As Preppers we like to think we are prepared for most situations. We have our bug out bags (BOBs) and our everyday carry (EDCs) kit along with food and water supplies all safely stored ready for use should the worst happen.
All of these preps will make a survival situation easier to handle and more comfortable to get through. However, this is only the case if our gear is up to the task at hand. Regular checks are needed to ensure that we are truly prepared for emergencies.
Finding time to complete these checks can be difficult – remembering to complete them at all can be a challenge in itself. A good idea is to use the switch to and from daylight saving time as a marker for when to go through some checks of your gear.
It’s not just for swapping smoke detector batteries anymore!
Although there may appear to be a large number of checks to go through – most are quick checks that can be completed in a few minutes. Remember spending a few minutes to make sure your gear is in order now could ultimately save your life.
Here is our checklist to complete at the upcoming switch from daylight saving. What would you add?
- Check your supplies of stored food –
- Is everything still in date? Do some foods need eating or throwing away?
- Are there any signs of damage to containers?
- Are there any signs of rodents or pests?
- Are all foods stored still things your family likes to eat?
- Does anything need rotating to prevent food expiring?
- Is your can opener still functional and in place?
- Check your drinking water supply –
- Do you need to replace any water?
- Rotate your stored water with fresh water.
- Is algae visible in any container? Do any containers need replacing?
- Are there any signs of damage to containers?
- Does water in your bug out bag, car kits etc need replacing?
- Check your home’s safety tools –
- Are smoke detectors still working? Do any batteries need replacing?
- Are carbon monoxide detectors working? Are they suitably placed?
- Are your fire extinguishers still in working order and in the correct place?
- Is your gas shut off tool in place?
- Does all the family know how to turn off gas and power?
- Check your EDC’s and BOB’s to ensure all gear is in unusable condition –
- Is food in date?(BOB food will have shorter shelf life than other foods)
- Does the clothing carried still fit?
- Does some clothing need to be removed or swapped for the coming season?
- Do you need to add anything for the new season? (blankets for winter etc)
- Are all battery operated tools working and batteries replaced?
- Check your home defense systems –
- Are all security lights in working order?
- Is your alarm fully functional including all sensors? Is it due a service? Have you changed the alarm code?
- Are any weapons you have in good condition and accessible to you?
- Are all perimeter fencing/walls stable with no cracks or weak points?
- Do you have emergency evacuation routes planned? Are they up to date?
- Check your shelter provisions –
- Is your house fully stocked with at least one month worth of provisions for your family?
- If you have a bug out location – is it still secure and are your planned routes still correct?
- Are your emergency shelter provisions in your BOB in good condition?
- Are shelter building materials in ready to use condition?
- Does all the family know where to go for shelter in an emergency?
- Check your comfort provisions –
- Do you have materials and tools for more than one method of lighting and maintaining a fire?
- Do you have provisions for cooking food?
- Is any hand sanitizer in date and sealed?
- If you have a generator – is it in working order with sufficient fuel?
- Is your fuel supply stocked and does it need replacing/rotating?
- Check your important documents –
- Is your insurance up to date?
- Do you have a written copy of up-to-date emergency contact numbers?
- Are any documents out of date and ready to be archived?
- Are important documents suitably protected from water damage etc?
- Do you have a copy of your ID, bank details, social security number etc in a safe and accessible place?
- Check your communication plans and equipment –
- Are walkie talkies charged and in working order?
- Is your emergency crank radio in working order?
- Is your solar charger working and ready to use?
- Have the batteries in your radio or flashlight leaked and corroded the device?
- Are pens, pencils, etc., working with paper available for note taking or map drawing?
- Do any batteries need replacing? Do you have a topped up supply of spares?
- Check your financial provisions are in place –
- Do you have cash to the value of at least $400 stored securely?
- Are your debit/credit cards still valid? Are they expiring soon?
- If you have been storing gold or silver – is it still in place? Is it still safe to leave it there?
- Are all your household bills up to date? Is there any chance you may be cut off?
- Check your travel equipment is ready to go when you are –
- Is your bug out bag stocked and ready to go? Have you replaced everything you used or removed?
- Do you have suitable footwear readily available? Does it fit? Has it been worn in? Does it need additional waterproofing or maintenance?
- Is the map of your area up to date? Is anything likely to change soon (building works etc)?
- Do you have suitable clothing for the coming season in your bug out bag? Does it still fit? Is it still fit for purpose?
- Does your car have sufficient fuel to get you out of danger? Do you have additional supplies available? Are other forms of transport required? Are they well maintained?
- Check your survival tools are in working form –
- Is your knife sharpened and safe to use?
- Do you have more than one method of catching food? (fishing line, snare traps etc)
- Is your compass working?
- Do you have a suitable supply of cordage? Is it still safe to use? Does it show signs of wear? Does it need replacing?
- Is your basic tool kit stocked and ready to use? (basic vehicle maintenance tools, hammer, screwdrivers etc)
- Check your first aid supplies are fully stocked and sufficient –
- Are all first aid items in date? Do any items need replacing? Do you have enough spares?
- Are all sterile dressings sealed in their correct packaging?
- Is stored medication still current and appropriate for your family members? Has dosage changed? Has medication changed?
- Is first aid kit in good condition? Are there signs of wear and tear?
- Is your doctors emergency contact number correct? Is your local hospital’s contact details still up to date?
- Check your weaponry of all levels –
- If you have firearms, do you have enough ammo? Is it still in working order? Do you have a cleaning kit? When was the last time the firearm was cleaned?
- Are any clubs, bats, pipes, etc., still capable of the task they are required? Are they damaged or do they have weak points?
- Do all family members know how to use a weapon? Do they know how to check it for suitability?
- Is weapon storage still suitable? Is there damage to cabinet, gun case or locks?
- Are weapons still suitable for family members? Can children handle bigger weapons now? Do adjustments need to be made?
Alongside these checks it is also beneficial to run through some practice emergencies with your family. Get everyone to go through a full bug out situation from getting out of the house to the agreed location.
Turn off your water and power for the day so everyone has the chance to get used to this type of situation before it happens for real. Doing these practice runs alongside the checks listed above twice a year will put you in a strong position to survive a bad situation.