Daylight saving begins March 12: Don’t forget to set your clocks and check your stocks

Daylight saving time springs forward this Sunday at 2 a.m., which means we lose an hour of sleep. The good news — besides that extra sunlight at the end of the day — is that you can use the clock change as a reminder to check your preparedness stockpile.

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Thanks to Get Ready’s Set Your Clocks, Check Your Stocks campaign, you’ll never be missing important emergency items when a disaster happens. Here are eight things to double-check along with your alarm clock:

1.  Did you raid the emergency stocksfor canned fruit after noticing you were out and craving some peach cobbler? You should have enough shelf-stable food stored to last three days. Remember to purchase canned fruit packed in juice, not syrup. Also, be sure to have a manual can opener on hand!

2.  Do you have three gallons of water per person per day stored? Or did your daughter decide to fill up the fish tank? In an emergency, water can stop running from the tap or be unsafe to drink. Make sure you have enough for everyone, plus some left over to brush your teeth.
3.  Did the resident chipmunks in your garage take advantage of your emergency granola bars? Be sure to check all stocks for damage by insects and other pests.

3.  Has your son borrowed the emergency flashlight to tell scary stories by the campfire on his Boy Scouts overnighter? In an emergency, you may lose power. Check to make sure you have a working flashlight. Battery-powered, hand-cranked or solar-powered all work fine. Candles can cause fires, so they’re not the safe choice for emergencies.

4.  Do you really want to eat canned tomatoes that you bought preparing for Y2K? (Here’s a hint: you do not.) Check the expiration dates on all of your emergency food and water stocks. Try to purchase foods that don’t require refrigeration and are low in salt. (AKA, no salted caramel ice cream. Sorry, Joe.)

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5.  Are there enough batteries for your emergency flashlights and radio? Or were they stolen to power “batteries-not-included” toys on Christmas morning? Make sure to check the expiration date on your batteries, and confirm they haven’t been exposed to snow or rain. You’ll want to have enough ready for your emergency radio, which is a great way to get weather and disaster alerts.

6.  Do you have emergency medication and copies of important documents for all family members? Or have your stocks not been updated since Suzy was born? It’s important to have paperwork and medical supplies for all family members in case disaster strikes. Depending on your needs, contact lens solution or diapers may be necessary as well.

7.  Did you forget about Fido? Pets are loved ones, too! Include food, medication and other supplies for your animals in any emergency kit. 

After checking for all of these items, you can rest easy — though an hour less! — knowing your family is prepared for an emergency.

P.S. People living in Arizona and Hawaii: Just because you don’t observe daylight saving doesn’t mean you don’t experience emergencies. Remember to check your stockpiles, too!

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