Washington, D.C., Oct. 20, 2009 – Setting the clocks on Nov. 1 because of daylight saving time gives us a little extra time to think about preparing for unexpected emergencies. Since Mother Nature is known to throw us a curveball when we least expect it, the American Public Health Association is urging Americans to be ready for any kind of emergency such as blizzards, floods, blackouts or influenza.
If disaster strikes in your community or you are too sick to go out, you might not have access to food, water or electricity for a few days. Taking the time now to organize a stockpile of essential supplies can help you stay ahead of the game.
“We already use daylight saving time as an opportunity to focus on preparedness by checking batteries in smoke alarms, so it’s a great time to ensure that we have supplies to fall back on in the event of an emergency,” said Georges Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of APHA. “Use the extra hour to create a new emergency kit or check your current stockpile for any perishable items that may have expired or canned goods that you may have used.”
Here are tips on how best to use that extra hour to become prepared:
- Check your stockpile and make sure that your supplies such as food, water and batteries are still good. If you don’t have a stockpile, take some time to create one.
- Re-familiarize yourself and your family with your community’s emergency preparedness plan, including evacuation routes, emergency shelters and the location of food banks.
- Update your family communication plan, which will spell out how you will get in touch with one another during an emergency.
- Gather extra supplies for your pets, which need their own stockpile of food and water.
- Collect your medications together in one place, and make sure you have enough supplies in case you or your family have to stay home with the flu for a few days.
APHA’s reminder to check your emergency supplies is part of Get Ready: Set Your Clocks, Check Your Stocks, the Association’s biannual campaign to raise awareness of the importance of having a stocked emergency preparedness kit complete with food, water and first aid supplies.
Online at www.getreadyforflu.org/clocksstocks/, the Get Ready: Set Your Clocks, Check Your Stocks Web page includes free fact sheets on what to put in your emergency stockpile, budget stockpiling, stockpiling for pets and what you need to stockpile if you have to stay home with the flu. Some of the materials are also available in Spanish.
About Get Ready:
Set Your Clocks, Check Your Stocks is part of APHA’s larger Get Ready campaign, which is working to help Americans prepare themselves, their families and their communities for all hazards, including pandemic flu, disasters and other public health emergencies. The campaign, online at www.aphagetready.org, includes a blog, podcasts and free materials.