If you have taken the time to stockpile supplies for the safety of you and your family, the last thing you need is for those supplies to be of no use when you need them the most. It is not enough to purchase and forget, your supplies need to be checked on a regular basis to ensure that they are always usable.
Different foods have different expiration dates so this needs to be watched carefully but it isn’t just your food that you need to keep an eye on. During this guide we are going to look at some tips that will help you when it comes to rotation of your supplies.
Rotation can be made easier by remembering the rule of FIFO, or first in first out. I find this easier to go from front to back rather than side to side but it will be down to personal preference. Put a little note up in the pantry to make sure that all the family know where to take the food from. This doesn’t just go for food but also your water supplies too.
Don’t forget to also rotate your medications using the FIFO rule.
When the time comes to check over your supplies, remember to also rotate your clothing. Make sure the clothing in your emergency kit is correct for the time of year and that it isn’t too small. It is no good still having summer clothes in your emergency kit if you are now in winter and vice versa.
If these have been vacuum packed to save on space, make sure to clearly label each with sizes and seasons to make it easier.
Rotating your supply of batteries will keep them fresh and avoid corrosion. People often forget these when rotating but they don’t stay fresh forever. Alkaline batteries are prone to leakage but that doesn’t mean that other types are immune. Don’t leave any batteries in other items such as flashlights or radios. If the batteries leak you will lose a critical part of your emergency kit.
First Aid Kit
Empty out the contents of your first aid kit and see what needs to be replenished. If you have used anything from the kit since the last rotation and haven’t replaced it, now is the time.
Not everyone chooses to store fuel but it is always a good idea to at least have a small supply on hand. I don’t recommend storing fuel for any longer than six months but I know people that have stored for close on to a year without stabilisers and it has still worked as it should.
The above list is not meant to be comprehensive but hopefully it can be of use when going through your own supplies.