise, especially if you’ve changed jobs, married, moved or lost a loved one. Ensure those closest to you know how to reach you, and vice versa. Your emergency procedures may also need some fresh eyes, especially if you’ve moved. Update your emergency procedures and ensure your entire family understands any necessary changes.