Spring Forward and Make Sure You’re Prepared

Even though we’ll all miss that hour of sleep on Sunday, “springing forward” gives us longer days and a convenient time to check our emergency preparedness—steps that can save the day during an emergency.

 Check Smoke Alarm Batteries

Home fires are the most common disaster the American Red Cross responds to in the U.S., but you can take steps now to help protect your family. When you set your clocks forward one hour, take a few minutes to check the batteries in your smoke alarms and make sure the alarms work by pushing the test button.

img_9414You should replace the batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year—no matter what—and check your carbon monoxide detectors, too. And if your alarm is more than five years old, replace it with a unit featuring a sealed lithium battery.

 Update Emergency Plans and Kits

Other steps you can take to get prepared include:

  • Update the emergency contact information in your family communications plan. Choose an out-of-area emergency contact that each person in your family can call if he/she becomes separated during a disaster situation
  • Make sure your emergency preparedness kit still includes at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food items and water (one gallon per person per day), a flashlight, a battery-powered or crank radio, can opener, first aid kit, copies of important documents, and special items such as medications, diapers and infant formula

Taking simple actions like these can help you be better prepared for a disaster or emergency situation. Visit http://www.redcross.org/prepare for more information on how to get prepared, and on building or purchasing an emergency preparedness kit.

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