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Change Your Clocks, Check Your Alarms

Even though we all could use a few extra z’s, “springing forward” gives us longer days and a handy time to check our emergency preparedness—steps that can save time during an emergency.

Check Smoke Alarm Batteries

“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,” said Jack McMaster, Red Cross president of Preparedness and Health and Safety Services.

“You should replace the batteries at least once a year—no matter what—and check your carbon monoxide detectors, too,” he added.

Update Emergency Plans, 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. For more information on building or purchasing an emergency preparedness kit, visit