emergencypreparednessFamilies Are Wise To Prepare For Tribulations Ahead!

It behooves individuals and families to think about and prepare for potential emergency and disaster situations. That is simply prudent. Whether or not, you face an emergency in your lifetime, your life will be better by doing this.

Along with others, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has, for many decades, been a consistent voice  in urging families and individuals to live a lifestyle of “preparedness” — by having a one year supply of food (where legally permitted), and a minimum of three months, medicines and other basic supplies, and by storing water and by gardening and having fruit trees that could help sustain life in the event of a long-term disaster.

Click here to review a few prophetic statements on the subject of family emergency preparedness.

More recently (and perhaps to avoid problems with several governments around the world that have passed laws against “hoarding” food and other supplies), the LDS Church handbook has changed its recommendation to be as follows:

LDS Church Handbook 2, Section 6.1.1

“... members should build a three-month supply of food that is part of their normal diet. Where local laws and circumstances permit, they should gradually build a longer-term supply of basic foods that will sustain life. They should also store drinking water in case the water supply becomes polluted or disrupted." (LDS Handbook 6.1.1 Self-Reliance)

Family Preparation for Disasters, with Pro-Activity & Balance:

  • Success in life requires maintaining a balance in one's expenditure of time, energy and financial resources. Therefore, balancecaution is expressed at the outset — don't spend excessive amounts of time, money and energy on preparing for unknown, future emergencies when there are many “knowns” that also require attention, such as education, careers, home improvement, gospel study, family recreation (including memory-creating vacations), etc.

  • Despite the above caution —  DO NOT ignore disaster threelittlepigspreparedness, or else you will be like the unwise pigs who did not spend the effort to safeguard against the potential danger of the wolf. It is a duty for each individual or family to prepare and work now in order to avoid potential dangers in the future.

  • Also, don't be paralyzed by over thinking the subject of disaster thedistancebetweenpreparedness. Instead, get started now in some good way. As with virtually everything in life, “A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan executed next week”. - General George S. Patton

To Get Started NOW, Pick One of the First Steps Below  — then, once you're in motion, you'll begin to be inspired to do more.

  1. Participate or plan together as taught in the  Orem Hillcrest Emergency Response Plan and attend your block get-to-gethers so that you are ready to act jointly and quickly with your neighbors in responding to potential emergencies.
  2. Prepare for a fire emergency. Your chances of having a local fire are always higher than an earthquake. So, get prepared by having fire extinguishers and smoke detectors.
  3. Start securing things that can fall in your home during an earthquake such as fastening high furniture to the wall and strapping the water heater to a stud.
  4. Start making your Evacuation and Communication Plan choosing where your family and friends will meet to survive an emergency together or reconnect afterwards and how you will communicate.
  5. Start getting your important documents together where you could grab them quickly (so you would have them after the emergency is over).
  6. Start listing, obtaining and/or inventorying things that you will need in an Emergencyhere's a link for what you should have.
  7. Start storing safe water — you need at least two weeks of stored water per person, and, VERY IMPORTANTLY, you need the ability to purify water (see below).
  8. Start accumulating foods and other basics. One of the simplest actions you can take is to have a pantry of food that would last a few weeks to a few months (see below).
  9. Tell Family and Friends that when giving gifts to you, you would love emergency preparedness items (and tell them what you need).
  10. Start getting healthier by eating eating more wisely, losing excess fat, improving muscle strength and improving cardiovascular conditioning.
  11. Start putting Emergency Preparation into your brain by reading through this website and other emergency preparation resources.

After doing one of the above steps, pick another step and start on it!

