Friday, November 2, 2007
Disaster Preparedness: Advice for Evacuees
1. Get good footwear now. Many people say they were not prepared to walk out or back over the debris that followed their disaster. There may not be stores left to purchase shoes or the stores will sell out quickly.
2. Money, money, money. After a natural disaster, there will be no way to confirm there is money in your account. If you bank at a local bank, it may not be able to provide services for days, weeks or months as corporations dig out and rebuild. ATM machines will be emptied of cash rapidly and there will be no employees to restock machines. When, or if, you can can find food, clothing or gas for sale, you will have to pay in cash or be out of luck. Keep several hundred dollars in cash for the big event. This should be in small denomination bills and coins. NEVER carry all your cash in one place and NEVER let anyone see you have more than a few dollars. Many people are honest, helpful and trustworthy, but it only takes one dishonest person to hold you up and steal your cash.
3. When you evacuate, bring your own toiletries. You may not think it's necessary when you head to a hotel, but their resources are limited. During an emergency, families may have to share a room with friends or large families or may be limited to one room. You should have a good 72-hour kit so you won't have to think too much about including them as you pack to evacuate. Remember toilet paper, feminine hygiene products and diapers.
4. Medications. If you are taking any prescription medications, they may not be available to you for several days or more. Local pharmacies will not be prepared for new customers in the great numbers that will need to be serviced. A national chain may not have access to computer records to fill orders. If there are no refills left on your prescription and/or if you normally purchase your medications from a small pharmacy, you will need to have your prescription rewritten. Good luck trying to find your doctor! If there is any way to stock up on a month's supply of your prescriptions, do it now and then never leave home without them. If you wear glasses, you may ask your optometrist for a copy of your prescription to include in your 72-hour kit.
5. Purchase a car top carrier. Many people gather family and pets to evacuate and there was no room in the car for everything. Do a trial run and determine how much you could take in your vehicle and how much more space you will need to accommodate everyone and everything.
6. Plan for those who are ill. Never stay at home during an evacuation warning if anyone has medical problems. If you have someone on oxygen, you need a constant supply of electricity. Even a generator will run out of gas and you could be stuck. If you have a family member with a weakened immune system, even the smallest cut that comes in contact with contaminated water could prove life-threatening.
7. Families have been separated. If you are told to evacuate, please do it. No matter how desperate you are, never allow yourself to be separated from family members. Always have an out of state contact--someone every family member knows to call just in case the worst happens. Everyone should have that phone number memorized. It may take a few days before phone services is available, but everyone should check in with that person frequently and as soon as possible. It would be advisable for every teen and adult to have a phone card for just such an emergency.
Source: Adapted from "Preparing to Provide Refuge" by Carolyn Nicolaysen, Meridian Magazine
"Many areas of the world have experienced difficult economic times. Businesses have failed, jobs have been lost, and investments have been jeopardized. We must make certain that those for whom we share responsibility do not go hungry or unclothed or unsheltered. When the priesthood of this Church works together as one in meeting these vexing conditions, near miracles take place.
"We urge all Latter-day Saints to be prudent in their planning, to be conservative in their living, and to avoid excessive or unnecessary debt."
- President Thomas S. Monson, October 2008 Priesthood Session, General Conference
"Avoid the philosophy that yesterday's luxuries have become today's necessities. They aren't necessities until we make them so. Many enter into long-term debt only to find that changes occur; people become ill or incapacitated, companies fail or downsize, jobs are lost, natural disasters befall us. For many reasons, payments on large amounts of debt can no longer be made. Our debt becomes as a Damocles sword hanging over our heads and threatening to destroy us."
- President Thomas S. Monson, April 2006 General Conference
“We have built grain storage and storehouses and stocked them with the necessities of life in the event of a disaster. But the real storehouse is the family storeroom. In words of revelation the Lord has said, ‘Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing’ (D&C 109:8.)”
President Gordon B. Hinckley
"We need to make both temporal and spiritual preparation for the events prophesied at the time of the Second Coming. And the preparation most likely to be neglected is the one less visible and more difficult--the spiritual. A 72-hour kit of temporal supplies may prove valuable for earthly challenges, but, as the foolish virgins learned to their sorrow, a 24-hour kit of spiritual preparation is of greater and more enduring value.
