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Change Your Clocks and Check Your Preparedness

Along with giving us some extra daylight, the changing-of-the-clocks ritual this weekend gives us an opportunity to check our emergency preparedness—steps that could save time during an emergency.

“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 Scott Conner, Red Cross senior vice president of Preparedness and Health and Safety Services. “Replace the batteries at least once a year and check your carbon monoxide detectors, too.”

Other steps you can take to get prepared include:

  • Updating 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.
  • Making 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.
  • Checking your emergency preparedness kit for expired food items; refreshing staples such as water, food and batteries. If there have been changes in prescriptions or dietary needs, add new foods and medications as needed.

Taking simple actions like these can help you be better prepared for a disaster or emergency situation. So, when you spring forward this weekend, take a few extra minutes to ensure that you and your family are better prepared for the unexpected.

For more information on building or purchasing an emergency preparedness kit, visit