Thursday, April 14, 2016

Four Ways to Start Your Emergency Preparedness Today

Many people want to be prepared for emergencies but get overwhelmed by all the information and products available. While it may be impossible to be fully prepared for any and every emergency, a little thought and planning will bring you greater peace of mind. If you’re just starting out, here are a few suggestions from mormon.org to help you decide what is best for you and your family.

1. Get your finances in order.

In discussions about preparing for emergencies, one of the most common problems often gets overlooked: financial troubles. In today’s uncertain economy and job market, it’s more important than ever to adopt and maintain good financial practices. For more than 70 years, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have encouraged people to prepare for future needs:

“Live within your means. Get out of debt. Keep out of debt. Lay by for a rainy day, which has always come and will come again. Practice and increase your habits of thrift, industry, economy, and frugality” (J. Reuben Clark, in Conference Report, Oct. 1937, 107).

In addition, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recommends three levels of emergency preparedness:
  • Emergency supplies that will cover basic needs for at least 72 hours.
  • A three-month supply of food that is part of your normal daily diet.
  • A longer-term supply of basic food items (sometimes referred to as a “year’s supply”).

2. Determine what kind of emergency you are preparing for.

When we think of what we might need in an emergency kit, it’s tempting to think of the most extreme examples. Advanced “preppers” may be equipped to live in the wilderness for months, but chances are your needs will be less extreme.

Consider this: How likely is it that you will need to evacuate your home? When natural disasters strike, many people experience power outages and interruptions in sewer and water, but only those in the most threatened or damaged areas need to evacuate. If you live in a high-risk area, such as a flood plain or tornado zone, you may want to focus on collecting supplies your family will need in an evacuation. Otherwise, you could prepare to stay in your home without power, heat, and water.

3. Focus on the essentials.

Food, water, and shelter: these are the basics of all emergency preparation. In natural disasters, people have gone without utilities for several days or even weeks. Do you have enough food and water on hand for that length of time? (Most authorities recommend a 3-day supply of water for most areas. Hot climates may require more.) Do you have a way to cook without electricity? You may also consider storing food that is ready to eat with little preparation. Do you have enough blankets and alternative heat sources to keep your family warm?

What about flashlights, lanterns, and extra batteries for power outages? Mentally walk through your daily activities and consider what your family would likely need in an emergency.

4. Learn first aid.

Having a ready supply of basic first-aid materials and medicines—and the knowledge to use them properly—will be a great asset in any emergency. It’s also wise to learn CPR and keep your certification current.


Nothing brings more peace of mind than knowing what to do in an emergency. As the Lord told the Prophet Joseph Smith almost 200 years ago, “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear” (D&C 38:30). Following these four suggestions will get you started on that road to preparedness and peace of mind.

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