Simple & Easy – Emergency Preparedness
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LDS Perspectives: Make your Voice Heard – Economic Uncertainty in Troubled Times

This economy stinks! I say we need a new one.

I’m a recently-returned missionary who graduated with a Bachelor’s in physics, and I can’t seem to find a job. I hear about layoffs here and there, and I wonder if I’m going to be able to support myself, especially with projections that we’re not going to get out of this recession until late 2010. At least I have some savings. But my food storage is pathetic: a 12-pack of ramen noodles.

Once again, it seems that the general authorities of the Church knew what they were talking about. For years, they’ve been telling us to have some savings and food storage for emergencies. They’ve also more recently told us not to worry too much about this economic spell. In a stake conference in November 2008, Bishop Richard C. Edgley of the Presiding Bishopric told my stake that he didn’t know how long it would last, but that it wasn’t the end, and it would get better. So if you haven’t gotten your food storage ready, you’ll still be able to.

On my mission, while I was in Arkansas, there was a member who had moved out from Utah, and was big into emergency preparedness. With all the crazy weather at the time, the ward decided to set up an emergency preparedness plan, and he was made the head of the committee. Hearing that the economy was starting to sludge (again), I started paying a bit more attention to food and water storage, even though I couldn’t really do much as a missionary with monthly allotment of less than $200…

You should start with building up a 3-month supply of things you typically eat, rather than just a bunch of wheat. Also, diversify your long-term food storage: beans, rice, oats, wheat, etc. Learn how to cook with it—for example, I’d be okay with beans and wheat, but I have no idea what to do with rice and oats. The US military has developed MREs (Meals Ready to Eat), which are pre-cooked, and can be heated just by adding water. They aren’t sold to the public, but there are civilian versions available. There’s a lot of talk about 72-hour kits; I don’t think any of the general authorities have said anything about them, but it could be a wise idea to have them if you need to leave your home and your 3-month food supply in a hurry.

Find a way to protect, store, and quickly retrieve your necessary personal documents, like taxes, birth certificates, wedding licenses, etc. Have emergency supplies of clothing, blankets, coats, flashlights, batteries, a first aid kit, etc. A supply of fresh water is as important as a supply of food, not only for drinking, but for cooking, cleaning, bathing, etc.

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