Spring brings more than warm weather — be prepared

Editorial, The Kentucky Standard


 Are you looking forward to a roaring fun-filled spring?

 The sun is shining a little brighter here lately and a little longer this evening. As most of you know, daylight savings time began Sunday at 2 a.m. Now, most of us have computers and smart phones to automatically change the time, so we are free from the hassle of manual adjustment. However, don’t forget to set your alarms, just in case.

 You may have lost an hour of your treasured beauty sleep but you will reap the reward of longer days and warmer weather to ascend.

 With that being said, research shows with the beginning and the end of Daylight Savings Time some of us take a little time to adapt to the modification.

 Be it anxiety, diet or just mild sleep deprivation, the time change can affect hormone levels in your body that can lead to changes in your appetite, increase in cravings and possible overeating.

 Some people have been known to get headaches, stomach aches and even cardiac issues for those with sleep disorders.

 Changes as these can also affect your cognitive thinking and awareness. Think about this when you’re on the way to work in the morning.

 Here are a few tips from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine for shifting to daylight-saving time:

• Get at least seven hours of sleep before and after the transition.

• Gradually adjust sleep and wake times two to three days before the change by shifting bedtime 15 to 20 minutes earlier each night.

• Go outside and get exposure to morning sunlight on Sunday to help regulate your internal clock.

• Exercise caution during activities that require alertness in the week after the transition.

 The spring not only brings a change in time but also to the weather. March is severe weather awareness month.

 Severe weather can happen anytime, anywhere from hazardous conditions created from thunderstorms, damaging winds, tornadoes, hail, flooding and/or winter storms associated with freezing rain, sleet, snow and strong winds.

 In the past few months in Kentucky we are getting a little of all of the above. The recent tornados that ripped through Tennessee hits really close to home as you think about getting prepared for the season. 

 The National Weather Service recently issued the following tips to help you create a tornado-safety plan.

• Create a plan for where you and your family will go in the event of a tornado — at home, at work and at relatives’ or friends’ homes that you visit frequently. Always be alert to changing weather conditions.

• Pick a safe room in your home where household members and pets may gather during a tornado. This should be a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows.

• Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or to commercial radio or television newscasts for the latest information.

• Check with your work and your children’s school and day care center regarding tornado emergency plans. Every building has different safe places. It is important to know where they are and how to get there in an emergency.

• Make sure everyone understands how tornado siren warning systems work and if a warning system is installed in your area.

• Mark clearly where your first-aid kit and fire extinguishers are located. Make sure the first-aid kit is properly stocked with medical supplies.

• Teach your family how to administer basic first aid, how to use a fire extinguisher, and how and when to turn off water, gas, and electricity in your home.

• Mark clearly where the utility switches or valves are located so they can be turned off — if time permits — in an emergency.

• Learn the emergency dismissal policy for your child’s school.

 In addition have an emergency kit that includes a flashlight, battery powered radio, prescription medications and a first aid kit.

 Also important documents, i.e. birth certificates, social security cards, as well as any keepsake photos, etc. should be stored in a fire and waterproof safe.

 Following a few simple self-preparedness techniques can put your mind at ease while enjoying time with family and friends.

 Remember spring comes in like a lion.

see story here (week 11)

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