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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