So you think you’re prepared, huh? Well let me ask you a couple of questions.
- When was the last time you took an inventory of your preparedness supplies?
- When was the last time you assessed of your personal preparedness levels?
- Have you field tested your gear lately?
When it comes to emergency preparedness, like it or not, you need to periodically check your supplies and do a personal preparedness assessment. An emergency situation is not the time to find out whether or not your emergency preparedness gear is in proper working condition.
FOOD ASSESSMENTS: ROTATE, ROTATE, ROTATE
In my opinion, the food you stockpile for emergency preparedness should be the same food that you normally eat. This makes it a lot easier to keep your stockpiles fresh – not to mention having the added benefit of knowing the food you’re stockpiling is going to agree with your stomach during an emergency.
- Setup a rotation system. You should always be rotating your emergency preparedness food supplies into your normal everyday diet. Shelf Reliance makes some great food rotation systems that can really help make sure your food is rotating properly.
- Take a test run. During an emergency situation, where you lose power and gas, cooking is going to be a challenge. Now is the time to test out some of those alternative cooking methods. Whether it’s periodically firing up the backyard fire pit, or cooking an entire meal on a Rocket Stove, you should be extremely comfortable with the alternative cooking methods you plan on using during a disaster.
Check your Bug Out Bags, Get Home Bags, and Emergency Gear
The simple fact that you have these supplies puts you far ahead of the unprepared masses that seem to struggle to survive even during routine yearly storms and disasters. But just because you’re prepared, don’t fall into the trap of becoming complacent.
- Quarterly Checks. Every three months or so, you’re going to want to empty out your emergency bags and survival kits. Yes, EMPTY THEM OUT! This allows you to restock your bags with seasonally appropriate gear, and to swap out any gear that may have become damaged.
- Check your electronics. Anything that takes batteries needs to be tested. It only takes a couple of seconds to do it; the last thing you need is a flashlight with dead batteries when the power goes out.
Personal Preparedness Assessment & Field Testing
That closet full of gear might look cool, but you’re going to feel pretty stupid if you don’t know how to use it when it counts. It’s pretty simple; you bought the gear for a reason – to protect yourself and your loved ones during a disaster. To be able to do that, you have to field test your gear.
- Test the hell out of it. Now is the time to really see what your gear’s made of. Testing it in a real-world setting will allow you to expose any flaws, limiting problems that you might face during an actual disaster.
- Training is the key to survival. The fact that you have a bunch of survival gear doesn’t mean a thing when it comes down to actually surviving a crisis. Don’t confuse having gear with being prepared to survive. Every couple of months you need to evaluate where you’re at both physically and mentally. Are there any weaknesses that you need to address? Are your plans still effective? These are the kind of questions you need to be asking yourself.