Simple & Easy – Emergency Preparedness
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One of the tenets of the Latter Day Saint religion is the importance of being prepared in case of an emergency

One of the tenets of the Latter Day Saint religion is the importance of being prepared in case of an emergency. The principle of being prepared has been around since the time that Joseph was sold as a slave into Egypt. Foreseeing a famine in the land, he counseled that they store a portion of their food in preparation. “And let them gather all the food of those good years that come…and that food shall be for a store to the land against the seven years of famine…that the land perish not through the famine.” (Genesis 41:35-36)


Like Joseph from long ago, current Church leaders advise members to have food stored in preparation for a time of want. In addition to storing food, members are also advised to be prepared for emergencies. This includes storing water, tools, money, and anything that might be necessary in an emergency.


Many regions in the Church are becoming more organized in order to provide a support structure for their neighborhoods in the event that the local infrastructure should fail in an emergency. Wards and stakes are being divided up into blocks, with each block assigned a captain to streamline the process of recovering from a disaster. If your area is divided up in this way, you should find out who your block is. He or she will know what to do if there is an emergency.


In the event of an emergency, response teams such as firefighters and law enforcement will almost certainly be overwhelmed. It may take several days for them to reach you. For this reason, it is recommended that you have a 72-hour kit. These kits contain items such as food, water, a change of clothes, a flashlight, some medical supplies, and copies of important or irreplaceable papers.


Make a plan of what to do if there is an emergency. Identify ways to escape your house in case of an emergency, and designate a meeting place if you get separated from family members. Practice these plans regularly to keep the fresh in your mind.


Be aware that in some situations, the telephone network may become unusable after a disaster. If the cell phone network is still running, the volume of calls will likely exceed the capacity of the network. For these reasons, the Church recommends that members become trained and licensed in the use of Ham radios. Ham radios do not rely on a central network, so they are much more reliable in the event of a disaster. Find out if your area has assigned someone as a Ham radio operator, and consider becoming one yourself.


Being prepared for an emergency is difficult. It takes time, effort, and money. We can’t be ready for every possible situation, but even a little bit of preparation will go a long way to making a disaster that much easier to weather. The Lord promises us a measure of comfort in the Doctrine and Covenants, when he says, “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.” (D&C 38:30) It just begins with a few simple steps.

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