Tag: car survival kit

Spring Cleaning for Preppers

Spring cleaning means washing windows

If you are a dedicated spring cleaner, you’ve already taken care of the windows. You may have done some spring cleaning in closets or in the garage, too. And when the time changed a few weeks ago, you undoubtedly checked the batteries in the smoke alarms. (You did, didn’t you?)

With summer coming up quickly, it will be easy to get caught up in end-of-school parties, vacation plans, etc. In the midst of that, your spring cleaning may get interrupted, along with some of your good preparedness habits.

Here are a few quick reminders for your family and your neighborhood team. Click on the images to get more details on these items from Amazon.

Walkie-talkie spring cleaning.

Yesterday we picked up my daughter at the airport. While Joe circled, I hopped out with a walkie-talkie so we could keep in touch. This is one of the most convenient uses for these hand-held radios!  No dialing, no busy signals, no dropping of the signal. Just push to talk: “OK, I see her! “OK, we’re at gate 3, right at the crosswalk.”

But the walkie-talkies have to have good batteries! Actually, we have added walkie-talkie battery replacement to our twice-a-year Daylight Savings Time checklist.

Last week we also added 10 more walkie-talkies to our supply for our neighborhood group Block Captains. The Uniden model continues to be our favorite, and prices haven’t gone up much at all. Here’s the model we buy – less than $25 for a set of 2:

Uniden GMR1635-2 Up to 16-Mile Range, FRS Two-Way Radio Walkie Talkies, 22 Channels with Channel Scan, Battery Strength Meter, Roger Beep, Call Tone, Keypad Lock, Black Color

If you are building your emergency team, or are planning family outings that will involve keeping track of each other in crowds (like a theme park) or in the woods, consider Walkie-talkies for your own family use. For short-distance communications they really can’t be beat.

Spruce up safety clothing.

Some clothing items seem to find their way into dark corners and onto the floor of the trunk of the car. I’m referring to sweatshirts, gloves, hats, etc.

With summer coming, it’s time to clean out and be ready for warmer weather. But don’t forget the safety gear that you KEEP in the car.

For example, we have found that having colored shirts and/or reflective vests are smart additions to our usual car survival kits.

  • Heading for Disneyland? If everyone in the family — Mom, Dad, Grandpa, Kid 1, Kid 2, Kid 3, etc.! — is wearing the same bright-colored T-shirt you will be a lot easier to spot!
  • Being on the street in the dark next to a disabled car is terribly dangerous! A reflective vest becomes an important safety item on the street and a reassurance in a campground at night.

Last week when we put in our order for more walkie-talkies for our team we also bought 10 more reflective vests for our neighborhood group Block Captains. They are amazingly modest in price!  (It’s not like we are wearing these every day, so they don’t need to be top of the line.) I chose these because they have pockets, and the package came with an extra vest in child-size!

Click on the link below the imageto get full details.

CIMC Yellow Reflective Safety Vest with Pockets, 10 Pack, Bright Construction Vest with Reflective Strips,Made from Breathable and Neon Yellow Mesh Fabric,High Visibility Vest for Working Outdoor

Battery replacement.

How many flashlights and emergency radios do you actually have, when you add up all the ones in the cars and in the house?

Guess what, they probably all use batteries! And have you noticed the rule that says batteries will whimper and die just when you really need them?

So, the competent Prepper adds a flashlight check and battery replacement exercise to the spring cleaning list.

Over the years we have tested and tested different batteries. The best ones one year seem to lose place to another manufacturer the next year. So we simple buy batteries on a regular basis.

Again, you probably need different sizes. Here’s a convenient pack with the AA and AAA sizes most common for our flashlights and walkie-talkies. Click on the image for exact pricing.

You may want to separate batteries and put a set of extra ones – of the right size – in a plastic baggy that you store alongside the item they belong with. When the power is out you can’t be searching through your battery box . . .!

Here’s an image of one of our flashlights. Note the green batteries in the holder which will be replaced with the gold ones stored in the bag.

Replace batteries with right-sized batteries stored in plastic bag
Always replace all batteries when you replace one.

Car survival kit spring cleaning.

We’ve spent time before on everything to consider for the survival kits you carry in your car.

For spring cleaning, it may be enough to simply refresh.

  • Go through your first aid kits and replace old bandages, anything that has cracked or gotten wet. Recycle old medicines and put in new ones. Add anything you’ll need for summer, including sunscreen and dark glasses.
  • Replace all your snack food with new packages. Canned stuff may last a while longer, but why not eat it up now and put new things in its place?
  • Remove kids’ items that they have outgrown, and replace with more appropriate things – we’re talking games, toys, etc.
  • Consider adding a new battery-charger for your devices. As we’ve written before, the “power packs” store enough to charge your phone more than once. (Scroll to the P.S. in that Advisory for an example of a popular power pack.) And solar-powered chargers are now ubiquitous. Both make good gifts, too.

Communications update.

Do all family members have updated phone numbers? Do all response team members have updated phone numbers for their neighbors? Now’s a good time to refresh this info.

And test family members’ memory. Can they recite the phone number of your out-of-town contact?  (Make it a contest as you are driving to that vacation spot. . .)

Insurance review.

We see so many ads on TV about saving money by switching auto insurance. Maybe you have switched, and actually saved money!

When it comes to other insurances, it’s important to shop and compare, too. Given the past couple of years’ dramatic storms, fires and floods, you may discover that the coverage you thought you had has changed, or is going up in cost. Or maybe you thought you were covered and you haven’t been covered at all! Or you are now required to have coverage that you didn’t have to have when you bought your house years ago!

Check out these Advisories for important questions to have ready when you talk with your insurance agent.

OK, this Spring Cleaning review could actually take some time. You probably can’t do it all in one week.

But every item you check off the list means you are in better shape to avoid an inconvenience, not to mention an emergency.

Good luck!

Your Emergency Plan Guide team