Most preppers need to check up on their bug out bags at least twice a year. Usually this is done to verify battery operated gear, change out clothing for seasonal changes, and refresh food and water. We should however, regularly check up on our other preps to identify weaknesses and get a clear picture of the most pressing issue that need to be addressed.
Have you been dipping into food supplies because of inflation? Have you checked expiry dates lately? Are you waiting for retail sales to restock certain supplies? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you really should take a general inventory of your food supplies. Replenish anything that has been reduced in inventory. Yes, this can get expensive, but with food inflation these days, it will likely only get worse before it gets better. Move anything close to expiry into daily rotation and replace it with fresh supplies, following the first in first out rule.
Many Canadians, myself included, have experienced a power failure recently. While the generator was a great help for a couple of days, fuel supplies went down. Fill any empty gas cans you have with stabilized gas. If you store diesel, then replenish that too. Don’t forget about propane and butane for heating and cooking appliances, along with kerosene or other fuels. It’s also a great time to be harvesting firewood for next year, or to supplement your current stockpile.
BATTERIES AND ELECTRONICS
Check up on electronics and batteries. Verify the age of alkaline batteries and charge up any rechargeable batteries. Many rechargeable batteries have circuitry integrated for charge control. These should be stored in EMP bags or a faraday cage along with other critical electronics. When storing any electric or electronic device, remove the batteries as they can leak and damage your gear.
Electronics such as laptops/notebooks, cell phones, and some SDR ham gear needs periodic updating as well as the software that runs on them. Make sure to charge and update these devices, then place them back in EMP protective bags or cages.
Give your home and vehicle a once over look to uncover any maintenance issues. Roofs can often get damaged during winter. Vehicles need constant maintenance and repair. Get all this done without delay. If you need to shelter in place, your home is your first line of defence from the elements. If you need to bug out, your vehicle is the preferred method of escape. Having either one in a state of disrepair leaves you at an immediate disadvantage during an emergency, which is not where you want to be.