WASHINGTON – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is encouraging Americans to take advantage of the March 13 time change for Daylight Savings as a reminder to ensure their families are prepared for a possible emergency. A few simple steps like checking smoke alarms, developing a family communications plan, and putting an emergency kit together can go a long way toward keeping families safe.
“No matter how much the federal government, the state, or local officials do to prepare, we can’t do it alone – individuals and families must do their part to be ready in case of an emergency,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “The public is the most important member of the nation’s emergency management team, and so I encourage everyone, as they spring forward this year, to also take a few minutes to check their smoke alarms and talk through what your family would do during an emergency.”
Information on preparing for emergencies can be found at Ready.gov. Steps include developing a communications plan to ensure family members know how to get in touch with each other during an emergency, putting together an emergency kit, and staying informed of potential risks. It’s important to remember that an emergency could be a large scale catastrophic disaster, or a smaller-scale event like a car accident or house fire.
In addition to visiting Ready.gov, the United States Fire Administration is encouraging families to ensure their homes are equipped with working smoke alarms. A working smoke alarm significantly increases your chances of surviving a deadly home fire so it’s important to test alarms regularly and keep them properly maintained. This includes checking the manufacture/expiration date on the label, replacing the batteries, and cleaning dust away from the slots so that smoke can enter freely.
For more information about home smoke alarms and fire sprinklers, please visit: www.usfa.dhs.gov/smokealarms.