Emergency Preparedness – Our Plans

Emergency Preparedness – Our Plans

“There is a portent of stormy weather ahead.” — Gordon B. Hinckley, 1998. With recent years filled with hurricanes, ice storms, tornadoes, and more, the Prophet’s words take on added significance.

Don’t think that you live in an area where natural disasters could strike? Emergencies can and do occur to anyone, wherever they live, whatever their circumstances. My family had to leave our home within seconds when we learned that our neighbor’s home repair resulted in a gas leak. Unfortunately, we were not prepared for our forced and hasty departure and left with nothing.

More than any specific item, we needed a plan. After that experience, my husband and I came up with a two-fold plan: staying where we are (at home) and evacuation.

Both depend upon having the proper supplies. The first plan involves our home storage system. The second depends upon an easily transportable 72 hour kit. After experimenting with several methods, we decided backpacks were the most practical.

Below is a partial list of what we’ve included in our kits:

1. Shelter. A lightweight tent serves the purpose. Remember to pack some blankets as well.

2. Food and water. Concentrate on high-energy foods. Include a can opener, and don’t forget pet food if you have a pet. Two liter soda bottles make handy containers for water.

3. Clothing. Think warm, protective clothing. Layers work well. Be sure to have comfortable walking shoes. Waterproof ponchos and boots are a good idea. (Check the sizes of the clothes you’ve packed to accommodate a growing family. Children can change several sizes within a year.)

4. Hygiene items, sanitation. The travel size shampoos, soaps, and hand creams we all collect from hotel stays are ideal. Wet-wipes can make do when bathing or showering is not available. For sanitation needs, bring heavy duty plastic, bags for waste disposal.

5. Medications.

6. Special needs. Do you have an infant in your home? Diapers are a necessity.

7. Cash. In times of emergency, credit cards and checks will likely not be accepted. Gather enough cash in small bills and change for thirty days.

8. Fuel. Keep your gas tank as full as possible. A camp stove with the appropriate fuel is great for outside cooking and can be used inside as well. When an ice storm took out our power for two days, we used our camp stove for cooking.

9. First-aid. Include the basics such as a good book on first- aid, bandages, aspirin, foot pads, sunscreen, etc.

10. Miscellaneous–batteries, lantern, cell phone, radio, important papers–identification, birth certificates, medical records.

For more ideas, check out the website of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at .

Go about your preparations in wisdom and order. Don’t go out and buy without a plan in place. Above all, don’t go into debt for these items. Just as in purchasing food storage, make a list, buy what you need on sale, then rotate.

“If ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” (Doctrine & Covenants, 38:30)