An image of a clock being set back an hour.

Check Emergency Preparedness Kits When You Set Your Clocks

In anticipation of the end of daylight saving time on Nov. 2, the American Public Health Association (APHA) has launched its fall installment of a new campaign aimed at encouraging Americans to make sure their emergency preparedness kits are stocked when they change their clocks.

The "Get Ready: Set Your Clocks, Check Your Stocks" campaign aims to build on the message of preparedness that already exists with using daylight saving time as a reminder to check the batteries in our smoke detectors. The campaign reminds people to refresh their emergency supplies before a disaster, disease outbreak or other emergency occurs. It also serves as a reminder that, if you haven’t created a stockpile yet, now is the time to create one.

"Since people already know that daylight saving time is a great reminder to ensure that our families are prepared for an emergency, it serves as the perfect opportunity for us also to make sure that we have a fully stocked, up-to-date emergency kit," said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of APHA. "As we set our clocks back an hour, we want every American to make sure their family has a preparedness kit to fall back on in the event of an emergency."

APHA’s "Get Ready: Set Your Clocks, Check Your Stocks" campaign offers materials and tips aimed at raising awareness of the importance of ensuring that each family has a stocked emergency preparedness kit. The "Get Set Emergency Preparedness Project Kit" is aimed at getting high school students involved in emergency preparedness and offers tools and ideas to engage them and their community. The kit includes articles for school newspapers or Web sites, information on starting a school food drive, teacher lesson plan ideas and much more. Stockpiling information in Spanish also is now available at www.getreadyforflu.org/clocksstocks.

Additionally, the campaign Web site features a downloadable toolkit in which families can find out why preparing for a public health emergency is important, what to include in an emergency preparedness kit, how to get kids involved and much more.

In the weeks leading up to when the nation "falls back," public health professionals around the nation are encouraging their communities to use daylight saving time as a reminder to ensure their emergency preparedness kits are stocked and up-to-date. Families are encouraged to check their emergency kits to be sure that they have at least a three-day supply of bottled water, non-perishable foods and essential medications set aside for each member of your family. This is also a perfect time for people to re-familiarize themselves with their community’s emergency preparedness plan, including evacuation routes, emergency shelters and the location of food banks.

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