Check Your Emergency Supply Kit Along With Smoke Alarms

Oct. 29, 2008

News Highlights  

  • Daylight Saving Time ends this Sunday, Nov. 2, at 2 a.m. 
  • Check and restock your emergency supply kit when you change your smoke alarm batteries this weekend.

More Information 

Daylight Saving Time begins in the United States on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November. This Sunday, Nov. 2, marks the end of Daylight Saving Time when clocks will be set back one hour, at 2 a.m.

Thanks to public education by fire and rescue officials, residents also may be aware that the batteries in smoke alarms should be changed every six months. A good way to remember is to change the batteries when clocks are changed at the beginning and end of Daylight Saving Time. 

The Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management also reminds residents to use the beginning and end of Daylight Saving Time as a reminder to check and restock emergency supply kits in their home, office and cars.

“Not only is putting fresh batteries in every smoke alarm in your home a good safety measure, but remembering to keep your home’s emergency supply kit fully stocked is a great way to stay prepared for any type of emergency,” said Olivia McLean, Fairfax County’s emergency management coordinator. “And don’t forget to check the supplies in the emergency kits in your car and at work too.”

For more information about emergency supply kits or the types of items that should be included, contact the Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management at 571-350-1000, TTY 711, visit the Fairfax County Government emergency information Web page, the Make a Plan Web site or

Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit

  • Water – one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for both drinking and sanitation.
  • Food – at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food, such as ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables; protein or fruit bars; dry cereal; peanut butter; nuts; crackers; and canned juices.
  • Flashlight and extra batteries.
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both.
  • First-aid kit.
  • Whistle to signal for help.
  • Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air; plastic sheeting/duct tape to shelter-in-place.
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation.
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities.
  • Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food).

Additional Items to Consider Adding to an Emergency Supply Kit

  • Prescription medications, eye glasses, contact lenses and supplies and denture needs.
  • Infant formula, powdered milk, bottles, diapers, diaper rash ointment, medications and moist towelettes.
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet.
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification, bank account records and Medicare cards in a waterproof, portable container.
  • Cash or traveler’s checks and change.
  • Emergency reference material such as a first-aid book.
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person.
  • Change of clothing including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes.
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or 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 scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
  • Fire extinguisher.
  • Matches in a waterproof container.
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items.
  • Mess kits, paper towels, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils.
  • Paper, pens and/or pencils.
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children.

Additional Supplies for People with Disabilities

  • Prescription medicines, list of medications including dosage and list of any allergies.
  • Extra eyeglasses and hearing-aid batteries; extra wheelchair batteries and oxygen.
  • A list of the style and serial number of medical devices.
  • Medical insurance and Medicare cards.
  • List of doctors, relatives or friends who should be notified if you are hurt.


Get News. Get Information. Get Fairfax County.Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director, Office of Public Affairs
703-324-3189, TTY 711, Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)
To request this information in an alternate format, call 703-324-3187, TTY 711


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