As a trucker, especially one who's currently driving in the midst of winter, you probably know all about the importance of having a fully stocked emergency kit, just in case something goes wrong. The items in that kit can include tools, stuff that helps you get unstuck from a snowbank, first-aid supplies, items to keep you warm and more.
In all, a properly filled emergency kit can be sizable, but there are some things that are more important than others for truckers to keep an eye on. While much of what you include basically won't go bad ever, many items carry a very specific shelf life, and you need to be proactive about consuming it or swapping it on a regular basis. Doing so will help you stay safe no matter what problems you encounter.
With that in mind, the following items should be examined regularly to see if they should be swapped out:
1) Food and water
These are the most obvious of items in your emergency kit that will need to be replaced on occasion, even if you buy non-perishable food, and it's something you need to stay on top of, according to Freedom General. You certainly don't want to get into a sticky situation where you have too-old water and expired or stale food on hand. It is easy to simply keep tabs on every food item's best-by date, but bottled water should also be swapped out every few months or so.
Batteries, too, tend to have a listed shelf life on their packaging (or on the individual batteries themselves) and that's something you should also keep track of on an ongoing basis, according to A Secure Life. Of course, the expiration date on a pack of batteries is likely to be more than a few years from the time when you purchased them, but if you just bought them to put directly into your emergency kit, you might not have a great idea of when that expiration date is approaching. Check now, then make a note of it somewhere you will remember to check, such as on your smartphone.
One thing you certainly don't want to play a guessing game with is expired medicine, so this is another area where you have to keep careful track of when everything in your kit will no longer be recommended for use, according to Premier Health. If you're diligent about taking all your prescription drugs, those shouldn't be a problem, but what about your various over-the-counter painkillers or allergy meds that you don't take as often?
Finally, it might not seem like it's as big of an issue in the winter, but your sunscreen can go bad as well, Premier Health added. During the summer, you probably go through it often enough that you won't reach the expiration date before running out, but doctors say you should also apply it in the winter; if you go too long without replacing the bottle between seasons, you need to be aware of its potential loss of quality.
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