Update Your Kit Over Time

"Me explaining my schedule to others" GIF
Well, maybe it’s not this complicated if you just do it the same weekend every year.

Yay! The next step is assigning yourself homework! Everyone loves homework, and this homework is especially fun because it involves eating nonperishable foods that are close to their expiration date. Be still, my heart.

Depending on your location, you might not open your hurricane survival kit for a few years, unless you make a point of doing so. If you live near the coast, checking on your kit and updating it before each hurricane season is a great habit to make sure your food and medicines are still within their expiration dates, water is still sealed, and batteries are still fresh.

Start by checking expiration dates on shelf-stable foods, water, electrolyte drinks, gummy bears… anything you’d eat or drink. Pull out anything that’s close to expiring and get creative with your meal plan to make sure it doesn’t go to waste. Replace the food you removed with fresh stock, and check the expiration dates when they go in to make sure they’re at least a year away from expiring.

Check the expiration dates for both prescription and OTC medications. You should replace outdated OTC medication and refill any expired prescription medications. And don’t forget to test spare batteries in your kit to make sure they’re still functional. And if they’re rechargeable, go ahead and recharge them. This includes external power banks.

Setting an annual update reminder during a weekend at the start of hurricane season will have you ready for anything when the National Hurricane Center (NHC) puts you on alert. We hope all of your hurricanes get downgraded to tropical storms, but you’ll be ready either way.

Your kit is locked and loaded! What about your house?

Man with flashlight
That’s the self-satisfied face of a man who remembered to check his flashlight batteries.

About the Authors

It takes a village! We are researching, writing and fact checking as a family. Collaboration is the name of the game, whether we’re running from a zombie horde or finding the best way to turn a complex concept into a deliciously digestible set of bullet points.

Katherine Esperanza is a Los Angeles based writer. When she's not conjuring new queer slice-of-life short stories, she's busy watching the newest films, out at queer shows, supporting queer artists, or just checking out the queer community as a whole.

A former international non-profiteer, small business owner, and co-op'er, Katherine is delighted to help introduce more leftist politics into the disaster preparedness/prepper sphere, which is currently far too right-wing.