Ah, the sweet sounds of spring! Birds singing, bees humming, and the clatter of bug-out bags being dumped on the floor and furiously rifled through. Yes, folks, it’s that time of year again: time for Spring Cleaning, Prepper-Style!
While you may be tempted to focus your whole attention on cleaning out cupboards, don’t forget that spring is a perfect time to evaluate and update your emergency supplies. Here are five areas that could use a thorough going over while your unused linens are airing out.
. We all know it’s important to rotate our food storage regularly. But whether you’re a pro at incorporating food storage into your weekly meal planning or not, it’s a good idea to do a thorough check at least once or twice a year. This is a good time to move old stuff to the front, throw out items way past their expiration, and make a list of what needs to be replaced. It might even be a fun time to plan a food storage dinner
. And don’t forget dessert
. Did you know that water has a “best by” date? For everything but drinking, water stored in clean containers can last indefinitely. However, the longer water sits in its container, the less fresh it will taste. Most experts recommend replacing water every 6 to 12 months.
. Because emergency kits are meant to carry the most critical necessities, these are the supplies that most frequently need replacing. Eat or toss old food, and pack new snacks and meals. Swap out clothes and shoes children have grown out of. Check for expired meds. And consider the updated needs of each family member: has someone outgrown diapers or gotten a new glasses prescription? Be sure you’ve got what you need!
. Maybe your family is better at this than mine is. Because we all move around so often, it’s nearly impossible at any given time to have accurate contact information for us all. During your spring cleaning, it’s a good idea to make sure everyone has the right contact information for you and that you’ve got the most recent documents filed somewhere safe. Make note of address changes, new phone numbers or email addresses, updated immunization records, and renewed drivers licenses and passports.
. Besides the big seasonal cleaning (you’re all removing moss from your roof and vacuuming out dryer filters, right?), there are little things we should check regularly to ensure our families’ safety—things like smoke alarm batteries and flashlights. And did you know that half the instances of fire extinguishers failing are due to lack of maintenance? Did you even know fire extinguishers need
maintenance? Me, neither! While extinguishers can last up to 15 years, experts recommend routine inspections. At the very least, you can check the pressure gauge (green=good, red=bad) yearly, and some newer extinguishers can even be recharged.
We hope you’re enjoying a beautiful spring wherever you are, and that you channel some of that spring cleaning energy into making sure your family is well and safely prepared. What else are you doing this spring to freshen up your emergency preparations?