Thursday, April 02, 2020 by Janine Acero
One thing that preppers often overlook is maintaining their preps. Once you’ve ticked every box on your prepping checklist, know that it doesn’t stop there. It’s important to keep your supplies fresh and in good shape, so they will be ready to serve their purpose when the time comes. (h/t to Survivopedia.com)
A big part of prepping is stockpiling food, and one problem that preppers face when stocking up food is spoilage.
Canned foods can last for years, but the cans themselves are susceptible to rusting and corroding, which can affect the quality of the food inside.
You may have cans that look good on the outside but corrode all the way through, spoiling its contents.
The coating on the inside of the can may also be damaged from mishandling of the cans, such as dropping or denting them. When this happens, acids from the food can further damage the metal can, eating through it.
This is more likely to happen with acidic foods like tomatoes and pineapple. The spoiled contents can leak onto the other cans, damaging them and spoiling their contents as well.
Foods kept in other types of containers can spoil as well. Plastic jars, for instance, don’t offer the same level of protection as glass jars or metal cans.
Dry foodstuffs should also be monitored. If you have freeze-dried or dehydrated food, make sure to keep them in airtight five-gallon food buckets to prevent moisture from damaging the contents.
However, five-gallon buckets can also be damaged; large rats can gnaw through the buckets and get to the contents. Therefore, you should regularly inspect your stockpile, and move cans and buckets around to see everything.
Don’t neglect to check your water supply alongside your food. Water stored for long periods of time can be exposed to algae that tend to grow in containers like gallon jugs, 55-gallon plastic barrels and 200-gallon tanks.
If your water containers have algae, add some bleach to the water, the same way you would when purifying it. A ratio of eight drops of bleach per gallon of water will kill the algae and other microbes. (Related: A safe guide to using bleach to purify water when SHTF.)
Maintaining your equipment is another crucial part of prepping. Some survival gear can be left untouched and will still work as intended, while others need serious maintenance, such as knives, axes and machetes, which need occasional sharpening.
Keeping survival equipment includes having the tools needed for their maintenance. For instance, if you have lanterns that run on gasoline, like old-fashioned Coleman lanterns, you will need the mantles for them and a pump rebuild kit for the little pump used to pressurize the gas tank.
Use your survival gear periodically, so you will remember to maintain it.
Regularly inspecting your supplies, and testing them out from time to time, can give you a chance to move things around as needed. It’s important to rotate your consumable supplies and use up the ones that will expire first so that your stock is always fresh.
If you have a copy of your inventory on your computer, make sure to have a printed copy as well. Certain scenarios can render a computer useless, especially anything that involves the power grid, like an outage. Keep your printed copies and other survival information in a waterproof container.
Stay on top of your preps – learn more about maintaining your supplies and gear at Preparedness.news.
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