NEW CITY – Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert remind residents to change your clocks when Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday, March 8th, and take time to check your emergency supply kit. Is it missing any items? Is anything out-of-date, leaking, or damaged?

“After an event such as a major storm, help will be on the scene, but they can’t reach everyone right away. You could get help within hours, or it might take days. Basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephones may be cut off. It’s very important to be prepared for emergencies because they can happen with little or no warning,” said Dr. Ruppert.

If you haven’t created an emergency supply kit yet, now is the time to do it! Have a two-week supply of food and water stored in your home, with at least one gallon of water per person per day. Choose foods that are ready to eat, such as peanut butter and canned beans, fruits, and vegetables. Remember your pets too! They need their own food and water. Your emergency supply kit should have a well-stocked first-aid kit, including medications to reduce fever and pain, and a fever thermometer. The supply kit should also contain flashlights, a hand-operated can opener, a wind-up or battery-operated radio or TV, batteries, and copies of important documents. Depending on your family’s needs, you may also need other supplies.

Stock up on canned vegetables or batteries when there is a sale. Share “bulk” items with a friend, co-worker, or neighbor who can serve as your “preparedness buddy.” Once your emergency supply kit is complete, don’t be tempted to “borrow” from it the next time you run out of batteries or need beans for a recipe. Remember: your emergency supply kit is for emergencies!

To help protect your family, use this time to also change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms when you change your clocks. At the same time, make sure the alarms are in good working order and that they are not expired. Replace all smoke alarms when they are ten years old or if they don’t respond when tested. All new smoke alarms should be replaced with the new 10-year sealed smoke alarm that never needs a battery replacement. To find out how old a smoke alarm is: the date of manufacture is located on the back of the alarm; the alarm should be replaced ten years from that date. For carbon monoxide alarms, always check the manufacturer’s instructions and expiration date. The Health Department’s Healthy Neighborhoods Program can assist low to moderate-income residents and seniors at no charge, with battery changes and alarm replacements, as supplies last. For more information, call (845) 364 – 3290 or 845-364-3292 or visit

Visit for fact sheets and checklists, games, and other materials for adults and children. For more information, visit the Health Department’s web page at

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