Friday, January 15, 2016

Emergency Preparedness, Food Storage and Monthly Assignments (Week of January 17th)

Hi  Torrance Stake Family, Carson Ward Family, Family and Friends,

Devastation and
         Valuable Lessons Learned . . . .

News soon traveled about the devastation the Joplin, Missouri USA tornado had caused.  On May 22, 2011 Joplin, Missouri USA was hit by a category EF5 tornado. The warning sirens had not gone off as early as usually because the tornado was wrapped in heavy rain. Once the National Weather Service realized the threatening tornado the sirens went off. Some only had a few minutes, a few seconds to take cover. The high school graduation had just finished and family and students were on their way home. Churches in the area were in meetings, local town residence were out shopping and about their daily activities. The tornado cut a six-mile path thought the center of town, wrecking and destroying churches, schools, businesses, apartment buildings, complexes and homes. An estimated 8,000 buildings were damaged or destroyed, street signs and other landmarks vanished, rendering Joplin unrecognizable to residence who had spent their lives there. Joplin High School was flattened, St. John's Regional Medical Center's (hospital) 9 story building took a direct hit. Nursing homes were destroyed with 15 elderly residents missing. Phone services were down, downed powder lines blocked roads, burning gas leaks were every where causing the air to fill with gas fumes,  cars, trucks and trolleys were tossed and flung around like pieces of paper, splintered trees stood once where entire neighborhoods once stood, survives walked around dazed. It was the deadliest tornado in the United States since 1953 and the second worst tornado in a month.

Our daughter, who lives near by, said it looked like a war zone, as though a bomb had been dropped!

Once the tornado passed residence and rescue teams searched for survivors and the dead.  Hundreds were misses and many more were injured and confused. 120+ had lost their lives. It would take months, years to rebuild, some places as of today are still not rebuilt.

Many stories came out of the devastation--

700+ church members from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) came from Arkansas USA the following weekend to help with the clean up and help those in need, and many from all around Joplin, Missouri USA and other states. One Bishop's garage was stuffed full of clothing and all sorts to things to help those in need. Volunteers and medical personal also came from all over to help. The Red Cross and FEMA were there to help too.

One man shares his story--We were having a planning meeting at the church, the church started to shake and we heard the siren. At first we thought we should go into the large bathroom, but the spirit told me to take everyone (7 women, 1 child and myself)  into the smaller bathroom. We rushed to the bathroom, putting the child on the bottom, the women on top of her and myself on top of them. We could hear the building being torn apart. Once the tornado was over we could see all that was left was the bathroom we were in and one walls with the tithing envelopes still in the tithing rack.

From our daughter--The family was headed home from church along with many others. The high school was in the progress of their high school graduation. Knowing some of the youth graduating our daughter decided to leave church a little early to attend the graduation sending her husband and 4 children home out side of Joplin. During the graduation she felt a very strong prompting to leave the graduation and head for home. Ignoring it she felt the prompting again but stronger, leave and go home. As she stepped through the outside door she could see the sky was not looking good. The warning siren had not gone off yet. She got into her car and headed home. The winds picked up, hail the size of gold balls started hitting her windshield, she new a tornado was on the way. She search for a place to pull over. Struggling to open the door she took cover in a bakery with others. She soon learned once the tornado had past Joplin had been hit hard. She called her husband to see if they were alright, their 17 year old son had stayed in Joplin to help their Ward (church) missionaries.  He was missing and no one knew where he was. He was found several hours later helping others.

That night after the tornado many church groups and volunteers and others met together to make plans on how to help the residents of Joplin, Missouri USA. Many meet by lanterns and candle light since the electricity was down in many areas. Food, clothing, bedding and other items were gathered to help the needy. Many donated their food storage and emergency supplies to help those effected by the tornado.

Many had lost everything, some lost family members. But the people of Joplin, Missouri USA were not going to let this get them down. They would clean up, rebuild and start over.

Valuable Lessons Learned . . .

1) Always stay close to, listen to and follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost (Spirit).
2) Have a family emergency plan for the types of natural disaster in your area.
3) Have an out of state contact person to report where you are and how you are doing.
4) Have a place for family members to meet if separated.
5) Always have emergency supplies on had, lighting, heating, shelter, cooking equipment, etc. Yes, it can all be taken away or destroyed, but you are being obedient and the Lord will bless you. You can also help your neighbors in need.
6) Always have extra food and water stored. Yes, once again, it can be taken or destroyed, but you can also help others if yours survives the disaster.
7) Have emergency medical supplies on hand to help you and your neighbors.
8) Know basic first-aid and CPR.
9) Know how to turn off the gas if there is a leak and you smell gas, and other utilities as needed.
10) Follow the instructions of your local leaders and turn on your radio for updated information.

