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Reminder: Check Expiry Dates on Your Emergency Kit

Check your best before and expiry dates

Although emergency supplies are created to be durable and lasting, it’s imprudent to think that once you’ve bought an emergency kit, you’re home free. Once you’ve bought or put together a kit, you are on your way to a safer future, but it’s important to remember that some of your emergency items will expire.

And it’s not just food that will expire! Below are some common emergency supplies and their average shelf lives:

  • Lightsticks – 5 years
  • Emergency water – 5 years (At Total Prepare, we sell Blue Can water that has a 50 year shelf life!)
  • Emergency food – 5 years (At Total Prepare, many of the food lines we carry have shelf lives of up to 25 years!)
  • Batteries – usually at least 7 years
  • First aid – some items only last around 2 years

So you see, emergency preparedness is an ongoing commitment to your safety and the safety of your loved ones. Whatever stage in the preparedness process that you’re at, it’s the time you put in that will truly make a difference if you ever find yourself in an emergency situation.

Pro Tip #1: Check the expiry date on your emergency supplies when you first buy them, and write the dates down as reminders in your day planner or calendar.

Pro Tip #2: Go through your emergency kit regularly. If you’re going through it once each year, turn it into a bit of a celebration! Take out any food etc. that will expire before another month is up. Turn it into a backyard adventure, and practice cooking up whatever is pending expiration on your camp stove!

Pro Tip #3: When you’re going through your emergency kit item by item, it’s the perfect time to also remind yourself what each item is for and how it works. For example, if you’ve never powered up your crank radio before, try it and make sure you know how to work it! During an emergency, you’ll be in very unfamiliar territory, so every piece of knowledge that you have will help.

-Content created by Sophie Wooding – Writer, gardener, cyclist and emergency preparedness enthusiast!

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