As mentioned earlier, Spring has sprung. Besides better days and weather, most of us have also rolled our clocks forward in service to a stupid idea from when America was 80% rural (except for those of you who live in states with common sense, who refuse to play The Man's game). But there are a few other seasonal tasks you should get after now besides screwing up your sleep patterns.
When does your CPR card expire? (You have one, right?) If you haven't bothered in awhile, catch up. It's been dumbed down to the stupid simple level, and technology is now there to help you out. Call up the local chapter of the Red Cross or American Heart Association, and get a new card.
FWIW, Red Cross also can roll it into a (very) basic first aid class, in one day.
OTOH, American Heart's card is good for 2 years, vs. only 1 for the ARC. Choose one or the other, but bust a move. And if your employer offers it or pays for it, you'd be a fool not to take the class.
American Red Cross
American Heart Association
Oh, you've already got your CPR and First Aid stuff together?
Think about taking a CERT class. (Another class frequently paid for by employers. Sometimes even on company time!)
Or upgrade basic first aid to EMT, or to Wilderness Medic.
(See if you can guess what first aid after a disaster is like, when everything is impacted/wiped out: like being in the Amazon jungle or the sub-arctic tundra. Learning to improvise is a survival skill. Much more so than learning to dial 9-1-1 is.)
And you probably moved your clocks up. Here in earthquake country, that's also when you should be checking over your emergency/disaster stuff. Add to your stash of supplies, rotate food and water. Pull old batteries and purpose them for everyday use, and put fresh ones in the O Sh*t! Kit. Change the batteries in all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. (I do the clocks too. YMMV.)
Go through your car kit (you have one of those in each vehicle too, right?), and swap the cold and wet clothes for hot and wet clothing. Unless you have dehydrated or hardtack lifeboat rations, swap out what's in the car, rotate it into regular eating, and put fresh stuff in the car kit. Water your plants with the water, and put freshly bottled water back.
The medicine in your first aid supplies in the car should be nothing but tablets. No gelcaps. Unless you're very rich, or not too bright. (I don't know you, so I can't say which. If pressed, I'll make a guess.) But adhesives, including medical tape and band-aids, also die in hot-and-cold storage in a vehicle. Make sure yours are okay, and/or replace the ones that have gone bad. This is even more true of barrier gloves. They die in cars. Keep just a couple of pairs in the car, and swap them out several times a year, and whenever you use them. I get mine free where I work, and usually come home with a pair or two in my pockets.
If you don't, buy a box, put 2 pair in car and first aid kits, and change them out every month or two. Then you'll never pull on a pair that disintegrates when you pull them on.
If you have anything else, like tools, spares, or equipment, make sure it's all there and in good working order. Needing an air compressor and finding out it doesn't work in BFE at 3AM is not the way to do things. Ditto for things like spare fuses, spark plugs, tire patches, hose clamps, etc. If you've been meaning to add something that's missing, and needful, do it. Make sure everything is clean, not all rusted out. If it is, clean it up.
Doing things like function checks on generators should be a monthly task, but if you're too smart for that kind of sense, at least do it semi-annually. Like now.
And if you're looking at this on a computer, make an inventory list of what's where: home, car(s), office/shop, etc.
Highlight the items with expiration dates, or that are perishable.
Put one list in the kit inside a sheet protector, or laminate it.
Keep one on the home computer or your phone. Now you have an easy way to make a shopping list for what needs to be replaced or added.
If you do this regularly, on time, 99.9999% of the time, you'll never need it. If you put it off and let it slide, you can count on Murphy making an appearance, and you with a half-assed set of gear to deal with things. Ask me how I know.
If you're really on it, do a drill: See how long it takes to get your crap together, whether to stay, or to go. Find what and who the weak links in your Clever Plan are. Straighten both out, gently, but firmly.
And assume everything you depend on is gone: power, water, internet, POTS, ATMs, the works. Test your plan hard. Otherwise, if you half-ass it, and expect minimal problems, you're planning to fail when it's worse. As Gen. Honoré ("Don't get stuck on stupid!") told the idiots of officialdom in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana after Katrina, "You all didn't really plan for a disaster, you just planned for an inconvenience."
Don't be those guys. Plan for a full-blown sh*tstorm. Fail now while you can fix it, and your life (and your family's) and welfare isn't at stake. Then correct the deficiencies.
Lastly, put an ICE ("In Case Of Emergency") number in your phone(s); update as necessary.
Call all those numbers and check them. (
If you have kids or close relatives, make sure they have your current phone numbers, emails, etc.
Update your medical information card behind your driver's license (You have one of those too, right?), including allergies, conditions, and Rx meds, for all members of your tribe. And yes, you should have your spouse's/SO's info, and they should have yours. When you're unconscious and can't answer is no time for family members to be playing "Twenty Questions" with a surgeon in the trauma bay at the ER.
None of this is hard. It's the kind of thing you can do on a Saturday afternoon.
Don't say "Screw it." Do it.
Then you can blissfully forget about it, knowing that you've got your crap together if bad things happen.
Got all this wired down tight, already?
You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din.