(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.)
June is the month to assess the animals: are their vaccinations current? How is that Veterinary Medic Bag coming along? In addition, while I am out and about, June might be a nice month to function test my generator, and, following the thought that a power failure might require my generator to function, would it not be nice to have, gosh, LIGHT, while poking around getting such things set up?
Why, now that you ask, yes! Yes, light would be pleasant! I checked the batteries in January, and this month’s check both rides on January’s coat tails, as well as specifically focuses on the lights that I carry daily. Years ago, I was an RN working ICU on midnights. On a couple of occasions, the mains power failed and (to my dismay) the emergency generator at the hospital employing me did NOT power up.
It gets might, mighty dark in an ICU at oh-dark-hundred! I now carry two belt flashlights because “1 is none, and 2 is 1”. Due to this “2=1, 1=none” calculus, I also have two pen style flashlights in my shirt pocket at all times, as well as one coin cell click light on my badge, and an Streamlight Proton Light (powered by 4 x LR 41 batteries) on my key ring.
Are vaccinations current?
Veterinary care supplies: (list)(out-date)(status/condition)
Function Test/Run under load (heater)
Preventative maintenance: oil change? (Belts/other) need (inspection/servicing)?
LANTERNS AND BATTERIES (see battery list for locations)
EVERYDAY CARRY LIGHTS
Sure Fire light (on belt)
Thor Fire light (on belt)
Change BOB Food and Water
July is the month I captioned “Transport and Security”. Transport, because TDW-Mark II and I like to travel and camp. You might wonder if that might be something to accomplish in, say March or April, rather in the thick of let’s-go-camping season. You would be correct in this wondering. Your list might well juggle which task(s) get assigned to which month(s), which is as it should be.
For myself, every month, when I enter into my checks, I review just that thought, and fine tune my calendar just a bit.
Security audits consist of, fundamentally, assessment of potential threats, and review of plans to address each threat. Some of the threats are addressed by responses to other threats. For example, should you have a plan for Antifa style rioting, it is likely that your plans would prove helpful in the event of a huge uprising. On the other hand, a plan for a B & E of your dwelling might not successfully address the hazards to be found in a wildfire approaching your home. You need to triage, or rank-order, what threats you consider a significant threat, and plan for those easily thwarted, and those whose attack would be catastrophic. THAT analysis is an entirely different topic, but you ought to annually consider what threats that you may face, and evaluate your plans to address them.
Gasoline: Amount, age, condition. Stored safely? (generally, storage in accordance with fire codes maps pretty neatly onto safe storage)
Propane: Amount, age, condition. Stored safely?
Kerosene: Amount, age, condition. Stored safely?
Charcoal: Amount, age, condition? Stored safely?
Butane: Amount, age, condition? Stored safely?
TRANSPORT: Medic bags/first aid kits/Boo-boo kits (my vehicle)(TDW-MarkII’s vehicle)(Camper) (house)
Out-date check. Condition check: visually inspect.
Inventory. Visually inspect: condition/age/recharge desiccant packs.
Clean, service guns for vehicles
CHECK RADIOS AND BATTERIES
Abruptly changing gears, and (at least for now, on this topic) demonstrating some foresight, August is time to repack my Bug Out Bag (or, in my case, most likely to be a Get Me Home Bag). I checked licenses and documents of various sorts in May: in August I check the copies I have with me in my BOB. You may elect to carry hard copies, or copies on a thumb drive, or on an encrypted thumb drive. If hard copy, assessing condition/legibility of these documents that you elect to have with you, is reasonable. If hard drive, well, function test your drive, and make sure (a) that you can read the documents, as well as (b) that you can recall, and successfully enter, your key so as to access encrypted documents.
August is a good time to begin to change my summer load out for my winter/autumn load out. Doing so in August allows me time to address shortfalls or spoiled items, before the need for a cold weather bag drops on me.
BUG OUT BAG
Prep winter bag: inspect, inventory contents: (condition)(serviceability)(out-dates)
Change out BOB food, water
Change to winter bag 15 September
Emergency Cash: (Amount? Specie? Bills or coins?)
Documents: Marriage/professional licenses/certifications. ID. (passport copy?) Deed, vehicle titles. (thumb drive vs hard copy)
(FINISH CHECKS FROM JULY)
FLUSH HOT WATER HEATER
CHANGE STORED WATER
CHECK RADIOS AND BATTERIES
SERVICE AMMO CAN DESSICANT PACKS (if not performed in July)
September is the month that I have selected to apply to medical and first aid matters. Should my CPR, first aid, or other training approach need for renewal/re-certification, I have 3 months to accomplish same in this calendar year. In my circumstance, my employer provides funds for continuing medical education, and this is a reasonable target for such an expenditure.
