Initiative Asks Americans to Check Emergency Stocks as They Set Clocks Back

As Americans set their clocks back this weekend, the American Public Health Association reminds them to also create and replenish their emergency stockpiles.

On November 5, most Americans will set their clocks back an hour. While they’re doing that, the American Public Health Association recommends—via its Set Your Clocks, Check Your Stocks initiative—that they also make the time to check their emergency stockpiles to ensure they’re prepared for unexpected disasters.

The idea for this initiative—as well as APHA’s larger Get Ready campaign—came after news of the avian flu outbreak in the early 2000s. “There was a lot of information and material available, but that material wasn’t necessarily available and accessible to the general public,” said Susan Polan, associate executive director for public affairs and advocacy at APHA. “It was in public health, or health, or first responder speak.”

By curating that material, putting it in easily understandable lingo, and disseminating it in palatable ways, the Get Ready campaign helps “Americans prepare themselves, their families, and their communities for all disasters and hazards, including pandemic flu, infectious disease, natural disasters, and other emergencies.”

Similarly, Set Your Clocks, Check Your Stocks helps Americans prep for an unexpected disaster by giving them the resources required to create an emergency stockpile, as well as the reminder to check that stockpile twice a year. To disseminate the information, APHA has created infographics, videos, checklists, fact sheets, and more.

Although the initiative has run for about a decade, Polan said that Set Your Clocks, Check Your Stocks continues to build momentum year after year. While the first few years saw state and local health departments embrace the concept and disseminate the information, subsequent years have seen newspapers, businesses, and individuals support the concept. Polan attributes it to APHA’s dedication to making “the tools more and more available and interesting every year, so we have something new to show people.” For instance, this year, APHA launched three new infographics.

With Set Your Clocks, Check Your Stocks, Polan said APHA’s ultimate goal is “to make this process as easy as possible for people, but also to make it top of mind, so that people aren’t caught unawares—so they’re not left in the worst of possible circumstances.”

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Emily Bratcher

By Emily Bratcher

Emily Bratcher is a Contributing Editor for Associations Now. MORE

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