Be Prepared, Be Aware, Be Safe, Stay Calm!

January Monthly Assignments

Food Storage . . . Oils and Fats

This month we are adding oils and fats to our food storage (Olive Oil, Vegetable Oil, Corn Oil, Sunflower Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Coconut Oil, Spray Oils, Shortening, Butter/Margarine, etc.).  Make a list of the types of oils and fats you use and how much of each within a month. Then multiply that by the number of months you have set your food storage goal (1-Month, 3-Months, 6-Months, a year).

How to store: In commercial bottles (plastic and glass), dehydrated 2.5 and #10 cans, frozen.  Check out and other food storage companies for dehydrated products.

Storage: Keep in dry, cool, dark place. In your pantry, under the bed, in closets and cupboards.

Shelf life: Most oils only keep one year. Butter/Margarine you can freeze for 1-2 years.

Remember: The key to all food storage is rotation, rotation, rotation.

Emergency Preparedness . . .
Family Plans 

Each individual and family should have family emergency plans in place and practice them often, especially when you have children in your family. A new year gives us an opportunity to make, review and adjust family emergency plans. Family emergency plans consist of fire, earthquake, tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis,  flooding, terrorists attacks, civil unrest, sheltering in place, chemical spills, evacuations, food storage and emergency supplies, etc.

Fire escape plans: Each family should have a fire escape plan in effect and practice it often. Teach your family about fire safety and what to do if a fire breaks out in your home, where to meet outside and to never, never, never go back inside to help someone get out or get a family heirloom. Assign a family member to use their cell phone or go to a neighbor and call 911 immediately.

Natural disasters plan: Earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, mudslides, wildfires, etc.. Each family needs a plan to handle the types of natural disaster you have in your area. Review them and practice them often with your family. The more you practice the better you will be prepared and know how to act quickly and calmly.       

Terrorist attack plan: First, stay calm and put your family plan into action. How prepared are you for something like this? Do you know what to do and where to go? Are you prepared to shelter-in-place if needed? Do you have extra food, water, emergency and medical supplies on hand? Make a plan for your family so they know what to do and where to go. Have an out of state contact person to let them know you are alright and where your family members are located.

Civil unrest and rioting plan: Stay calm! Do you know what to do if this happened in your city? Be prepared to shelter-in-place. Be prepared with extra food, water, emergency and medical supplies on hand. Have an out of state contact person to call to let them know you are alright and where your family members are located.

Shelter in place plan: Does you family have a shelter in place plan? What if you had to stay in your home for several hours, days, weeks due to a chemical spill, pandemic, down power lines, civil unrest, rioting, terrorist attack? Would you know what to do? Would you have enough supplies on hand to shelter in place for awhile, food storage, water, a way to cover windows and doors, a battery operated radio, have a room assigned to shelter in place in, etc.?

Evacuation plan: Do you have an evacuation plan in place for your family? Do they know what to do and where to go if you are separated or during work and school hours? Have several evacuation plans for different types of disasters and evacuations, routes in place. Practice them often.

 Food and water storage plan: Do you have extra food and water storage on hand? People say it will never happen, empty grocery shelves. Did you know that grocery stores only have enough food in their back storage area for about 2 weeks. If there was a civil unrest and a natural disaster they can be emptied in seconds. Have extra food and water will bring peace of mind and safety.   

Be Prepared and Not Be Sacred!
Emergency Preparedness Ideas

Disaster preparation for those with special needs . . .

Do you or a family member---
  • Have a permanent or temporary disability?
  • Need help to get out of your home safely during a disaster?
  • Need assistance to travel to an emergency evacuation center?
  • Need extra help taking care of yourself, or a family member, in your home or an evacuation center?
  • Need extra help because of your, or a family member, disability to care for yourself, or family member, alone for several days?
  • Need assistive equipment that uses electricity?
Did you know that some counties USA have a registry for those with special needs and  may need assistance after a natural or man-made disaster?  If you are in need of assistance and live in the Los Angeles County you can register for SNAP (Specific Needs Awareness Planning) by going to  If you live in another county or another part of the United States check with your local county to see if  they have a similar program. It could save your , or someone else, life!
Comments and Questions: Please share your comment below. We all learn from each others knowledge and experiences. If you have a question I will try to answer it on the next blog posting or you can email me at Thank you for your comments and questions.

Next posting: January 31st, New February Monthly Assignments

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