Daylight Savings Time: Preparing for the Clocks to Spring Forward

The Uniform Time Act of 1966 established a standardized approach for Daylight Savings Time (DST) in the United States and its territories. DST begins on the second Sunday of March and ends on the first Sunday of November each year. There is legislation passed by the U.S. Senate to make DST permanent, but it still must be approved by the House of Representatives and signed by the President. This year, DST will be on March 12th.

With the sudden time change in March, there is less light in the mornings and more in the evenings. Waking up in the dark causes our brains to think that it's still nighttime, signaling our bodies to continue sleeping. This often results in feeling groggy and less alert after we get up. On the contrary, more sunlight in the evenings signals our brains to stay awake, causing a delay in us getting to sleep at night. The result from this disruption is less sleep.

Note: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that we get at least 7 hours of sleep at night to maintain a healthy body and mind. 

The Negative Health and Safety Effects of Disrupted and/or Inadequate Sleep:

  • Increased stress and a negative impact on mental health
  • Increased risk for heart attacks
  • An increased risk of motor vehicle accidents during the week following the time change
  • An increased risk in work-related critical events such as risk behaviors, near misses and accidents have been reported in the days following the time change

Steps to Minimize the Impact of DST

While DST can present negative effects, there are practical steps that can be taken to minimize its impact. 

  • Attempt to get to bed 15-20 minutes earlier each night for 3-4 prior to the time change.
  • Eat dinner earlier in the evenings leading up to the time change.
  • The evening before DST begins, be sure to set your clock forward one hour (some clocks automatically account for DST).
  • Set your alarm 10-15 minutes earlier on the first workday of DST to allow for slightly longer commutes in dark conditions. 
  • Prepare for work the evening before DST, like setting out your clothes and packing your lunch. 
  • Avoid driving or operating machinery for at least one hour after you get up. DST may increase your reaction time and decrease your alertness. 

Keep in mind that it may take several days (or perhaps a full week) to fully adjust to the time change. 

Six Safety Concerns During the Holiday Season

Each year, the holiday season is full of family gatherings, traveling, exciting events, and more. With all of these factors at play, comes a range of safety risks. To keep your holiday season bright and safe, here are six safety concerns to be aware of:

  • Drunk & Drowsy Driving
  • Ladder Safety
  • Electrical Safety
  • Workplace Fatigue
  • Slips, Trips and Falls
  • Food Safety

1. Traveling - Avoid Drunk & Drowsy Driving

AdobeStock 124321959

If you have plans to travel this year, prepare ahead of time by checking that your car is in good shape, assembling an emergency kit and resting up before heading out. It is also important that you practice defensive driving as drunk and drowsy driving are still a major issue on the roads. Stay alert and aware of your surroundings throughout the duration of your trip.

  • Winterize your car and ensure that you have an emergency kit available.
  • Get a good sleep before departing to avoid drowsy driving.
  • Plan ahead for any heavy traffic along your route.
  • Buckle up! Make sure all of your passengers are safely buckled as well.
  • Put away your phone or any other distractions while driving. Distracted driving is extremely dangerous.
  • If you are attending a party, designate a sober driver to get everyone home safely. Remember: if you have to question if you are safe to drive, then you should not get behind the wheel.

2 & 3. Decorating - Follow Ladder & Electrical Safety

Decorating is something so many people look forward to each holiday season. While it can be fun, it can also be dangerous. Consider potential hazards when putting out decorations and be sure to use them in the safest way possible. 

  • Outdoor lights should only be used outside and inside lights stay inside. They are designed like that for a reason. 
  • Be sure to check the package directions for the number of lights that can be plugged into a single socket. 
  • Before hanging your lights, replace any sets that have broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. 
  • Keep plugs off the ground and away from puddles and snow. 
  • When hanging lights, make sure that you choose the proper ladder for the job.
  • If you don’t have a ladder, do not attempt to hang lights or decorations by standing on other objects. 
  • Turn off all lights and decorations before you go to bed or leave the house.

4. Managing Work & the Holidays - Workplace Fatigue

tired worker

If you believe that you are experiencing workplace fatigue, speak with your manager or supervisor. Discuss possible solutions such as adjusting your work schedule or workload to better suit your current situation. Consider changes that you can make in your personal life to also support mental health. The most important thing to remember is that you do not have to try to manage workplace fatigue alone.

5. Outdoor Safety - Slips, Trips and Falls

As the weather changes, cold and icy conditions increase your hazard for slips, trips and falls. If you’re hosting a holiday party or having family coming over, make sure that you keep all walkways as clear of snow and ice as possible. 

  • Make sure that you wear footwear with good traction.
  • Avoid walkways that are covered in ice. Use clear/bare pavement surfaces or grassy areas.
  • If you have to walk on icy or potentially icy surfaces, walk with short, shuffling steps. 
  • Avoid carrying heavy loads, be alert and have your hands ready to steady yourself should you slip or lose your balance. 
  • Be on the lookout for patches of black ice, as they can be more difficult to see.

