Unfortunately, you can’t just set it and forget it. You have to learn how to maintain your earthquake kit so that it can maintain you.
You took the time to assemble the perfect prep kit, so don’t let it sit and collect dust. The only constant in life is change, and your kit needs to reflect changes in your family’s needs.
You should check your kit at least once every 6 months. Replace any expired food items, check that all your electronic devices are still in working order, and that all your supplies are in good repair. Don’t forget to check your batteries as they may have been drained of power while awaiting the next big shake.
When storing your kit, put all food items in a dry, cool place to prevent them from spoiling. Use containers that seal tightly and are made of plastic or metal. Cardboard doesn’t do much against bugs, mice, and dust.
As your needs change, update your kit accordingly. If a new bundle of joy joins the family or you adopt a pet, you’ll need more food and water in your kit. Plus other items, of course! Anything that they would require, you’ll need to add to your prep kit just as life has added onto your family.
Then you may need to adjust how you maintain your earthquake kit to ensure that you’re checking the expiration dates on any of those new addition’s additions to the kit. Set an annual calendar reminder to update the kit and make sure your replacement items won’t expire before your next reminder.
Now let’s try to make sure your house stays upright long enough for you to get your bag and get out. Home prep, here we come!
A battery tester is a great investment if you’re using traditional batteries. Most batteries have a shelf life of 5 to 10 years, but some might become duds sooner than that. Store your batteries in a waterproof container separate from the electronics they’ll be powering, and test them during your kit maintenance to make sure they’re still good.