Many products and services bill themselves as a “set it and forget it” way of getting things done. Adequate preparedness, however, clashes with this approach. Knowledge fades, food spoils, and medicine expires. One of the most important aspects of preparedness, then, is a refresh or rotation of your supplies or knowledge.
I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (like many people in Utah). Why do I mention that on this blog? Well, every six months our Church has a huge conference over two days. Since it’s such a frequent and expected event, I (like many others of whom I’m aware) have used the weekend as an easy reminder for me to rotate my supplies. Specifically, I rotate the food in my 72 hour kit (I refer to it as a “bugout bag” since it’s got more goodies than your average kit) and one of my water tanks.
This may be fairly basic for many, but here’s what I did for our bugout bags:
These are our bags: soft-frame hiking backpacks filled to the brim. My wife’s is lighter than mine, and both are stored in the hallway closet close to our front door.
The food is all stored in a grocery bag at the top of the bag for easy access. In an emergency, food will be one of the primary things I want access to; all other quick-access items (money, radio, flashlight, etc.) are in small pockets and other accessible locations in the bag.
The bags. And the dog, eagerly anticipating my opening of them.
Here’s what we have in our two bags: trail mix, beef jerky, soynuts, goldfish, clif bars, pudding, granola bars, energy bars, dehydrated fruit, candy, Ensure drinks, and some life caps.
I go over each item to check its expiration date and see whether I can (or want to) leave it in the bag for another six months, or pull it out for rotation. The items in this picture are staying in the bag, and all others will be eaten over the next few weeks, and replacements purchased.
For those that have seasonal-specific clothing in their bags, it’s also important to rotate those wardrobes out so you’re not sweltering in the summer heat with a sweater or freezing in the winter with shorts and a tank-top. Given how unpredictable Utah weather can be, I keep a wide array of clothing in my bag.
Again, this post is fairly simple in nature; there is nothing revolutionary about my setup or food choices. Rather, it’s basic documentation of what I’ve done, and an encouragement for you to do the same. A regular rotation of your stored snacks will ensure that when things get crazy and you have to get out quick, you won’t have to eat stale and long-expired remnants of what once was tasty and nutritious.