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Spring Forward, Prepare Ahead

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Daylight Savings Time officially begins at 2am this Sunday, March 11th. As you “spring forward” by turning your clocks ahead an hour on Saturday night, get prepared for spring by taking a few simple steps that could save you time during a disaster or emergency situation, when every second counts.

The American Red Cross recommends that when you change your clocks, you also do the following:

  • Check the smoke alarms in your home and at work. Don't forget to check your carbon monoxide detectors as well. All smoke alarms should be tested once a month and their batteries replaced annually.
  • 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 that your disaster supplies 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.
  • Check your disaster supplies kit for expired food items and freshen staples such as water, food and batteries. If there have been changes in prescriptions or dietary needs, add new foods and medications as needed.
  • Making Seasonal Changes

    With spring on the way, you may also need to make seasonal changes to your disaster supplies kit. For example, soon you will be needing to stay cool instead of warm, so swap your blankets for lighter sheets and bedding and your warm clothing (such as sweaters and jeans) for lighter pants and t-shirts. Sunscreen lotions, glasses and hats, and insect repellents will also become more important components of a disaster supplies kit as the weather warms up and days get longer. You may even choose to add a small battery-powered fan.

    Taking simple steps like these can help you prepare for the future. So, as you “spring forward” this weekend, take a few extra minutes to ensure that you and your family are better prepared for the unexpected.