As the country gets ready to set the clocks back one hour on November 1, it may be worth remembering that wintertime brings with it a danger of disasters in certain parts of the country for which Americans should be prepared.
Emergencies that have been associated with cold weather include blizzards, floods, blackouts and influenza, but individuals and families may reduce their risks by organizing a stockpile of essential supplies before inclement conditions arrive.
"We already use daylight saving time 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 Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association (APHA).
"Use the extra hour 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," he adds.
APHA also recommends reviewing community emergency preparedness plans, including evacuation routes, emergency shelters and the location of food banks, and updating the family communication plan.
It also suggests collecting medications in one place, and making sure there are enough supplies in case family members need to stay home with the flu for a few days.