6. Holiday Treats - Food Safety

Food is a big part of the holiday season. Make sure that everyone can safely enjoy your holiday snacks and meals by practicing food safety. 

  • When handling food, wash your hands frequently. 
  • Keep any raw meat separate from fresh produce when preparing meals. 
  • Avoid cross-contamination of uncooked and cooked meats by using separate cutting boards, plates and utensils.
  • When cooking meat, use a meat thermometer to ensure that everything is cooked to the proper temperature. 
  • Don’t leave food out for more than 2 hours after being served. Put it in the refrigerator to keep it from spoiling. 
  • When cooking or baking for others, be sure to ask everyone if they have any allergies that you should be aware of. 
  • If someone does have an allergy to an item you cooked/baked, clearly mark the container to prevent an accident.

Don't let an accident or injury ruin your holiday season! Always remember to think 'safety' regardless of the holiday activity. 


Last updated: October 4th, 2022

Hurricane season runs from June through November. Even though the season saw a rather slow start this year, with only three hurricanes to note before September, it quickly ramped up. The most recent hurricanes brought massive destruction to several communities throughout the Atlantic. Hurricane Fiona left major damage to parts of the Carribean, Bermuda and Eastern Canada. Powerful winds and waves destroyed homes and knocked down power lines, leaving hundreds of thousands without power in both Puerto Rico and parts of Canada. The next week, Hurricane Ian develops and strengthens hitting parts of Cuba. Becoming a strong category 4 hurricane, Ian slams into the southwest coast of Florida, flooding entire communities and leaving millions without power. As rescues continue into this week, the death toll has now surpassed 100.

Research shows that over the past four decades, hurricanes have grown stronger worldwide. Even though we may see less hurricanes throughout the season, just like the most recent ones, they will be more impactful and destructive.

Now, more than ever, it's pertinent to know how to prepare for hurricanes and how to react when one is on the way. While the biggest effect of these storms is often along the shore, they can still have a significant impact on communities hundreds of miles from the coast.

 Hurricane Prep Checklist

  • Mark down important phone numbers and post them on your refrigerator and in your cell phone.
  • Locate the shelters that are closest to you and identify a few routes to them from your home.
  • If you are a pet owner, create a plan for them during an evacuation.
    • Will you take them with you? Will a family member or friend watch them for you? Is there a pet-friendly hotel nearby?
  • One of the best ways to be prepared for a hurricane is to create a small kit of essential items that you can grab quickly, should a hurricane strike. 
    • Emergency food and water supply (bottled water and granola bars, pretzels, etc.)
    • Medicine supply (generic medication and prescription medication)
    • Power sources (portable chargers, flashlights - don’t forget extra batteries)
    • Safety and personal items
    • Important documents (medical documents, wills, passports, personal IDs)
      • Put them in ziploc bags to protect them from water damage.
    • Keep a note in the kit listing any items that you can’t pack ahead of time to remind yourself in an emergency. That way you can quickly grab the items and be efficient.

Know When to Take Action

A hurricane watch is very different from a hurricane warning. Knowing the difference between will equip you with the knowledge necessary to act fast and stay safe. Note: hurricane conditions are defined as sustained winds of 74 mph or higher.

  • Hurricane watch: hurricane conditions are possible but not yet occurring. Experts typically announce hurricane watches about 48 hours before they expect tropical-storm-force winds, which are sustained winds of 39-73 mph, to start. 
  • Hurricane warning: (more serious than a watch) hurricane-force winds are expected to occur. Experts issue these about 36 hours before they expect tropical-storm-force winds to be in the area to give everyone ample time to prepare.

Right Before a Hurricane Hits

Once a warning has been issued, it is crucial that you begin preparations in case you need to evacuate. 

Prep Your Car

  • Make sure that your car has a full tank of gas. 
  • Move any vehicles into your garage or under cover. 
  • Put an emergency kit in your car, if there isn’t already one.
  • If you don’t have a vehicle, reach out to family, friends, or authorities about getting a ride in the case of an evacuation.

Prep Your Household

  • Review the emergency plan with your family.
  • Continue monitoring the radio or news for storm updates.
  • Put any pets or farm animals in a safe place.

Prep Your Home

  • Clear your yard of any items that could blow around during the storm and damage your home or others. Move any bikes, grills, lawn furniture, etc. inside or under shelter. 
  • Cover up windows and doors with storm shutter or plywood. 
  • Be ready to turn off your power. You will need to do so if flooding begins, if you see downed power lines or if you need to evacuate. 
  • To prepare for lost water supply during the storm, fill clean water containers with drinking water. 
  • Check your carbon monoxide detector’s battery to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

 Be Ready to Evacuate or Stay Home

Listen to authorities and follow their instructions to evacuate or stay at home. If you are instructed to evacuate, do NOT attempt to stay home. 