The Four Emergency Storage Basics:

Emergency Preparation should not unbalance your life, nor be forever postponed to a better time. Here are top four rules for preparing:

  1. Don't go into debt to “get ready” all at once.
  2. Don't fixate on end of the Zombie Apocalypse scenarios such as Comet Strikes or World War 3.
  3. Do get a smoke detector and fire extinguisher before going to the next step (as fire is the most common emergency in life).
  4. Do acquire the basics for sustaining life. Spend time considering how you would keep yourself and family alive in the event of emergencies that are the most likely ones to occur in your area.
    • A best strategy for food and water storage is to purchase a little extra each month of things that you would really need if a situation arose where there would be no food, water, electricity or medicines, etc. available for several weeks or months. For instance:
      • You could purchase a backpacking water filter one month
      • A good LED flashlight the next month,
      • And a little extra food each time you go shopping, chosen from those foods that you normally eat, until reaching suggested levels below. If you don't normally eat what is shown below, then substitute equivalent amounts of food items that you do eat.
      • After acquiring the target amounts of foods and water, just continue to use your food and water, and replenish them as needed so that you always have three months on hand. Below is one suggestion for a basic emergency supply for one person (adapt for yourself and/or family, based on your commonly eaten foods):

Suggested Levels of Storage Items (In Priority Order)

  • Four 5 gallon water containers; fill immediately with tap water - many people buy the containers, but never fill them, so they are useless.
  • A backpacking style (pump) water filter (capable of filtering at least 100 gallons)
  • A survival type knife that can cut branches, open cans, cut wood, dress meat, etc.
  • The best LED flashlight you can afford
  • A 100 foot (300 pound strength) nylon rope
  • A gallon of olive oil or coconut oil
  • Two 40 ounce jars of peanut or almond butter (this is an excellent instant survival food)
  • 20 cans of various meats, salmon, stew, spam, sardines and tuna (the kinds that you like to eat) If you don't eat meat, store some other protein rich food that you do like to eat.
  • 20 lbs. of white or brown rice or other easily prepared grain (millet, quinoa, amaranth, wild rice, chia seed, etc.) that you enjoy (white rice stores 20 times longer than the others, but brown rice or other grains above are much more nutritious). Store the kind that you eat.
  • 20 lbs. of pinto or other beans that you enjoy eating
  • 5 lbs. of other mixed beans that you enjoy (for variety)
  • 5 lbs. of white or brown sugar or honey or coconut sugar (whichever kind you eat regularly)
  • 20 cans of canned fruits and 20 cans of canned vegetables
    (buy the kinds you like and will use )
  • 5 lbs. of iodized salt - if you don't use iodized salt then you should also store another source of iodine
  • 5 lbs. of rolled oats
  • 20 lbs. of flour (white or wheat as you prefer, or store the wheat and use a wheat grinder). If you don't use wheat, then store whatever grain. This is in addition to the easily prepared grain at the top of the list
  • Two 72 ounce canisters of Tang or other drink mix
  • 400 tablets of Multi Vitamins (your choice as to brand)


Advanced Emergency Storage Ideas

Once you've obtained basic preparedness items such as shown above, you may want to do more to be ready for potential emergencies. So, here are more advanced preparedness suggestions. Please note that these are just suggestions, but they are well thought out suggestions that would, most likely, be very desirable in an emergency situation:

  • 5 lbs of powdered milk (for those whose bodies handle milk)
  • A case of Ramen Noodles (tasty source of carbohydrates)
  • An assortment of spices (to make eating basic foods more pleasant) such as Basil, Chili Powder, Cinnamon, Garlic, Sage, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme and Black Pepper, and 5 more pounds of iodized salt.
  • 3 Large Tubes of Toothpaste, 3 Toothbrushes and 100 Double Edged Razor Blades (for guys), and don't forget a brush and bowel for shaving.
  • A comprehensive First Aid Kit, over the counter pain killers, and if you've a woman, enough feminine supplies to last 3 months
  • Unless you have a water source nearby, you won't be able to use your bathroom, so you need other alternatives such as a commercially sold portable toilet or a sawdust toilet that you can make.
  • Enough toilet paper to last 1 to 3 months.
  • A hundred or more disposable plates, bowls and utensils (saves a lot of water).
  • Two gallons of unscented bleach.
  • A 30 or more day supply of all medications. (Note that you may have to be creative to get a stockpile of medications.)
  • Tools: (for a family)
    • Carpenter's hammer
    • Shovel (for digging a latrine or grave)
    • Vice grips
    • Adjustable wrench
    • Screw Driver Set
    • Duct tape
    • Electrical tape
    • Axe
    • Pry bar
    • Crosscut saw
    • Hacksaw
    • Large can of WD-40
  • (For a family) A propane camp stove and 5 or more one pound propane cylinders, or better yet, a 20 pound or 100 pound propane cylinder with proper adaptors/hoses. An alternative is a Volcano Stove because it can burn propane, wood or charcoal.
  • (For a family) The best two way radios you can afford and extra batteries plus an AM/FM radio with extra batteries.


