Each season has its own prepper challenges and difficulties.

It is June so that means hurricane season on the gulf coast. Even if you don’t live in a hurricane-prone area, June is also a good time to refresh your preps so they are updated for both seasonal and shelf life variations. Specifically: 

-Water: You should be storing a minimum of 2 gallons per day per person. Don’t forget your dogs (1.5 gallon per day per dog) and cats (0.5 gallon per day per cat). Personally, I store more, because, well, I can. Forty gallons is my limit at this point. I purchased storage containers and prepared my own water five months ago, so it was time to dump the water on the lawn and refill. A quarter teaspoon of bleach per gallon will keep the water clean for six months. Sure, I could have waited another month, but then it would just be hotter hauling 40 gallons around. Another tip: Use a piece of duct tape and sharpie to mark the fill date so there is no question when the time is right for refreshing your water stores.

-Generator: I had not run the generator for six months so it was time to get it out and run for 30 minutes. It started right up and ran.

-Portable A/C: The major purpose of the generator was to run a small, portable A/C should there be a power outage. So, I drug it out from its space in the closet, strung the power cord and ran it for 30 minutes.

-Gasoline: Rotating it every six months with stabilizer is a good idea. Over the coming weeks, I will be using the old gas in the cars and refilling. Refilling the gas cans actually takes longer than one thinks so doing it periodically rather than all at once is the way to go. Once again, a piece of duct tape will remind you when refilling and retreating is necessary.

-Get Home / Bug Out Bags: With the change in seasons, the content of your gear bags should adapt. In Houston, summer means far less clothing needs and more water. (You did remember to check the expiration date on any commercial water bottles in your car, right?) I estimate it would take me two days to walk home from work if there was a big issue. In the summer heat, this would require at least five gallons of water, tough to carry. Thus, having a Berkey filter sports bottle is a critical piece of gear, plus purification tablets, plus a way to boil water. Sun screen plus bug spray area also critical gear in the spring, summer and fall in Houston.  If your wife has a GHB, it needs to be checked out and refreshed too.

-Food stores check: I recommend checking your food storage supplies and pulling anything that is with six months of shelf life expiration. It needs to be eaten or donated to charity ASAP. Of course, that means replacing it.  If you can, eating what you store is always a good practice. Regardless, quarterly inventory checks are essential to prevent spoiled and wasted food. One great way to manage this is recording your food inventory and expiration date in a spreadsheet. Be sure to record the location so you don’t have to hunt for that single can of soup that is nearing expiration.

-Batteries: If you don’t use rechargeable batteries, then your extra batteries need to be monitored for expiration.  I do use rechargeable batteries, but also have stores of standard batteries. When they are six months to a year from expiring, I bring them in the house, use them and buy new ones.

-First Aid Kit: One thing I have not done yet is go through my first aid kits and remove/replace all the expired supplies. I am really overdue in this regard!

-Evacuation plans: This hurricane season, I live further north so will not evacuate unless a Cat 5 hurricane is headed to Houston. Yet, with a dog and two cats, making a plan to get out is essential. Something other than a hurricane may force an evacuation so having a hurricane evacuation plan will serve as a get out dodge plan should a dirty nuke go off in your neighborhood.

-Lists and more lists: Periodically reviewing your gear lists and refreshing for any new information you gained over the last quarter is a good practice. There might be gaps that need immediate addressing.

What do you have that needs to be refreshed?

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