On Sunday, March 13 clocks will advance an hour for the annual “spring forward” of daylight savings time. The DC Department of Health (DOH) encourages residents to also check their emergency preparedness supplies when adjusting the time of clocks. Using daylight saving time as a reminder will allow residents to get in the practice of remembering to check and replenish home emergency stockpiles.
“Emergencies such as floods, disease outbreaks, storms, tornados and even earthquakes can occur at any time in the District. This is why it is very important for residents to outfit their homes with the proper medical supplies, canned foods, non-prescription drugs, flashlights, and batteries needed to ensure health and safety,” said DOH Director Dr. Mohammad Akhter.
Emergencies can sometimes leave residents without electricity, clean tap water, refrigeration or phone usage for days and sometimes weeks. Residents are encouraged to prepare an emergency kit that contains enough food and water to last for three days, and include at least one gallon of water per person per day.
When choosing foods to include in home stockpiles, residents should consider selecting foods that are not high in sodium and do not require refrigeration. Building-up a home stockpile can be a lot to financially manage all at once; therefore to alleviate any financial burden, residents are advised to purchase a few items at each visit to the grocery store.
The American Public Health Association Suggests Emergency Stockpile Tips:
- Emergency stockpiles should be checked once or twice a year
- Consider your family’s needs – you might need to stock-up on medical supplies, pet food, contact lens solution or diapers
- Discard anything that has expired or is leaking or damaged
- Store stockpiles in a cool dark place if possible and somewhere that is easy to access during an emergency
- Do not store foods close to solvents or cleaners that can leak or transfer fumes or in an area at risk for flooding
For more detailed information on how to prepare for an emergency and build an emergency kit for your home, visit www.72hours.dc.gov.