After you have been accumulating supplies for a few months, it is a good idea to do a supply check: take a few minutes to look over your supplies and check your equipment to make sure they are in working order.
We went through a large Rubbermaid container of miscellaneous emergency supplies and found some items no longer worked or were improperly stored. We had a Coleman lantern that I liked, since it gave off a pretty good light when turned on. When we checked it this time around, it no longer turned on. Upon checking the battery compartment, we found the D batteries had leaked all over and battery acid contaminated the entire workings. We ended up throwing it away since it was ruined. We checked our other lanterns and removed the old batteries. Lesson learned: do not leave batteries in your equipment unless you use the item frequently. Instead, keep your batteries in an easy to reach drawer or cabinet next to the flashlights and other battery powered lighting equipment. Only keep batteries inside one or two frequently used flashlights. In our house, we keep ready to use flashlights in our night stands and those get used pretty frequently.
In the next box we had our First Aid kit and we checked the contents and removed any expired medications. Having a few expired packets of pain reliever in the First Aid kit is inevitable, as you may not get around to using everything. I know this feels like a waste, but I like to think of it as a form of insurance. You were fortunate enough to have nothing happen to you, but you would have had the medicines in case it did.
Checked the portable propane stove and found the propane canister was not attaching well so the stove would not turn on. At first I thought, oh no, we need another stove. But my husband said it just needed a new part: the regulator (the attachment between the stove and the propane canister) He went to the sporting goods store and picked up a new regulator. Now it is as good as new.
It seems like we just got started our preparedness journey and things should all be in good working order since they are fairly new. But that is not always the case. Go ahead and check anyway. You want to make sure your equipment works before you find yourself in an emergency. Do it now, while you can easily run to the store to replace parts or replenish used or expired supplies.