The facts, as they are today can change, so tomorrow you may have a different set of facts, thus you must adapt. This means the plans you had developed based on one set of facts is now obsolete. You have to evaluate and adapt constantly or otherwise you may be caught off guard during a crisis.
It is important that you review your prepping strategy, supplies and equipment routinely to ensure you have the latest facts and information.
After months or even years of prepping and nothing has happened as of yet, some people may become discontented, and may even believe all their work has been in vain. Once a belief, “nothing will happen” settles in, you may begin to use your emergency supplies and equipment for camping or even a few backyard adventures, thinking, “what’s the hurt, just this one time right”? Soon your supplies are depleted or are simply a collection of “odds and ends”. This can be problematic because life-changing disasters can strike at anytime and you must be prepared at all times.
Boredom can also be a problem, training for the big day is fun and even exciting at first but as the days, weeks and months go by boredom will set in and you must be aware and able to cope.
This is one of the biggest reasons why you need to review what you have done up to this point and to make changes and adapt. Always move forward with your prepping to keep motivated and do not allow yourself to believe it is all for naught.
1.) Evacuation Routes
If you had to evacuate today do you know what the road conditions are? Is there road construction that can impede travel, detours or damage to roads caused by previous storms or other disasters. It is important that you not only map out several evacuation routes, but that you also travel those routes periodically to make sure nothing has changed. A washed out two lane bridge may be a temporary one lane bridge while under construction. Not being aware of this can create problems during an evacuation.
2.) Off Site Storage Cache
When is the last time you visited your cache sites? Survey the area every 90 days for flood damage, obvious signs of someone else probing the area or for signs of excavation in the area. In some cases, albeit rare, you may find a strip mall built over your cache. You need to be assured that when you evacuate you can resupply yourself.
Keep in mind however, you do not necessarily need to uncover your supplies every week, to see that they are still there. You want to leave a small footprint in and around your cache site.
Visiting the same place too often and digging up your supplies because you are worried about them will make others curious. You want to ensure others cannot find your supplies, so make sure you do not leave clues behind or lead others directly to your cache.
You may have been gathering supplies for some time and when you first started, you may have not given much thought on how to transport those supplies. At first, it was easy to imagine all of your supplies going into your vehicle, but overtime you obviously have gathered more.
You may need to consider a trailer, a bigger vehicle or start caching supplies. You should have a plan developed now so there is no confusion when the time comes to leave. When disaster strikes is not the time to begin wondering about how to move your supplies.
4.) Food Supplies
Food will have an expiration date regardless of the type. Even foods you canned at home while, having an extended shelf life can spoil or be damaged in some manner. Inspect and rotate foods and then restock. It does you no good to haul 600 pounds of flour home and then simply pile it up somewhere and have it go bad on you.
Weevils can infest any grain product and they can be damaged by moisture. It is important that you inspect all of your emergency foods on a regular basis. Begin consuming any foods that are nearing their expiration dates and immediately restock. Inspect retail canned goods for swelling and for rust caused by excessive moisture.
Rodents can be present in any home or storage facility and they will go to great lengths to get at any foods you have stored. Rodents have been living off humans for thousands of years and they have adapted as humans have progressed so you have to assume any supplies you have are susceptible and measure must be taken to prevent an infestation.
Extreme temperature changes can also have a negative effect on certain supplies, so keep this in mind especially given the fact that most areas of the country experienced a colder than normal winter.
5.) Other Considerations
Ensure you have the latest information concerning your children’s school or daycare emergency plans. You want to make sure that if a new plan is in place you are made aware. Children may even change school locations as they are promoted to a higher grade so you have to make sure you have information about where the children will be in the event of an emergency.
The last thing you need is to show up at school to find it vacant because they had changed their emergency plans and moved the children off-site. The schools should have notified you of course of any changes to their plans, but relying on others to be competent can be dangerous. It is incumbent upon you to know, do not rely on someone else to notify you. Make a point of knowing at all times.
Check your medical supplies in particular antibiotics because certain medications cannot be safely taken once they have expired. Check sterile equipment, such as scalpels and sutures kits. Adhesives on paper and plastic packaging will dry out over time exposing the contents. This is particularly true of Band-Aids and other bandages.
Check firearms and ammunition for corrosion and dust build up on oiled moving parts every 90 days. It is recommended that you store your weapons in a storage case designed for your particular weapon versus wrapping them in cloth. The cloth can wick the oils from the metal parts, leaving them susceptible to moisture damage.
The intention of this article is to get you thinking about your prepping supplies and equipment. Simply having them stored away is only half the battle you have to make sure they are ready for action when the time comes.