VALLEY — Daylight Saving Time is this weekend and the American Red Cross reminds everyone to TEST the batteries in their smoke alarms as they TURN their clocks ahead an hour.
“It’s important for everyone to make sure their household is ready,” said Mike Masto, regional disaster officer in Colorado and Wyoming. “A disaster like a home fire can happen anywhere, at any time. We urge people to take the steps now to be safe and know what they should do if an emergency occurs.” In the month of February, the Red Cross provided aid to 134 people who were personally impacted by home fire disasters.
The families and individuals were provided a place to stay, money for clothes, food and medicine. Along with providing casework for the residents in a quick and efficient time frame, Red Cross volunteers will continue to provide support to these families going forward, by doing follow up work to ensure all needs are met and the individuals have a clear path to recovery from this personal disaster.
The Red Cross encourages everyone to take these steps to prepare your family to be safe:
√ Check smoke alarm batteries. Test smoke alarms once a month. Change the batteries at least once a year – if your model requires it. Place smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms.
√ Install smoke alarms. If someone doesn’t have smoke alarms, install them. At a minimum, put one on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Check local building codes for additional requirements.
√ Practice an escape plan. Make sure everyone in the family knows how to get out of every room and how to get out of the home in less than two minutes.
√ Get a kit. Keep disaster supplies in an easy-to-carry bag to use at home or carry in case ordered to evacuate.
√ Make a plan. Have all household members plan what steps they should take if an emergency occurs.
√ Be informed. Learn what emergencies can occur in the area and how officials notify residents should a disaster occur.
RED CROSS APPS People can download the all-inclusive Red Cross Emergency app which combines more than 35 emergency alerts to help keep the user safe. And there is a special mobile app - Monster Guard - designed for kids, teaching them to prepare for emergencies at home by playing an engaging game. Users can find the apps in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.
WHAT PEOPLE CAN DO People can visit redcross.org/homefires to find out more about how to protect themselves and their loved homes from fire. They can become a Red Cross volunteer by contacting their local Red Cross chapter. They can also help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.