Time to check alarms, disaster-supply kits

Published 8:05 pm Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Beaufort County Health Department has a suggestion to follow this weekend: Set your clock, check your stocks.

Along with setting clocks and other timepieces ahead one hour this Saturday night or early Sunday morning, this weekend is a good time to check smoke/carbon-monoxide detectors to make sure they are working properly and disaster-supply kits.

“As we reset our clocks, it is important to make sure individuals have all necessary emergency supplies in preparedness kits, and that food and batteries for radios and flashlights have not expired,” said Kelli Russell, preparedness coordinator for Beaufort County Health Department. “If you have not put together a family preparedness kit of emergency supplies, please do so now. The time to start planning for an emergency is not in the middle of one. Now is also a good time to test and replace batteries in smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors.”

The department suggests that each household have at least a three-day supply of bottled water, nonperishable foods and essential medications set aside for each member of a family. Remember to include special supplies for children and pets.

For more information, contact Kelli Russell at (252) 940-6528 or visit http://www.bchd.net/preparedness/ to view a video on how to create a disaster-supply kit and what should be included in it.

The American Public Health Association recommends a disaster-supply kit contain the following items:

  • Flashlight and batteries;
  • Manual can opener;
  • Battery-operated radio (and batteries) or hand-cranked radio;
  • Matches in waterproof container;
  • Utility knife;
  • Paper and pencil;
  • Cash, traveler’s checks and coins;
  • Paper cups, plates, plastic utensils, paper towels;
  • Garbage bags;
  • Pet food;
  • Whistle;
  • Small, canister ABC-type fire extinguisher;
  • Needles, thread;
  • Plastic sheeting;
  • Duct tape, scissors;
  • Extra set of keys and IDs;
  • Local maps;
  • Small tent, compass and shovel;
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper (When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, this can be used as a disinfectant. In an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use bleach with added cleaners or bleach that is scented).

Pack the items in a clearly labeled, easy-to-carry, sealable container and store them in a place that is easy to access. Check your stockpile once or twice a year. Replace any supplies that are missing or have expired or have been damaged.