Are you new to your preparedness journey, or are you wanting to up your preparedness game?
Either way, you’re going to want to check out this month-by-month prep calendar.
For those just starting their preparedness journey, this is a guide that will have you fully prepared by the end of 2023.
For those who already have emergency supplies and know preparedness skills, this calendar will help you refresh every month. Use it as a guide for checking supplies to make sure they have not expired and still work. Brush up on skills you may have forgotten.
To create this month-by-month preparedness calendar, we used national observances throughout the year to determine which survival factor to focus on each month.
For example, August is Water Quality Month, which is a great month to review your water storage solutions.
Bookmark this calendar or print it out to help you get prepared and stay prepared.
January – Preparedness Goals
Start the year off setting preparedness goals for your family.
- Review this month-by-month prepper calendar in full.
- Create preparedness goals.
- Print out useful tools, such as an emergency plan and an emergency supply checklist.
- Review the potential disasters that may happen where you live.
February – Food Storage
February is National Canned Food Month, which makes it the ideal month to focus on food storage preparedness.
- Many nonperishables come as canned foods, but the quality will change as the best-by date passes. Check your canned food’s expiration dates or best-by dates.
- Build up your food storage. Move away from just canned foods and invest in long-term emergency food storage.
- Start with 3 days’ worth of emergency food for each family member. Don’t stop there! Make a plan for how you will build your emergency food pantry. Decide what food you’ll buy next and how you’ll save to afford it.
- Find a safe place to store your emergency food in your home.
March – Emergency Plan
US Evacuation Day occurs every March 17, celebrating the day when the British troops evacuated Boston during the American Revolutionary War.
When we hear evacuation, we tend to think more along the lines of emergency plans.
Plus, as spring moves in, so do spring storms. Before your town floods, it’s a good time to define your family’s emergency plan.
- Download local weather and emergency apps.
- Identify your community’s evacuation routes and shelters.
- Take time to write down your family’s emergency plan. It should include details about where to go, where to meet with family, what to take with you, and how to contact family, insurance companies, and medical professionals.
- Talk through your emergency plan with your entire family. Make sure kids know how to reach you in an emergency.
April – Garden Prep
April was deemed National Gardening Month in 1986. During the month of April, make a point to get out and grow.
The more capable you become with your gardening, the more self-reliant you will be.
- Take gardening classes. Check out gardening books at your local library. Subscribe to your favorite gardener’s YouTube channel.
- Start your seed collection.
- Get out and grow!
- Support your local farmers and buy fresh produce locally.
May – First Aid
May has several different first responders’ observance days, including International Firefighters Day, National Police Week, and National EMS Week.
Given the focus on those who typically provide emergency care first, May is a good time to focus on first aid emergency preparedness.
- Fully stock your family’s first aid kit.
- Add a first aid kit to your vehicle.
- Take a basic first aid course offered by the American Red Cross.
- Learn how to perform survival first aid, such as making a splint and stopping a bleed.
June – Communication
June is Great Outdoors Month and includes ARRL Field Day (a weekend in June when radio amateurs operate from remote locations).
Combining these two occasions leads up to emergency communication.
Knowing how to communicate in an emergency could be the difference between life and death.
- If you don’t own emergency communication gear, such as hand crank weather radios or HAM radios, now is the time to buy one.
- Practice operating your HAM radio.
- Learn other ways to communicate in emergency situations, such as smoke signals or Morse code.
- Update important contacts on your cell phone. Teach your children how to access these contacts or call 911 if your phone is locked.
July – Self-Reliance Skills
As America celebrates Independence Day on July 4, it’s the perfect month to focus on ways to be more independent.
What skills or purchases would make you feel more self-reliant (i.e., less reliant on the government, grocery stores, or others)?
- Learn a new way to gather your own food (i.e., hunting, fishing, foraging, or gardening).
- Master different methods for building a fire.
- Fix something on your own using manuals or YouTube videos.
- Find recipes for your favorite foods and make them from scratch.
August – Water Preparation
August is National Water Quality Month. Here’s a hint – America’s water quality isn’t great.
Having access to clean water is essential in an emergency.
- Learn how to find clean water if you are stranded outdoors.
- Research how to purify water.
- Invest in a water filtration system for your home and a water filtration straw for when you are on the go.
- Figure out a way to store water in your home, such as a 5-gallon bucket.
September – National Preparedness Month
September is National Preparedness Month, but you’ve already been practicing preparedness all year. Good for you!
Use National Preparedness Month to boost your preparedness even more.
- Build (or update) your bug-out bag.
- Review Prep 101.
- Go back over the previous months and make sure you are on track with your preparedness goals.
- Prepare your vehicle.
October – Power Supplies
During Energy Awareness Month (aka October), take time to learn how to save energy in a crisis.
No matter where you live, you will face an energy crisis at some point. You will be forced to go without power for some time.
What will you do? How will your family handle time without power?
- Stock up on flashlights, batteries, and candles.
- Invest in solar-powered emergency gear, such as solar chargers and lanterns.
- Consider getting a generator.
- Have a plan for cooking without power.
November – Hygiene and Medical Supplies
November is popularly referred to as No-Shave-November, which was actually created to grow awareness about cancer prevention.
With this in mind, let’s use November to prepare hygiene and medical supplies.
- Ask your doctor for an extra of your prescription medications to keep in your emergency supplies.
- Stock up on OTC medications, hand sanitizer, masks, gloves, and band-aids.
- Add all the essential hygiene items your family uses (toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, etc.) to your emergency supplies.
- Learn how to make your own soap or medical tinctures.
December – Financial Preparedness
As you approach the end of the year and the holiday season, it’s time to consider your finances.
Emergencies greatly affect our finances (just think back to 2020).
Start preparing this month for financial emergencies in the future.
- Look over your current finances (debt, assets, investments, etc.).
- Make a plan to pay down debt and build up your emergency savings.
- Have items you can barter.
- Learn about financial scams and cyber threats to your finances.