Hi Carson Ward Family, Family and Friends,
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! A time for new hopes, dreams and GOALS!
We are back and with all sorts of new ideas and helps in helping you and your family become more self-reliant and prepared both temporally and spiritually for what may come your way. I want our Ward members to be the most prepared Ward in our Stake.
Over and over I am surprised, with all the warnings and daily news, how little we are prepared as a community, as a family and as an individual for disasters and things that can happen in our lives. We have had hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, fires, wind storms, blackouts, and many other things happen this past year. I fear they are only to get worse. They are predicting an even worse tornado season this spring. And of course, we are always being warned of the "Big One" in California. But for some reason we never get prepared and then complain when the local or federal government is not there to help us. We need to self-reliant and be able to take care of ourselves!
This year I would like us as a Ward, as a family and as individuals to set some Emergency Preparedness Goals along with our other Goals. I know, you say "Emergency Preparedness, I do not have time nor the money for it. I will take care of it some day." Some day may be too late!
Remember, you do not have to do them all at once. Goals usually take time. Break the main goal down into smaller goals until the main goal is accomplished. Much easier and manageable that way and not so overswhelming. Set up a chart with the categories below in each column. Determine which areas you need work on. Then set up some small goals within each column to help you accomplish the main goal. I have given you some ideas below. Do this as a family for Family Home Evening or with a friend. Put the goal chart on your refrigerator, or in a place you will see it daily, to remind you of your goals and accomplishments.
Here are some ideas for Personal and Family Goals and our Ward Emergency Preparedness Goals for 2012:
Personal and Family Goals:
1. 72 Hour Emergency Preparedness Backpack Kit (including the Food Kit, Personal Hygiene Kit and Stressor Kit, with a change of clothing)-- Put together a Kit for each family member. For home and/or in the car, and one at your work place.
2. 3 Months Food Storage-- Keep track for two weeks of what your family eats, most people eat the same thing within a two week. Include everything, meals and snacks, what it takes to make them. Multiply that by six and you will have what your family eats for three months. Each week make a goal to buy something extra for your 3 Months Food Storage. Set a goal to first get one week's supply, then two weeks and so on until you have a 3 months food supply. Then continue on to 6 months, until you have a year's supply. Remember to take inventory every few months and rotate what you store and eat.
3. Water Storage-- You should have one 55 gallon water barrel for each family member for drinking and cooking, not bathing. Either purchase the 55 gallon water barrels or smaller bottles if you do not have room for the barrels. Change the water barrels every year if there is bleach in the water, every 6 months if not (every General Conference). Purchase water barrels if you do not have them and fill them with water. See the Posting under Water Storage on the right side for where to purchase them in Long Beach. Set a goal to purchase the needed barrels and/or bottles of water. You should have enough for drinking and cooking for at least a month, or more if possible. You will need extra for bathing.
4. Emergency Preparedness Supplies--purchased needed items for you and your family. Example: Sleeping bags, a tent(s), a way to cook, lighting, heating and sanitation. Check out the blog Postings on the right under Shelter, Heating, Lighting , Cooking and Sanitation for ideas. You will also need paper supplies since you will probably not want to use your valuable water for washing the dishes. Big 5 has great sales on sleeping bags and tents throughout the year.
5. First-Aid Supplies--Have emergency medical supplies and perscriptions on hand.
6. Fire and Earthquake Drills--Just recently there was the story of a fire on the news which was divesting to hear. Two grandparents and children's lives were lost due to a fire in their home. The mother and a friend's lives were spared. How tragic! Many, many times I have given you the challenge of setting up fire escapes and fire drills in your home. Please, do this for your family's safety! Here are some ideas:
1. Make sure all smoke detectors are working properly. Replace worn out batteries. Check them twice a year, at each General Conference time, and replace the batteries if needed.
2. Have a fire escape plan for your home. Set up fire escape routes, several different routes in case the fire is blocking a different escape area, and put a drawing of these escape plans on the back of each bedroom door low enough for children to see them. If they cannot open the window, teach your children it is OK to break a window if there is a real fire and how to put a blanket over the window and climb out.
3. Purchase a second story fire latter if you do not have one. Teach your children and practice with them how to use it. You should have one in each bedroom and each person in that room should know where it is.
4. Assign older children to younger children. If you have a large family it will be hard for one person to help everyone.
5. Have a place to meet outside, either a corner or a neighbors yard, away from the house.
6. Call 911 as soon as possible, but make sure your family is OK and secure first.
7. Never, never go back into a burning building, you may not make it out. If you decide there is time, stay low to the ground, but it better if you do not go back in.
8. Have a Family Home Evening on fires, fire drills and how to protect themselves. Teach them to never hide in a closet or under a bed. Look online for things to know and teach your family about fires in your home. Have a fire inspection of your home to make sure it is safe.
9. Have a fire drill in your home every few months so each family member knows what to do and where to go. When we did this with our children, we would say fire drill, fire in the kitchen and what areas are blocked. That way they get use to different fire escape routes. If there is a real fire then yell "real fire in the ________".
8. Strive to be more Spiritual and closer to the Spirit and set goals to help you do this. Attend the temple more often, read scriptures individually and as a family, say family daily prayers, youth attend seminary and their Sunday School and youth meetings, children attend Primary, and adults attend Sunday School, Relief Society and Priesthood weekly.
Our Ward Emergency Preparedness Goals:
1. Complete setting up our Ward Emergency Preparedness Plan
2. Complete setting up the Emergency Response Teams and instruct them on their responsibilities.
3. Make sure each family member has a 72 Hour Emergency Preparedness Backpack Kit.
4. Have a CPR class sometime on a Saturday in February or March. We are working with the American Red Cross to set up this class. We will be passing around a sign-up sheet for this soon.
5. Have First-aid classes members can attend to teach them first-aid skills. We hope to set some of these up for January. We will be passing around a sign-up sheet for this soon.
6. Work with the Bishopric in setting up Ward activities on Emergency Preparedness throughout the year.
My goal this year is to help each family become more prepared. We can do this if we all work together as a Ward team.
Remember--"If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear."
FREE Monthly Giveaway Drawing--to be held the last Sunday in January.