Spring Cleaning, Part 1: Replacing Supplies
Now that we know the basics of what should be in an emergency kit, as detailed in our last article Get Prepared, Part 3: Organize a Kit, we can expand our scope, jump forward in time, and look at how long different types of supplies will last.
Safe drinking water is essential to survival. Without it, humans perish in about 3 days, and if our drinking water is contaminated, we open ourselves up to the possibility of contracting waterborne illnesses. It’s not only important to make sure we have enough water stocked up in our emergency supply kit, it’s also critical to make sure it is drinkable. If you are simply storing tap water in containers then you must remember to change the water at least twice a year. A simple rule of thumb — and one that is easy to remember — is to replace it every time you change the clocks or, in other words, twice per year. Or, if you treat your water with a natural product like Aerobic Oxygen, you can store your water for up to 5 years. This is a wonderful, worry-free way of storing water without having to replace it every 6 months. Our emergency water pouches also have a shelf life of 5 years.
Other items in your kit may not need to be replaced as often. Canned and dried foods, or granola bars, may last up to a couple of years. Emergency food rations, such as the SOS 3600 Calorie Food Bars, have a 5 year shelf life. Some freeze-dried emergency food that is specifically designed to be stored for emergencies, can last up to 25 years. It’s always best to be safe, and check the expiry dates when you first make or buy the kit. Then, when you are spring cleaning through your kits, you can double check that nothing else has expired. Other expiry dates to keep an eye on, along with food, are those on medications and vitamins you may have included.
If you have included electronics that need batteries, and have also included back-up battery packs, it’s wise to test your batteries each time you spring clean through your kit as well. Batteries are known to drain of their own accord, so it’s worth taking the time to ensure that you’ll be able to actually use the batteries that you’ve included. Of course, if they’re low on juice, it’s time to replace them!
Stay tuned for Spring Cleaning, Part 2: Getting Creative coming out later this week. We’ll be talking about outside-of-the-box thinking and ways to make do with what you have in an emergency, when what you’ve planned doesn’t quite match the scenario at hand.
If you’re interested in other emergency preparedness topics, look no further! Check out the following articles:
- Preparing for a Long Hike
- Easy Build Flood Barriers to Protect Your Home