Simple & Easy – Emergency Preparedness
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LDS Emergency Preparedness1

Essentials of LDS Emergency Preparedness

The Management Agency (FEMA) website: www.fema.gov, which contains further helpful information.

The first principle of emergency preparedness is to have a plan. Elder L. Tom Perry said:

“To maintain some semblance of stability in our lives, it is essential that we plan for our future. I believe it is time, and perhaps with some urgency, to review the counsel we have received in dealing with our personal and family preparedness. We want to be found with oil in our lamps sufficient to endure to the end.”

The Church website contains a helpful chart of the possible disasters which are most likely to require emergency measures (you can also refer to the FEMA website for more information). It also provides information on how to find out what disasters are likely to affect your area of residence and how to find out the emergency evacuation routes recommended, if this becomes a necessity. Plans for evacuating and staying at home should be in place with family members or support people.

The Church publishes a pamphlet entitled “All Is Safely Gathered In” which can be accessed online, and which states in very simplified terms, the four basic tenets of preparedness:

  1. Three-month food supply
  2. Plenty of drinking water
  3. Financial reserves
  4. Longer-term supplies

It is recommended that the three-month supply contain foods the individual or family regularly eats, which should be rotated on a consistent basis. The pamphlet recommends that one gallon per day of pre-treated drinking water be stored for every person, one-half of which should be used for drinking. Commercial drinking water is recommended using a recipe for sanitizing containers with one teaspoon bleach to one quart of water, and pre-treating water with 1/8 teaspoon bleach (5 to 6% sodium hypochloride) for every four gallons of water. Soda pop or juice containers are also recommended. Water should be rotated every six months when it has been pre-treated at home.

To manage emergency situations, each member should abide by sound principles of financial management, which include the following:

    • Pay tithes and offerings
    • Avoid debt
    • Follow a budget
    • Build savings as a financial reserve
    • Teach children the principles of financial management

When disaster strikes, wise church members will be able to draw on their savings, which have been set aside for this very purpose.

The accumulation of longer-term storage should begin with the basics of 25 lbs of wheat, white rice, corn, or other grains, along with five pounds of dry beans. These items can be stored for up to 30 years. “All Is Safely Gathered In” provides 11 basic recipes for use with grains and beans. All other long-term storage items should include food which the family is used to eating and which can be rotated without waste.

Emergency preparedness also means storing hygienic supplies which are used daily for cleanliness and hygiene, such as soap, toothpaste, toilet paper, shampoo, deodorant, and mouthwash. Buying extra supplies of dishwashing soap, laundry soap, cleanser, and bleach will help alleviate health threats. Medical supplies, such as bandages, needles, antibiotic creams, and hydrogen peroxide, along with any supplies specific to certain medical conditions, such as insulin needles, should be purchased, stored, and replaced as needed.

In addition to all the above, disaster-specific items should be considered. For example, candle warmers, fondue pots, charcoal grills, and camp stoves could be used for alternative cooking sources. Matches and extra fuel sources, such as canned heat, gas, charcoal, and propane can come in handy for many purposes. Candles, lanterns, and flashlights can be used to provide light when the power fails. Warm clothing, water-proof clothing and boots, sleeping bags, and extra blankets serve to insulate against cold and wet conditions. Many of these supplies may be found in standard emergency preparedness kits.

The Church recommends spiritual and emotional preparedness as well. This is accomplished by following the principles of the restored gospel, maintaining activity in the Church, and taking steps to insure personal righteousness. The oil in the lamps of the prepared virgins was the Holy Ghost, and this blessing, which will be needed by all in severe emergencies, is earned by consistent and faithful obedience.

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