"We are living in the prophesied time 'when peace shall be taken from the earth' (D&C 1:35,) when 'all things shall be in commotion' and 'men's hearts shall fail them' (D&C 88:91.) There are many temporal causes of commotion, including wars and natural disasters, but an even greater cause of current 'commotion' is spiritual." Elder Dallin H. Oaks
“Every father and mother are the family’s store keepers. They should store whatever their family would like to have in case of an emergency…(and) God will sustain us through our trials.” President James E. Faust
“We live in a most exciting and challenging period in human history. As technology sweeps through every facet of our lives, changes are occurring so rapidly that it can be difficult for us to keep our lives in balance. To maintain some semblance of stability in our lives, it is essential that we plan for our future. I believe it is time, and perhaps with some urgency, to review the counsel we have received in dealing with our personal and family preparedness. We want to be found with oil in our lamps sufficient to endure to the end.”- Elder L. Tom Perry, Ensign, Nov. 1995
"Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their year's supply of food. . . and were debt-free. Today we find that many have followed this counsel in reverse: they have at least a year's supply of debt and are food free." President Thomas S. Monson
"Just as it is important to prepare ourselves spiritually, we must also prepare ourselves for our temporal needs. … We have been instructed for years to follow at least four requirements in preparing for that which is to come.
“First, gain an adequate education. Learn a trade or a profession to enable you to obtain steady employment that will provide remuneration sufficient to care for yourself and your family. …
“Second, live strictly within your income and save something for a rainy day. Incorporate in your lives the discipline of budgeting that which the Lord has blessed you with. As regularly as you pay your tithing, set aside an amount needed for future family requirements. …
“Third, avoid excessive debt. Necessary debt should be incurred only after careful, thoughtful prayer and after obtaining the best possible advice. We need the discipline to stay well within our ability to pay. …
“Fourth, acquire and store a reserve of food and supplies that will sustain life [if local laws permit such storage]. Obtain clothing and build a savings account on a sensible, well-planned basis that can serve well in times of emergency. As long as I can remember, we have been taught to prepare for the future and to obtain a year’s supply of necessities. I would guess that the years of plenty have almost universally caused us to set aside this counsel. I believe the time to disregard this counsel is over. With events in the world today, it must be considered with all seriousness.” - Elder L. Tom Perry, October 1995 General Conference
“Maintain a year's supply. The Lord has urged that his people save for the rainy days, prepare for the difficult times, and put away for emergencies, a year's supply or more of bare necessities so that when comes the flood, the earthquake, the famine, the hurricane, the storms of life, our families can be sustained through the dark days. How many of us have complied with this? We strive with the Lord, finding many excuses: We do not have room for storage. The food spoils. We do not have the funds to do it. We do not like these common foods. It is not needed -- there will always be someone to help in trouble. The government will come to the rescue. And some intend to obey but procrastinate.” - The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.375
“All too often a family's spending is governed more by their yearning than by their earning. They somehow believe that their life will be better if they surround themselves with an abundance of things. All too often all they are left with is avoidable anxiety and distress” - Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin
"Be prepared in all things against the day when tribulations and desolations are sent forth upon the wicked." D&C 29:8
"Too often we bask in our comfortable complacency and rationalize that the ravages of war, economic disaster, famine, and earthquake cannot happen here. Those who believe this are either not aquainted with the revelations of the Lord, or they do not believe them." President Ezra Taft Benson
"Fear not little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail. . .Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not." D&C 6:34, 36
"I believe that the Ten Virgins represent the people of the Church of Jesus Christ. . . They (five foolish) had the saving, exalting gospel, but it had not been made the center of their lives. They knew the way but gave only a small measure of loyalty and devotion.
"The foolish asked the others to share their oil, but spiritual preparedness cannot be shared in an instant. . . . This was not selfishness or unkindness. The kind of oil that is needed to illuminate the way and light up the darkness is not shareable. . . . In our lives the oil of preparedness is accumulated drop by drop in righteous living." - President Spencer W. Kimball
“We encourage families to have on hand this year’s supply; we say it over and over and over and repeat over and over the scripture of the Lord where he says, “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord and do not the things which I say?” How empty it is as they put their spirituality, so-called, into action and call him by his important names, but fail to do the things which he says." - President Spencer W. Kimball