In addition, we put up the camper for the winter around this time, and that should be a trigger to inspect the camper itself, and, along with that, the supplies that go with it. Removal of the first aid kit and boo-boo kits from the camper, triggers a review of the contents of all the medic bags, first aid kits, and boo boo kits. After all, after a summer in the trunk/back seat/other of the camper/vehicle one/vehicle two, it’s reasonable to wonder what these hot adverse conditions have had on the contents. Tape, in particular, tends to coalesce into a useless gummy mass, and that ought to be identified, and replaced, BEFORE I find myself at the roadside at a rollover collision. Or, more prosaically, BEFORE I send my foot through the rotted deck of a trailer that I am loading, abrading the bejabbers out of my leg, and allowing me to provide all and sundry a continuing medical education moment on Field Care Of The Mark 1, Mod Ø Geezer-on-Anticoagulants Hematoma. Ya know, hindsight IS 20/20!
Since I am a midlevel, and routinely suture wounds (where that is appropriate), I have suture sets. I recheck these, evaluate for contamination as well as out-dates, and replace/repack as indicated.
Since I attempt to keep a couple of month (or more) cushion of my essential prescription meds, it is (again) reasonable to inventory these meds, and while doing so, take note of out dates. Similarly, over-the-counter (OTC) medications: decide what your desired baseline stock level is, decide the stock level that will trigger a restock shopping trip, and decide what your assortment of OTC meds ought to look like. AND! FOR EVERY MEDICATION THAT YOU STORE, KNOW, BEYOND QUESTION, THE DOSAGE, INDICATIONS, CONTRAINDICATIONS, ADVERSE REACTIONS (SIDE EFFECTS), AND OVERDOSAGE SIGNS OF EVERY MEDICATION THAT YOU ANTICIPATE ADMINISTERING TO SOMEONE! WRITE THAT STUFF DOWN!
AND, KEEP IT WITH YOUR MEDICATIONS!
Check medic bags: Out-dates, spoiled supplies (TAPE!)
HOUSEHOLD MED STORES
(I have grandchildren in my life, so I not only keep OTC meds for TDW-Mark II and myself, I also put aside pediatric meds)
Acetaminophen/Ibuprofen/Naproxen/Nasal Steroid Spray/Cetirizine/diphenhydramine/Sore Throat Spray/Liniment (may be known in your household as “muscle rub”)
Inventory. Out-dates. Restock/Shopping List
Generate a restock/shopping list.
EMERGENCY CHILDBIRTH KITS
Medic Bags/First Aid Kits/Boo-Boo kits: Replace meds, inspect contents
BOB: Change out for Winter load out
Check Radios and Batteries
October has a short list of evaluations. That provides an opportunity to do those checks that got past me earlier in the year.
Change stored water
Inspect, test assemble water filters.
Check radios and batteries
Change BOB food, water
(have ALL the guns been cleaned?)
(has ALL the ammo been inspected and inventoried?)
November, having opening day of firearm deer season, is a sort of secular faux-holy-day in rural The Un-Named Flyover State. THAT precipitates thoughts of meat, and THAT triggers the thought that the freezers need defrosting, their contents require inventory, and restocking is pending.
Inventory Contents: Beef. Chicken. Bread. (other: decide for your household)
Compare present stock to desired baseline
Generate shopping list
(Have any cans outdated or spoiled? What does that tell me about my baseline stocking levels, and required adjustments?)
(MREs, freeze dried foods, etcetera)
Check radios and batteries
December is the opportunity to review the preceding year’s plans, successes, and failures. Indeed, December 2022 was the month in which I developed this “calendar”, so as to systematize my checking up on my preps. I gathered scattered checklists, and assembled them into one document. I attempted to level the workload from month-to-month. (a cursory review of my efforts will reveal that THAT is a process improvement opportunity!) I drafted a few plans for 2023, and provided a copy to TDW-Mark II for critique/review. This document is a result of that review, this past December.
YEAR IN REVIEW
Review previous year:
What months went well?
What months went poorly?
Which preps went well?
Which preps went poorly?
Severe shortfalls? Where? Why?
Overstock? What/where? Why? (what revealed an overstock to indeed be an overstock?)
Spectacular fail? Describe. Why did that fail? How to remedy?
Spectacular success? Describe. What went well? Could it have been improved further? How?
PLAN FOR NEXT YEAR FROM THE PRECEDING ANALYSIS
Fitness plan for coming year
Bugout Plan: Review, walk through, identify fails, how to remedy?
Financial plan for coming year. (How did last year’s plan go? Why success/why fail?)
Check radios and batteries
Check, change if indicated, BOB food and water
Let’s see what December 2023 reveals! I pray that my preps are even more dusty than they are at present, and that all the ammunition that I expend is expended at the range!
About The Author
Reltney McFee is a Mid-Level provider in a clinic in Fly-Over Country. He has been an ER RN for 30 + years, and an EMT for a Large City Fire department. He is an Amateur Radio Operator, shooter, and camper.