Simple & Easy – Emergency Preparedness
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Are you Ready

Are You Ready?

For decades, leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have counseled the importance of preparing for an inevitable “rainy day”.  The current economic conditions have caused many to watch the storm clouds move from the horizon to hover directly overhead.  Some are currently caught in the eye of the storm.  Emergency preparedness has assumed urgency not previously felt.

An emergency encompasses many situations from flood, fire or natural disaster and interruption of utility services to illness, death or unemployment. By definition, emergencies are usually unforeseen or unavoidable.  However, the wisdom of being prepared ensures these situations may be more readily managed. There is comfort and security in having a plan and implementing it.

Emergency preparedness encompasses not only food and shelter, but financial stability, medical necessities, pet care and family communication among other things.  There are businesses that specialize in convenient and accessible products that store easily and last for years. Internet sites have not only businesses, but web sites with helpful and free advice on how to prepare and what is needed.  The LDS Church has a pamphlet on family home storage and other smart and pertinent topics under  FEMA has a list to prioritize items that would be necessary or helpful.  That might be an excellent place to begin.  The wide array of products and price ranges can be daunting to those just starting out or on a tight budget.  The most important step is the first one.  Start somewhere.

Fill up the car’s gas tank every time it is half full.  It costs no more and you will have started on a plan to self-sufficiency in a crisis.  Once a month or once a week on a trip to the grocery store, buy something extra that’s on sale…a jar of peanut butter, a case of tuna, an extra package of toilet paper.  You get the idea.  Seventy-two hour kits are readily available or fun to assemble your own.  These are a great first step.  But being prepared is more than food.

One week, find the gas shut off for your home, buy the proper wrench and attach it to the valve or near it so if you smell gas your response can be immediate.  Place an extra $10, $20 or $100 in a secure place in your home every time you cash a check or have change from the store.  The amount of recommended cash on hand varies, but it’s a start.  

What a great feeling to reach the point where you think you have too much!  Talk to your doctor about getting an extra supply of prescription drugs.  Make an evacuation plan and have a fire drill.  Buy an extra flashlight and batteries.  Make a phone tree and give a copy to all your family and friends.  Many of these steps involve more planning than money but may be just as valuable.

As budgets become tight, members of the Church are mindful of the counsel to live within our means.  Get on the email list for coupons and sale notices from stores and companies that specialize in bulk food, first aid or camping supplies.  Ask for food storage items for birthdays, bridal showers or Christmas.  Preparing for an emergency is easily accomplished like most things…one step at a time.

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