This time of year we must change our clocks, fall back or spring forward. As a retired firefighter and EMT, I take this seriously. If your smoke detectors are over 10 years old, please change the unit. This twice a year rotation also offers us a chance to rotate other items we have stored in our preps. It is important to have someone verify that you have rotated your stocks, like a group check off or a family weekend project.
First is the gasoline. Every six months you can dump the 5-gallon containers into your truck. Luckily, I had hunting season and used it in the four wheeler. When getting new gas, please remember to add a stabilizer to it and store in a safe place. Do not store it in your garage where your furnace is located. Many structure fires start this way. Make sure your propane tanks are full; after camping, hunting, and canning, my tanks needed to be filled. Kerosene is the last fuel to check. Use blue containers and stabilize with diesel additive. Now that you have enough fuel for your chainsaws, truck, stoves, grills, space heaters, and lights, we would move on to water.
Water in 55-gallon blue barrels are on furniture dollies with ratchet straps. We have one per family member. Drain these with a hose outside or use a pump. Fill them with fresh water, using a fresh water hose from the camper. You could add additional bleach if you would like, just make sure it does not have any additives. The same goes for the 5-gallon water camp jugs, which number in quantity of one per family member. Cases of bottled water seam to rotate themselves. Just make sure you have at least one case per person. Rotate stored bleach as well, since it does degrade in potency. (You can also research how to make a stock solution from pool shock.) Have a couple ways to treat water, including pots for boiling, buckets for filtering, and chemicals for treating water. Without water you may have all the food you need, but your body will not process food without clean water. Now we move on to food.
It is very convenient for my wife to go out to the garage and get a can of beans or a #10 can of rice. She refers to me as a horder, but that’s another article. Twice a year take an inventory of your food. What do you need to buy or replace? Look in your freezer. Make jerky of freezer-burned deer. Have enough spices to jerky your freezer, if we had a long-term grid down event. Learn how to pressure can meat. You can put up a lot of taco meat in an afternoon. Again, have extra canning supplies and lids on hand in case you have to do an emergency canning session.
First Aid, Sanitary Supplies, and Medications
This time of year, it is good to check your first aid kits, medicine cabinet, and your supply of sanitary supplies. My wife loves the never ending supply of toilet paper, though it needs to be restocked. I still teach CPR and first aid classes, and I tell them of the time I cut myself pretty good and went for my toolbox first aid kit behind the seat of my truck. The butterfly bandages were dried out and the liquid skin was hard. Then I show them my truck kit and my pack kit and explain the need to rotate and restock. This time year is a good time to stock up on flu supplies and any other medications you might use. Get your flu shot, if you are supportive of the flu shot; if you are not, then don’t.
Guns, Hunting, and Fishing
I feel that prepping, hunting, fishing, and gardening are the reasons that I’m just overweight and not obese. Inventory your ammo and weapons. Maybe you need more 12 gauge or you have a ton of FMJ and you need some soft points. There are good sales going on this time of year around the hunting seasons. The same goes for fishing in the spring. Take up bow hunting or ice fishing. Go out and practice. Just replace your ammo and clean your guns. My wife knows I tend to spend alot of money on hunting trips and gear this time of year. It’s easy to pick up a couple of extra boxes of ammo when you’re at the store.
Lists and More
This is where the lists of lists come in handy. Twice a year grab your lists and go to work. Check out your bug out bags; are your vehicles ready for winter? Is the house winterized like it should be? Silver is still inexpensive; maybe you could buy another sleeve of eagles? The gardens are put to bed, you’re in between hunting seasons, and school sports are almost over. It’s time to get to work. Change your clocks, change your smoke detector batteries, change your water, et cetera. Good judgment comes from experience, and alot of experience comes from bad judgment.