If you need to evacuate

  • Take your emergency kit and only necessities
  • Unplug appliances and turn off your gas, electricity and water. 
  • Follow only the route that emergency workers recommend. Don’t try to take another route to avoid traffic. 

If you need to stay home

  • Keep your emergency kit and any necessities close by.
  • Follow the radio or tv for emergency updates. 
  • Stay inside and away from windows. Even if it looks calm, don’t go outside.
  • Be ready to evacuate if emergency officials say to do so.

Information sourced from the CDC -

Flood Safety

Knowing what to do before, during, and after a flood can greatly increase your chances of survival and help you better protect your property. The following information was gathered from the National Weather Service and the Red Cross and will help you accumulate knowledge and tips to get prepared, should you find yourself in a flooding emergency.

The Four Types of Warnings and Watches

Flood/Flash Flood Warning = Take Action!

This is issued when a flood or flash flood is already occurring or will soon. Immediately move to high ground if you are in a flood prone area. A flash flood is a sudden violent flood that can take anywhere from minutes to hours to develop. Even if you are not immediately seeing rain, you can still experience a flash flood.

Flood/Flash Flood Watch = Be Prepared

This is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not guarantee that flooding will occur, but it is possible.

Flood Advisory = Be Aware 

This is issued when flood is not expected to be bad enough to issue a warning. However, it may cause damage if caution is not exercised and could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.

Before Flooding

While floods can develop slowly, they also can occur within minutes, sometimes, without any sign of rain. The key before a flood is to take time to get prepared.
Key Tips:
- Create an emergency kit.
- Develop an evacuation plan that includes your pets.
- Sign up for notifications.
- Discuss communication options with each family member, should you get separated during an emergency.
- If a flood is coming, right before, it is important to listen to the local news for updates and information, find a local emergency shetler in case of evacuation, and double check you emergency kit for anything you missed or need to refill. Add any medications or medical supplies that aren't in there. 
TurnAroundDontDrown 01

During Flooding

It’s important to know that during a flood, the level of the water and the rate at which it’s flowing can change rapidly. Stay aware, monitor local news outlets, and avoid flood waters. When water starts to rise, immediately evacuate. Never wait around.

- Stay informed through local news outlets.
- Get to higher ground and avoid flood waters.
- Follow evacuation orders.
- Be aware of electrical hazards.
- If instructed by local authorities, turn off the power and water mains.

After Flooding

When flood waters abate, the damage left can not only be devastating, but dangerous as well. It's crucial to keep in mind that flood waters can often become contaminated with sewage or chemicals. 

- Continue to stay informed by listening to local news outlets on the radio, tv or through your phone. 
- Avoid flood waters as well as disaster areas.
- Follow all 'Road Closed' and 'Caution' signage.
- If you evacuated, do not return until authorities deem safe to do so.
- Reach out to family and loved ones to let them know you are safe. 



While tick exposure can happen at any time of year, the risk is greater during the warmer months (May - August) when ticks are the most active. If you live in the northeast region of the United States, the risk is even higher, as this area sees more ticks. It is important to take the necessary precautions both before and after going outdoors to protect yourself from tick-borne diseases. Below are some important tips from the CDC. 

Before You Go Outside

Know where ticks hangout. Ticks live in grassy, brushy, or wooded areas. They can even live on animals. Walking your dog outside, camping, gardening, or hunting could put you in close contact with ticks. Even simply relaxing or working in your backyard could put you at tisk as many people get ticks in their own yards. 

Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered insect repellents. This search tool from the EPA can help you ind the product that best suits your needs. Always be sure to follow product instructions. Any products that contain OLE or PMD should not be used on children under 3 years old.

Avoid areas where ticks commonly live. When outside, avoid wooded or brushy areas that have high grass or leaf litter. When hiking or walking, do so in the center of trails where it is less wooded or covered.

After You Come Inside

Check your clothing for ticks. Ticks can easily be carried inside without your knowledge by clinging to your clothing. Examine your clothing before going inside and remove any ticks that are found. Tumble dry your clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes. The heat will kill any ticks that you may have missed on your clothes. If your clothes are damp, you may need additional time. If washing your clothes first, hot water is recommended. Any water that is cold or lukewarm will not kill ticks.

Examine gear and pets. Just like ticks can come inside on your clothing, they can do the same on pets or any gear that is brought in from outside. Once inside, they can later attach to a person. That being said, it is important to carefully examine your pets, coats, and any gear.

Shower as soon as possible after being outdoors. Showering within two hours of coming inside has been shown to lower your chances of getting Lyme disease and can be effective in reducing the risk of other tickborne diseases. Showering can help wash off any unattached ticks. It is also a good time to conduct a tick check on yourself.

Inspect your body for ticks. Conduct a full body check upon returning from being outside in potentially tick-infested areas, including your own backyard. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all areas of your body. When checking, pay close attention to these areas on your body: 

>> Under the arms
>> In and around the ears
>> Inside belly button
>> In and around the hair
>> Between the legs
>> Around the waist
  • 1
  • 2