The Layers of Emergency Preparedness

Emergency Preparedness is an onion subject... meaning it has manyonion layers. Start at the outer layers and go in as deep as you are able. In your situation, you may never get past the first few layers, and, if that is all you can do, then you can feel good about at least doing that much to be prepared. Perhaps, however, you will be able to go deeper into emergency preparedness, which is all the better!

  1. A first layer of emergency preparedness is having a group mindset — understanding that being part of a like-minded, neighborhood preparedness group will greatly improve YOUR survival likelihood during emergencies. Therefore, you should participate fully in the Orem Hillcrest Neighborhood Emergency Response program by:
    • Participating in your two times yearly Block socials and periodic Orem City Emergency Response drills
    • Filling out a survey sheet and giving it to the Block Leader.
    • And, if feasible, becoming CERT trained or Amateur Radio trained.
  2. A second layer is to establish a family communications plan and evacuation plan and review your disaster checklist so that you can quickly account for all family members and/or proceed to a predetermined evacuation point if your home or town is uninhabitable.
  3. A third layer is to begin inventorying and acquiring  what you need to survive emergencies in your home and to know where they are. What you most need is determined by the rule of threes... which is that you can:
    • Live 3 minutes without air or blood. Therefore, you need first aid supplies and knowledge of how to stop bleeding and start breathing when it has stopped.
    • Live 3 hours without shelter and warm clothing in severe weather. That means you need warm clothing, bedding and fire making abilities.
    • Live 3 days without water. That means you need stored water and the ability to make foraged water safe to drink.
    • Live 3 weeks without food. That means you need supplies of high-calorie as well as nutrient dense foods or supplements.

    Note: emergency backpack kits are great to have (especially in the car), but not as important as inventorying what you need and have. A backpack kit should focus on first aid; and keeping you warm; and hydrated. Food is far less important the the first three. Put all items in a back pack (if possible), so your hands can be free.

  4. A fourth layer is to “prepare” your home against the most likely dangers.
    • Fire Emergency (see Scenarios) - acquire and maintain working fire extinguishers, etc.
    • Flooding (see Scenarios) - spend the effort to make sure that flood waters don't easily come into your home (route storm water surges away from your home).
    • Earthquake (see Scenarios)
      • Prepare  your home for earthquakes - by fastening high furniture to the wall so that it won't come loose during an earthquake and strapping your water heater to a stud.
      • If possible, have your older homes retrofitted to withstand a 7.5 magnitude earthquake.
    • Defense - consider owning a gun and practicing how to use it in a situation of self-defense (this is more than target practice).
  5. A fifth layer is to prepare your family and home with, first, the basic storage items and, later, if able, with more preparedness items of food, water, medicines, etc. for an emergency or calamity that might last several months (see getting started ideas to the left)
  6. A sixth layer is to “grow all the food you feasibly” can on your own property and, perhaps, learn to dehydrate or otherwise preserve any excess food that you grow (these experiences or learning will be invaluable in a long-term emergency).
  7. A seventh layer is to be (become) physically conditioned and able to walk for miles and work hard physically.
  8. A eighth layer is to put Preparedness deep into your brain by reading emergency preparedness books and guides so that you can learn from others (how they are getting prepared). There are lots of suggestions at the HillcrestReady.org/Sharing forum.

