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We’re approaching the end of the 2009 holiday season – we have just one more long weekend next week, and then we’re into 2010. For a lot of people, this is a relatively quiet time at work and at home. It’s as good time as any to look back at our emergency preparedness plans and supplies, and do a quick check.

What should you be doing right now?

1. Check the condition of your batteries, whether the batteries are in your flashlights, your emergency lights, radios or other survival equipment. Most alkaline batteries today will last a fairly long time, but sometimes we still get one or two bad ones which could leak and damage our electronic equipment.

2. Check your food supplies, water and medicine for expiry dates. You should rotate your supplies every six months or so — be ready to eat some canned stuff for the next few days.

If you’ve been dipping into your emergency food supplies, now’s the time to replenish. Here’s how to build your own 72-hour food kit.

3. Check the condition of your Bug Out Bag (BOB). Are there any items that you’ve taken out in the past year? Sometimes I “borrow” things like duct tape and batteries from my own BOB. Time to return what you borrowed.

If you don’t have one yet, here’s instructions on how to assemble your own bug out bag for $30.

4. Pack your car with essentials — a bottle of water, medicine, bandages and a flashlight should be in your glove compartment. Make sure your spare tyre is inflated and you have your jack ready. If you have a spare Bug Out Bag, keep it in your trunk/boot.

Here’s to a prepared new year!

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