Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mid-Year Check

Making the food list last year turned out well for me. All I had to do for the mid-year check this week was eye the list and add the items expiring before September to my shopping list. After shopping, it was easy to dig out the items to be replaced from the plastic bin because I put things in chronological order by expiration date so those items expiring sooner are on top. Then, I moved them to the space for current use and put the new purchases in the preparedness food bin after writing the expiration date on the front or top with a black Sharpie so it's easy to see.

Replacing the water was no big deal. All I did was buy more and move the jugs reserved for preparedness so they can be used for current needs which I pretty well do whenever I buy spring water by the gallon for my tea, anyway. The only difference this time was that I did it on purpose because it's the mid-year check, not because I needed to buy water which means I'll have more water than usual in my regular supply for a while. I'm unsure of the sense of doing things this way except it ensures my preparedness supply of water is fresh whether or not I use my regular supply.

What's new is that I started thinking about medications for a preparedness first aid kit (FAK) and bought an extra box of allergy pills, generic pain relief, and other basic first aid medications. I usually wait until I need these before buying them because I've stocked them in my home FAK before only to discard them after the expiration date without ever using any, but decided that a period of tumult is not the time to be needing a drug store that may not be open during a disaster.

The allergy pills won't be wasted because I can rotate them into current use and buy a new box for the preparedness kit when my daily supply needs to be replaced, and I should add a multi-vitamin and multi-mineral supplement to aid good health in whatever stressful situation this preparedness kit is to see me through, but I expect to take a hit on the cost of the rest since they are more likely to expire than be used.

Finally, I decided to store the FAK meds and my Katadyn Micropur water purification tablets in an insulated cooler bag designed to hold four cans. Since I don't know whether a preparedness situation might be too cold or too hot, either of which may degrade the chemicals, I figure it's better to play it safe by storing them in a cooler.

Besides, I wasn't using the bag for anything else. I originally bought it on sale for air travel because it folds flat for easy packing so I don't have to buy, then leave behind, a cheap Styrofoam cooler at every destination just to keep a few beverage cans cold. It'll do fine in my Grab & Go bag and for road trips, but I'll have to think about what to do for preparedness issues when I travel by air since it can't fold flat when full. It's easy enough when I travel by car, but air travel requires paring down to the bare minimum especially when trying to use only a carry-on bag.

I'm becoming increasingly aware that going on vacation doesn't exempt people from disastrous situations. Vacationers and business travelers should have basic preparedness kits with them in order to survive the unexpected just like anybody else, probably more so since they're away from their home turf in unfamiliar surroundings.

No comments: