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'Set Your Clocks, Check Your Stocks,' APHA Urges

The American Public Health Association says Sunday's switch to daylight saving time is the right time to ensure your emergency supplies are ready.

Daylight saving time 2010 begins today, and that means the summer storm season is not far behind. Storms aren't the only emergency on the minds of those at the American Public Health Association, which says the switch to daylight saving time is the right time to ensure your emergency supplies, including first aid supplies, are ready.

"Spring is just around the corner, and with it the end to winter weather that's been causing problems across the country," APHA notes. "This year's harsh weather serves as a reminder that emergency situations and disease outbreaks can occur without warning."

The association is again using the slogan "Get Ready: Set Your Clocks, Check Your Stocks" this year to remind Americans about the need to do both today. Taking a few minutes now to organize essential supplies can be very helpful, it says.

"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 Dr. Georges Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), APHA's executive director. "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."

The association offers these additional tips:

  • 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, because those 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 food and water for pets. Stockpile your pet's usual food; 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.

Click here for more information and materials from the "Get Ready: Set Your Clocks, Check Your Stocks" campaign.

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