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6 Simple Steps to Help LDS Families Prepare for Emergencies

6 Simple Steps to Help LDS Families Prepare for Emergencies

Michelle Vongphakdy

 

Latter-day Saints have been counseled for more than 75 years to prepare for the unexpected; still many of us have yet to heed that prophetic advice. The reasons for our reluctance vary but examples of the need for preparation abound everywhere. According to Bishop H. David Burton, “In 2007 the Church responded to major earthquakes in 5 countries, massive fires in 6 countries, hunger and famine in 18 countries, and flooding and severe storms in 34 countries. In total the Church and its members responded to 170 major events—nearly one every two days for the entire year.” The disasters seem to be getting worse and coming more frequently than ever. No one can know for certain if or when tragedy will strike close to home. However, the scriptures tell us that if we are prepared we “shall not fear.”

 

Preparing for an unknown or unexpected emergency, however, may seem daunting and overwhelming. But getting started is really half the battle, and once you do, you’ll find that the process is not as difficult as you thought. Below are some simple steps to help you take that first step.

 

  1. Create a plan. Decide at the very beginning what you are willing and able to sacrifice in order to be prepared for an emergency. Even an extra five dollars each week can make a huge difference over the course of a year.

 

  1. Counsel with your family. Plan a family night with your spouse and children to specifically discuss various emergency situations, safety procedures, and evacuation plans.

 

  1. Keep it simple. Start with the essentials… 72-hour kit, first aid supplies, and a three-month supply of basic food and water. Visit ProvidentLiving.org for specific ideas on what is needed.

 

  1. Don’t go into debt. When we hear of recent disasters, it is natural for us to go into panic mode and want to stock up on supplies quickly. But our leaders have counseled us to build up our storage gradually, without taking on extra debt or putting undue financial burden on ourselves.

 

  1. Learn some useful skills. Skills like sewing, cooking from scratch, gardening and handyman skills can save you a lot of money in any circumstance, but can be especially beneficial in times of financial stress or disaster.

 

  1. Be prayerful. The Lord wants you to succeed in your emergency preparedness plans. Pray to Him for guidance and He will help you find a way to fulfill this commandment.

 

In this day and age, it seems like disaster looms around every corner. Many of us have lost jobs and/or know several people who have recently become unemployed as well. There is no guarantee that tomorrow will go as smoothly as today. What better reason could there be to heed the prophets warning and prepare ourselves for the unknown? To quote President Hinckley, “Someone has said it was not raining when Noah built the ark. But he built it, and the rains came.”

 

The Lord has commanded us to “prepare every needful thing”. Surely this includes preparing for the unknown. Just as with all of the Lord’s commands, we can be assured that the Lord will help us in our emergency preparedness efforts if we will just do our part. Then, when an emergency does befall us, we will be completely justified in asking the Lord to spare us and to help our family survive and thrive.

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