January 1 is a really dumb time to start a year. Seriously, you’ve just passed over a nice, handy, logical solstice, and now you’re starting a new year — exactly why?
But there you have it.
I used to make resolutions on my birthday. Or the solstice. Either of which provides a good marker for newness. But since this is the time when such things are done in public, here I am.
Today’s list of resolutions (there may be more to come, depending on time and mood) has to do with preparedness. Got some additional suggestions? Add ’em in the comments.
Preparedness resolutions for 2012
1. I will check my bug-out kit, my bug-in supplies, and my vehicle emergency kit twice a year. I’ll make sure I know what’s in there and how to use it. I’ll add items as needed.
2. Twice a year (New Year and Independence Day seem like good times, though solstices or equinoxes also make sense) I’ll swap out all human and pet food in the car kit and bug-out bag.
3. Twice a year I’ll change out my stored water supplies.
4. Once a year (in fall when canned goods are on sale), I’ll rotate the food in my bug-in supplies, remembering to write dates on new items as they go in.
5. I’ll build a better first-aid kit even though the thought makes my stomach go queasy. I’ll put dates on any perishable items that go into it.
6. Every time I do a major monthly grocery shop, I’ll buy $20 worth of durable and easy-to-prepare canned or packaged food for the bug-in kit and for the longer term.
7. This year I’ll figure out how to build a good “walking around kit” of tools and supplies that I can carry on me in case an emergency hits while I’m walking the dogs or walking around town doing errands.
8. I’ll work on at least one new skill a month, with emphasis on those that I’m nervous about.
9. At least once a month, I’ll add an item to my long-term preparedness supplies; it can be big or small depending on my finances at the time, but it will be something long lasting and useful even (or especially) if TSHTF.
10. Except for the fact that I’m writing about it in front of the entire Internet and therefore putting it on my dreaded Permanent Record, and except for encouraging friends to build their own emergency supplies, I’ll keep my darned mouth shut about it.
>3. Twice a year I’ll change out my stored water supplies.
I fill 2 liter soda bottles with plain tap water, utility added chlorine and all. That’s it, no other additives. I know for a fact that after 2 year the water is still fit to drink. It tastes like it came out of the Potomac  but drinking tap water won’t kill you (too quickly ).
I use a Sharpie marker to write the month and year, and recycle the water through houseplants when I’m done with it.
 Joke. It actually came out of the Potomac.
 There were still lead pipes in the system as of a few years ago. Big scandal.
I don’t think much of making Resolutions, much less making them public. I try to improve myself and my situation as I go along. During the last year for example, over several months, I’ve acquired a few good moraknives and a good full sized Ka-Bar knife as well. Earlier this year during a Cans Sale I’ve stocked up on quite a few things for the pantry.
I’ve try to do things as opportunity strikes, especially when they can save me money or I come across something good that I need to strike while the iron still hot. You never know what events will transpire to help you if you recognize it as opportunities.
Haha! Good stuff Claire …and don’t forget the AMMO…
I put these things in my Iphone. In fact I was just doing this yesterday. Once a year I check all bug out bags, every three months for water and every other month I check food. I also keep a lists on my Iphone of things to look for and long term goals. If I lose my IPhone life wouldn’t be worth living.
These are good resolutions, and things I should be working on as well. I hadn’t thought of a “walking around kit” before. I like the idea, and am frankly a little embarrassed that it hadn’t dawned on me. I have enough multitools, knives and other stuff lying around that I have no excuse for not having tools and whatnot on me at all times… Guess that’s my resolution for the year! Thanks Claire!
I have a pretty extensive “pocket dump”. I have three lights, one multi tool, one widget bar, knife, tweezers, whistle, lighter, and other stuff.
1 Get a good battery recharger – and store batteries well. (I had trouble with batteries last year, both in very cold and in very hot, humid weather.)
2. Practice… practice… practice.
After many years of accumulating things for various “bags” and my long term storage pantry, this year I will focus on fine tuning and actually simplify the whole operation.
For example, I have a very large bag filled with supplies for a field hospital, in addition to several “first aid” and trauma kits that I take to various places. I can no longer even lift the hospital bag! Not good. I plan to split it into at least two new bags this year so it will be more portable. There are zero “perishable” supplies in any of those bags. It’s not necessary. Anything like that should be stored separately anyway. If you use something out of a bag, either replace it immediately or set the bag out with a red flag or something to remind you to do it as soon as you can. If it gets put away without the replacement… guess who’s going to forget all about it until next time you need it? Yep… me.
Found a can of beans in my storage that had leaked and made a mess on the shelf and under surrounding cans. Stinky mess. Will go through and verify dates on all the canned stuff down there this year, donating the oldest to the food bank for immediate use. I’m also making plans to use more of it myself instead of buying frozen veg. so much. I prefer them, but I need to rotate the canned stuff.
As for batteries, Pat… I’ve about given up on them. My experience with the rechargeables has not been good. And if the electricity goes off… they can’t be recharged anyway. I bought a wood stove, some kerosene lanterns and so forth, just in case. All the gadgets that need batteries just will not be of any use pretty quick anyway.
“As for batteries, Pat… I’ve about given up on them. My experience with the rechargeables has not been good. And if the electricity goes off… they can’t be recharged anyway. I bought a wood stove, some kerosene lanterns and so forth, just in case. All the gadgets that need batteries just will not be of any use pretty quick anyway.”
I’ve thought about this, ML, and questioned myself. I’ll learn from your experience, and re-think my options.
I agree with Jim B. As far as the pocket tool kit goes, I have a Tinker model Swiss Army knife with a short brass bead chain through the little keyloop,with a Powerful Pete screwdriver(looks like a coin) and a spark-plug gap guage on the chain. Works for me just fine(the spark plug gauge makes a good lottery ticket scatcher offer). On my keys, I have a single-AAA maglite-it’s great because it’s waterproof, and doesn’t come on easily when in your pocket-no accidentally dead battery.
“I used to make resolutions on my birthday. Or the solstice. Either of which provides a good marker for newness.”
I do both of these. (I actually have a birthday on Winter Solstice. It’s pretty awesome, with the exception of when you’re a young kid and you get ripped off with the old “this is for your birthday AND christmas!” thing, lol)
In all seriousness though, preparedness makes a great resolution…it’s pretty tangible and easy to stick to. I’m too clever for intangible goals, I rationalize my way out of them. ‘Read more books this year’ means that come december, I’ll have a massive collection of comics and pulpy scifi novels. ‘Quitting smoking’ means that for about a month I’ll buy cigarillos and be all like “I mean yeah I’m smoking but it’s not *smoking* if you don’t inhale!”…you get the idea. My goals are generally always physical related…This year I’m going for no more than a 6 minute/mile running pace and new numbers on the big lifts…for me it has more to do with preparedness than anything else does, and it’s impossible to to BS that. Oh and I’m also trying to procrastinate less, I think I’ll wait till later in the year to start with that one though.
1) I will get my house built. Finally. (I have the design finished, and a list of materials already)
2) I will plant 5 trees solely for a cash crop, such as apples, and I will remember to wrap them when winter comes.
3) I will get my voice back. (It’s been missing since September. And no, that’s not metaphorical)