For Immediate Release
For more information, please contact APHA Communications at 202-777-2509 or email us .

Spring into Action: Check Your Emergency Stockpiles When You Change Your Clocks, Says APHA

Washington, D.C., March 3, 2010 – Spring is just around the corner, and with it the end to winter weather that’s been causing problems across the country. This year’s harsh weather serves as a reminder that emergency situations and disease outbreaks can occur without warning. To ensure they are ready for future emergencies, the American Public Health Association is urging Americans to “Get Ready: Set Your Clocks, Check Your Stocks” and check their emergency stockpiles when they change their clocks on March 14.

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. “Although we lose an hour, in contrast, the days are getting longer, so use the extra daylight time 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."

As we “spring forward” this year, APHA is offering tips on how to become prepared:

•    Check your stockpile and make sure that your supplies such as food, water and batteries are still good and that nothing is missing. If you don’t have a stockpile, take some time to create one.
•    Make sure you have at least three days’ supply of food and water stored. For water, you’ll need to have at least one gallon per person per day. For food, choose items that don’t need refrigeration and aren’t too salty, as they may make you thirsty.
•    Stockpile staples such as flashlights and batteries, but don’t forget the emergency needs of new technology such as a battery-operated cell phone charger.
•    Don’t forget your pets, who need their own food and water. Make sure and stockpile your pet’s usual food, as switching foods can cause an upset stomach during a time that may already be stressful.
•    Stockpile on the cheap. Make a list and buy items when they go on sale. Or shop bulk stores and split supplies with a preparedness buddy.

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 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. Health departments and organizations can customize the fact sheets by adding their own logos. The materials can be used year-round at health fairs, community meetings, school events and other forums.
 
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.
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Founded in 1872, the APHA is the oldest, largest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world. The association aims to protect all Americans and their communities from preventable, serious health threats and strives to assure community-based health promotion and disease prevention activities and preventive health services are universally accessible in the United States. APHA represents a broad array of health providers, educators, environmentalists, policy-makers and health officials at all levels working both within and outside governmental organizations and educational institutions. More information is available at www.apha.org.