Last week, I had occasion to take mom to an appointment and she asked if I could help her get her hurricane box ready for this year. We haven't had a strong one in a while and it has been a very light winter, mom expects to need her hurricane supplies this year. I was both flattered and a little nervous. I have not personally seen her Rubbermaid container of 'hurricane supplies' in three years. Not to stress, folks! I have prepared one for her in case she needed it and have been ready to drop it off with a small generator if a storm headed our way. but, this year, mom wants to update her supplies and get her own little readiness together.
I know for a fact that industry standards have changed since the last time Mom bought a battery. Now the batteries have dates on them. I am sure some of the batteries Mom has not only have no dates, but some will be oozing acid. I just know it! Fun times for me ahead!. Now, that I think on it, I believe even plastic box technology has evolved!
I will take a pair of gloves to protect myself from leaking batteries and I am tempted to just give her a box full of stuff and put hers in the Toxic Waste Trash our city offers form paints and aerosols and the like. It's a YOU drop off deal.
Normally, when my mom is not involved, I recommend having several types of battery testers on hand. In spite of the freshness dates printed on batteries, it's good to know what actually strength your battery contains.
I have posted here some choices from Harbor Freight. As a woman on the go, I am sure there are better testers for cars, but this one plugs in to a working cigarette lighter and tells me what I need to know before I run off to a mechanic. These are all under $8. Don't be a My Mom. Test the batteries in your kit and store them well.
For a GREAT chart and information on storage go to http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/how_to_store_batteries
"The recommended storage temperature for most batteries is 15°C (59°F); the extreme allowable temperature is –40°C to 50°C (–40°C to 122°F) for most chemistries. While lead acid must always be kept at full charge during storage, nickel- and lithium-based chemistries should be stored at around a 40 percent state-of-charge (SoC). This level minimizes age-related capacity loss while keeping the battery in operating condition and allowing self-discharge"
I will not be telling my mother that putting her flashlight batteries in the flashlight and storing them in an uninsulated plastic box, in Florida, in a laundry room where the dryer runs......might not be best situation for long term storage. I will just fix the problem and blame her frugality on being raised in the Great Depression when nothing was thrown out. I will just replace it and remember my grandmother, her mother, and her supply closet in the garage with 24 bottles of A-1 Steak sauce and think, she was such a great lady! And what a fantastic tailor! She always had glitter! My mom always has peppermint hard candy!