    --------------- If inspired to do more, then consider----------------
  9. A ninth layer is to upgrade your preparedness from being able to survive for a a few weeks to a few months to being able to thrive after a calamity that disrupts normal life for years.
  10. A tenth layer is be to become a resource to your neighbors in regard to emergency preparation by:
    • Seek learning from books and forums on getting prepared (understand the perplexities of nations, too).
    • Receiving Advanced CERT training
    • Sharing knowledge and skills you current have (or can acquire) via:
      • Resources forum of this website
      • Presenting at the bi-annual Country Fair
      • Praying and asking God what your role in the neighborhood preparation should be.Act on the inspiration received.
      • Remember that helping your neighbors to prepare for tough times also benefits your own family because your family is more likely to survive during emergencies if many people in your community are prepared and work together for a common good - The first law of life is not survival, it is that we are one.
  11. An eleventh layer is for your family to be prepared to survive indefinitely after a ‘The End of the World as We Know It’ TEOTWAWKI) type events. This goes beyond having a few months (or even a year's worth) of emergency stockpiles and beyond CERT training and brings in the world of living without modern infrastructure. The main thought processes one should have include:
    • What will my family do when the electricity goes off and it isn't going to come back on EVER (or at least for many years)?
    • What will we eat?
    • How will we handle wastes so that we don't get sick?
    • How will we travel to check on family and friends?
    • What can I  barter with (for things I don’t have, but want)?
    • What will be needed is long-term, life-sustaining capabilities including production of food (i.e. farming, ranching, fishing and water sources) as well as herbal medicine (see below).
  12. A twelfth layer is to be a resource in helping one's community to REBUILD a modern society after an TEOTWAWKI. This is a matter of acquiring knowledge that would have been common 150 years ago and also acquiring the technical knowledge that can take us from backwoods to modern again (see below).

Being Able to Survive An Emergency Is Critical... But Being Able To Thrive Indefinitely Is Even Better!!!

There are many possible scenarios including an EMP Event, Nuclear Attack, Economic Meltdown, Comet Strike, etc. that would be so devastating that it could take years or decades or even a century to recover our modern lifestyle. We would, in essence, need to know how to live as people did 150 years ago. Storage supplies of food and water will soon run out, and we will need to produce. Here are the keys to thriving in such a situation. Click on each topic below to learn more:

  • Clothing — warm clothing will be essential for survival during winter.
  • Safe Water — a river, spring or well, and means of getting the water to your home or shelter, and of course, water purification.
  • Gardening — obtaining ample amounts of vegetables, grain and fruits is essential to thriving. For instance, a walipini style garden (below) provides the opportunity to garden year round, because when built six to eight feet below ground and covered), winter temperatures will stay at 52 degrees or higher (enough to grow vegetables in the winter).
  • Shelter — after many types of calamities, houses will be uninhabitable, and safe refuges may be far away from town. That means you may need tents, or know how to build other types of shelter.
  • Ranching, Hunting and Fishing — being able to get sufficient protein, and especially fat to eat is important to being optimally healthy.
  • Sanitation — the lack of sanitation is probably the biggest single killer of people that there is. Having effective sanitation is essential to thriving.
  • Back Woods Medicine — many people will find that they cannot survive without their prescription drugs (insulin, levothyroxine, etc.) unless they can obtain equivalent benefits with herbs. Fortunately, there are a great many herbal medicine books available and emergency medicine books to help us fight infections, deal with wounds, broken limbs, etc., without access to prescription drugs and other modern medical care.
  • Food Preparation — one of the most important issues to happiness (and therefore, thriving) is knowing how to make basic food taste really good.
  • Libraries — one of the most desirable things (for thriving) to have during a recovery period following a widespread calamity will be books, both for their value in passing away the time and from which to gain useful information.
  • Security — some defensive weapons may be important to protect one's family from dangerous animals and people.

Become a Valuable Resource! Ask Yourself... What Can I Learn To Do... that Would be Valuable in Hard Times

Consider that if there is an economic collapse, widespread devastation by earthquake, EMP, war, etc., it could take years, decades or even a century to reestablish our modern way of life. So, everyone ought to be proficient in one of the above life-sustaining essential activities. Consider seriously which of the needed roles below you could become good at:

  • Persons who can grow vegetables, grain and fruit are essential.
  • Likewise,  people who can raise cattle, eggs, fish, etc. are needed.
  • People who can create clothing, shoes and blankets. are essential
  • If modern transportation ceases to work, we need people who know how to shoe a horse, hitch a horse to a wagon or plow.
  • Without pharmaceutical drugs, people who know herbal medicine will be invaluable.
  • People who can repair broken machinery will be the foundation on which modern life will be rebuilt.
  • We need people who can defend us from dangerous animals and people.