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Forget the sparkling windows and clutter-free closets, just for a moment. We want to focus on a more important priority: spring cleaning your prepping supplies, emergency kits, and food storage.

Ideally, a clean sweep for emergency preparedness should be done at least twice a year. Spring is an ideal time to tackle this project. Don’t put it off, because you never know when procrastination may bite you in the end.

I thought that maybe I could skip spring cleaning my emergency supplies, especially since the bulk of my emergency food storage will keep perfectly well for a couple of decades (eFoodsDirect does a great job of preparing real food for long-term storage), but I’m glad I didn’t. I found a few surprises when I went through it all. One example is the discovery that the Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal and some granola bars had been raided from one of our bug-out bags. Apparently, my kids got hungry.

Having an accurate inventory is important, not only for oatmeal and granola bars, but for medical supplies, children’s extra clothing and things, those special needs for locations with extreme weather, and even items for entertainment and morale. After going through our stash of entertainment, I found that I needed to swap out some books and games for the kids, because their maturity and interests had changed.

If you can, get the whole family involved with your prepper spring cleaning. Not only will this prevent you from becoming overwhelmed, but it will also be a great chance to go over emergency preparedness plans. This will keep everything fresh in mind, so you all know what to do when the times comes.

  • [checklist]When spring cleaning your emergency supplies, you should:
  • Replace expired food, or food that will expire before the next six months
  • Replace water supplies, if needed
  • Check sealed items for leaks, tears, holes or dents
  • Check equipment and medical supplies for recalls
  • Check expiration dates on medicine and supplements
  • Check that wet wipes have not dried out
  • Have your family’s needs changed? Rethink your requirements and update your kits and general supplies as needed
  • Dust or clean bags, cans, or equipment if needed
  • Make sure that where you currently store your items still makes sense
  • Review your evacuation plans and check if changes need to be made. For example, if emergency shelters have since closed or been relocated
  • Double check phone numbers and contact information for anyone on your list[/checklist]

Print this list for convenience, and check off your spring cleaning items when you get to them.

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