Daylight savings time ends this Sunday, November 5th. The day we set our clocks back is the traditional reminder to change our smoke detectors’ batteries and make sure they’re working. Why not take the opportunity to ensure the rest of your emergency preparations are in order too?
Also check the batteries in:
- Weather radio
- Carbon monoxide detector
Check expiration dates on stored supplies:
- Bottled water
- Over-the-counter medications
Check your fire extinguishers and shake them up to prevent the dry powder inside from settling and solidifying.
After you’ve checked your fire extinguishers, take your kerosene heater outside to a safe location (we like the middle of the driveway – not under any trees), fuel it, and test it to ensure it will work. Take it from the voice of experience: the middle of an ice storm and the start of a multi-day power outage is not the time to find out your stored (or new) heater doesn’t heat!
Exercise all your utility shutoff valves and switches to ensure they’re easy to turn (and to remind yourself where they are). Shutting off the power also gives you an opportunity to test your battery backups.
Check any stored equipment or supplies in your home emergency kit and vehicle emergency kits, as well as special-purpose kits for kids or pets. Also check your shelter in place arrangements. Air out fabrics and insulated items and make sure mechanical and electronic devices still work. Take the opportunity to refresh yourself on how to use any items that aren’t part of your normal routine.
Change over the warm-weather clothing in your vehicle kits for items more suited to winter temperatures.
Check all emergency information in your phone or your emergency kits to make sure contact information, prescriptions, and other key facts are current and accurate.
Finally, sit down at your computer and change the passwords on key accounts (email, social media sites, online banking). Be sure to record your new passwords someplace secure (or use a password manager application that offers two-factor authentication)!