Washington, D.C., March 11, 2011 – The American Public Health Association is reminding Americans today that setting clocks forward on Sunday, March 13, for daylight saving time is the best time to check emergency stockpiles. If disaster hits you might not have access to food, water or electricity for an extended period of time. Organizing a stockpile of essential supplies in advance can help you stay safe and calm in case disaster strikes.
“Unfortunately, it’s not if but when the next emergency will hit, and while it can happen unexpectedly there are precautionary measures you can take to prepare for it now,” said Georges Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of APHA. “Setting clocks back when daylight saving time rolls around is something everyone must do, and we believe creating or replenishing your emergency stockpile is just as important.”
Daylight saving time is a natural reminder to be well-prepared for an emergency.
APHA encourages all Americans to follow a few easy tips be ready:
• Check your stockpile and ensure that your supplies such as food, water and batteries are not expired, fully functional and not misplaced. If you don’t have a stockpile, take the time to make one.
• Make sure you have at least three days’ supply of food and water stored. For water, at least one gallon per person per day is necessary. For food, choose items that don’t need to be refrigerated. Also, choose goods that aren’t too salty because they will make you thirsty in a time when water may be limited.
• Stockpile staples such as flashlights and batteries. New technology can also be used in case of an emergency such as a battery- or solar-operated cell phone charger.
• Remember your pets! They need their own food and water. Make sure to stockpile your pet’s usual food, as switching foods can make them ill during an already stressful time.
• Stockpiling doesn’t have to be expensive. Make a list and buy items when they go on sale. Or shop bulk stores and split supplies with a friend.
Get Ready: Set Your Clocks, Check Your Stocks is a biannual campaign designed to raise awareness of the importance of having a stocked emergency preparedness kit complete with food, water and first aid supplies.
The Get Ready: Set Your Clocks, Check Your Stocks Web page includes free fact sheets on what to put in your emergency kit, budgeting your stockpile, stockpiling for pets and what you need to assemble if you have to stay home when you are ill. Many of the materials are also available in Spanish. Health departments and organizations can customize the fact sheets with their own logos as well as use the material at health fairs, community meetings, school events and other forums year-round.
Get Ready: Set Your Clocks, Check Your Stocks is an effort of APHA’s Get Ready campaign, which helps Americans, their families and their communities prepare for all hazards, including pandemic flu and other public health emergencies. More information about the campaign is available on its website, which provides media resources and tools such as a blog, a library of podcasts and other free materials.