Red Cross recommends checking smoke alarm batteries and updating emergency plans
It’s time to turn the clocks ahead this weekend, when daylight savings time officially begins at 2:00am Sunday, March 10. The American Red Cross urges everyone to use this time to prepare yourself and your loved ones for emergencies.
Check your smoke alarm batteries: When you turn the clocks ahead, take a few minutes to replace the batteries in your smoke alarms and push the test button to make sure the alarms are working. It is also a great time to check your carbon monoxide detectors.
· Get your household prepared: It’s important for everyone to make sure their household is ready and knows what to do should an emergency occur. The Red Cross wants everyone to know about the three steps they should take to be prepared:
1. Get a Kit: Keep supplies in an easy-to-carry preparedness bag that you can use at home or take with you if you have to evacuate.
2. Make a Plan: Meet with members of your household and discuss what emergencies could occur in your home, taking into account what type of disasters could happen in your neighborhood. Plan what steps everyone should if something happens.
3. Be Informed: Learn what emergencies can occur in your area, and how officials will notify you should a disaster occur. Know the difference between weather watches and warnings. Tell others what you have learned so they can be ready, too.
Additional emergency preparedness tips are available at www.redcross.org, and you can schedule a free emergency preparedness education program at your school, business or other organization by calling (716) 886-7500.
Disaster can strike anywhere, anytime. To date, the American Red Cross, Serving Erie and Niagara Counties has responded to 43 fires in 2013, providing immediate emergency assistance including temporary housing, food and clothing to 229 people. The Red Cross spends an average of just over $1,000 when responding to a single house fire affecting a family of four. To make a financial donation to help families affected by house fires and other disasters, please visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-REDCROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to charge a $10 donation to your cell phone bill.