Ok, we need to talk about this. Last night it snowed in Austin, Texas with nearly an inch falling just as the sun was going down. Temperatures dipped below freezing and created some icy road conditions that lingered through the next morning. While this is not a totally unexpected, or unprecedented occurrence, it was something of a surprise; earlier this week it was 80 degrees. For the most part, Texas in general experiences terrific weather. Snow and ice are rare and even cold weather tends to not linger long. As for yesterday, I do not recall at any point in the day, hearing that there would be precipitation at all, much less snow. Now, I understand that meteorologists can’t always get it right, sometimes giant storms slip past them, but I should think that maybe a hint that there might be snow would have been nice.
That being said, I did not come here to rant, but to point out an issue that preppers must take into account and consider frequently. Our preps, especially vehicle and bug out bag, are not static. They will have to be changed at least twice a year with the transition from warm weather to cold and vice versa. Obviously your location will determine exactly when it is best for you to make that switch, but in central Texas, a good time is late March and late October. These are just recommendations, but these two times seem to mark the major switch in weather.
Keep in mind too that I don’t think you need to necessarily swap out items at these times. You may choose to augment until the weather has completely transitioned. In fact that may be an even smarter idea. There is always a chance that a cold front can move through after it has warmed up. If you have already swapped out your cold weather gear it can make for some discomfort to say the least.
Some things to evaluate would be:
Clothing – in the spring get rid of the cold weather gear, fleece cap, glove, and jacket, in lieu of warm weather and shade cloths. In fall put that cold weather gear back in.
Food – Now is a good time to check the expiration dates on your food in your vehicle and BOB and cycle anything getting close to imminent use status.
Water – It may be a good time to replace any water you may have as well. Not that water goes bad, but if you are using water bottles, you can swap out for freshness.
Documents – Do you have personal documents in your BOB? Has anything changed in the last few months?
Batteries – Are your stored batteries getting old? If so, it may be time to rotate them into use and replace with fresh.
Shelter items – Depending on how you prep, you may need to swap out lightweight shelter items for something a little more substantial. Or not, just something to think about.
What other items can you think of that need to be checked? A breakdown during a snow storm may be the worst time to find out you still have cargo shorts and a t-shirt in your trunk bag. How often do you go through your preps? Is it seasonal, quarterly, or even less frequently? Please tell us in the comments. Until next time, thank you and keep on preppin!