After a major disaster most communications are shut down due to down power/telephone lines, down cell towers and circuit over loads. After the E5 tornado hit Joplin, Missouri USA our daughter said it was hard to get through on the land line and cell phone, at times it was impossible. As community and church leaders got together they realized the only communication they had was to send out runners to check on various areas and to report back the damages, injuries and needs. Church leaders realized the only communication they had was to rely on the Holy Ghost to guide them. They meet by lanterns and candle light, and prayed for inspiration as how to help the people. Answers to prayers came.
What can we do to help with communication once a major disaster hits our area?
1) First, stay off the land lines and cell phones. Only use your phones to report very serious injuries or those who are trapped and need immediate assistance. When every one gets on the phones it over loads the circuits and no one can get through. Keep the lines open for emergency responders.
2) Sometimes texting will work if the cell phone does not. Try texting rather than making a call.
Keep the lines free for emergency calls.
3) If possible, have some other way of communicating. In our church there are members who are licensed Ham Operators and can communicate through that method. If you can, take a Ham Operating course, get your license and purchase a Ham radio. Even your children can learn how to operator the radio in an emergency situation.
4) Always stay close to the Spirit so you can receive inspiration for yourself, your family and
your loved ones. The Spirit will guide as what to do and not do. Listen and follow.
5) If you have to leave your home or your car, leave a note on the front door or your car as to where you are going, who in the family is with you, the condition of each person.
6) Each family member should have an out of state contact person, name and phone number. Sometimes you can reach some one out of state before you can reach some one near by. The Bishop of a church realized he could reach a Bishop in another state. He had that Bishop contact his members. When a disaster hits, each family member should text that out of state contact person where you are, your condition and where you are going or if you are staying where you are and where that is. Each family member should have this name and number in their wallet, purse or backpack. Teach your children how to text them or call them.
7) Keep a working radio with extra batteries near by. If the electricity is down you can find out what is going on in your area and what local leaders are telling you do in case of a major disaster or civil unrest. Follow their instruction, stay sheltered in place if possible and being told to evacuate. The radio in this picture is a great one. It can run off of batteries or solar. It also has a hand crank. You can find them at emergencyessentials.com or other stores.
March Monthly Assignments
Emergency Preparedness . . .
72 Hour Individual Emergency
Preparedness Backpacks . . . Food Kit
In January we started the Food Kit for our 72 Hour Individual Backpacks. If you have not started yet, go back to January and February and complete those items.
Note: If you already have your 72 Hour Individual Emergency Preparedness Backpack for each house hold member you might want to review the Food Kit to see if any items need rotated or replaced. The rule is if you keep your backpacks in your car the food needs to be rotated/replaced every 6 months due to heat. If in the house at about 70 degrees rotate/replace the food once a year.
Important: If you are purchasing your food items from a discount store, check the expiration dates. You want them to last for at least a year. Discount stores often sell products that are about to expire.
72 Hour Food Individual Kit Menu:
It is the same menu for each day, breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
Day 1, 2, and 3
Breakfast: Oatmeal (instant), Raisins (small box), Hot cocoa (instant)
Lunch: Peanut Butter Crackers, Fruit Cup, Trail Mix
Dinner: Soup (and instant kind like Chicken Noodle), Granola Bar, Fruit Drink Mix
Snacks: Fruit Snacks, Gum, Hard Candy, Beef Jerky
Water: 2 Liter bottle or 3 smaller ones (not the really small ones) (Remember: Use this water sparingly, it is used for drinking as well as for the oatmeal, soup and hot chocolate/apple cider, not for bathing.)
Note: This is a high calorie menu. When someone is in a stressful situation they burn more calories. Adjust to family member with allergies and medical conditions like diabetes.
Remember, you need 3 of each item for each member in your house hold. This month add the following items and put them in the large plastic zip bag with the last 2 months items and place each kit into each backpack . . .
Week 1: 3 fruit juice boxes--any flavor your family member prefers.
This completes your 3 day menu of food. The next 3 weeks are snack items.
Week 2: 1 large pack of gum or several small packages of different flavors. Helps when you feel hungry.
Week 3: Hand candy--about 10+ pieces per family food kit. You want hard hand so they can suck on it and it will last long. If you purchase mint candy place the candy in another zip lock bag, or all your food will taste like mint.
Week 4: 1 Large package of Beef or Turkey Jerky--One blog viewer said you can purchase individual bags at Costco, and probably Sam's Club (you will need 3 for each family food kit), or you can purchase one large bag at your regular grocery stores, should be enough for 3-4 days.
Now that you have completed your 72 Hour Individual Emergency Food kits: Place all the food and snack items in a large zip lock plastic bag for each family member in your house hold. I like to double bag mine. Place each Food Kit for each family member member in the house hold in their individual backpacks. I like to put their names on the Food Kits since some food may be different due to food allergies, medications taken or dislikes.
Put a copy of the breakfast, lunch and dinner menu above with each food kit.
Next month (April) we will start the 72 Hour Individual Emergency Hygiene Kits.
Food Storage . . .
President Gordon B. Hinckley stated, "We [as a church] have built grain storage and storehouses and stocked them with the necessities of life in the event of a disaster. But the best storehouse is the family storeroom. In words of revelations the Lord has said, 'Organize yourselves, prepare every needful thing.' (Doctrine and Covenants 109:8).
"Our people for three-quarters of a century have been counseled and encouraged to make such preparation as will assure survival should a calamity come.
"We can set aside some water, basic food, medicine, and clothing to keep us warm. We ought to have a little money laid aside in case of a rainy day." (Ensign, November 2005, 62)
While we are working this year on our emergency supplies, the 72 Hour Individual Emergency Preparedness Backpacks, the 72 Hour Family Bag, the Emergency Medical Kit and the Emergency Cleaning Bucket we need to continually be adding to our water and food storage.
We are encouraged to have at least a 3-Month supply of food (canned and packaged foods) and water. In areas of the world were you are not allowed to store extra food and water, store what you allowed by law. Do not worry about the long term freeze-dried and dehydrated foods until you have at least a 3-months supply of canned and packaged foods. Store only what your family will eat. Watch for sales. Take that savings and put it into a jar for your emergency rainy day, even if it is just some change, it all adds up quickly.
Each week when you go grocery shopping add a few extra cans and/or packages of food. Before you know it you will have your 3-months emergency supply of food and water. Remember, the key to good food storage is rotation. Do not let your food expire, rotate as needed.
Emergency Preparedness Ideas
Great article: In last months Ensign, February 2017 (pages 44-49), there is a great article on emergency preparedness; temporal preparedness, mental preparedness and spiritual preparedness. People share their personal stories. Please click here to read this great article.
Did you know your car headrest can save your life and it is made to be removable?
Your car headrest was designed to help you in an emergency. If you remove the headrest the posts that go into the back of the seat were designed to break the glass of your car windows.
If you find yourself trapped in water and you cannot escape through the door and the car is filling with water, remove the headrest and jab the post into the window glass. Cover yourselves as you do this to keep the glass from hurting you, or turn your face away. Once the glass is broken escape through the window as quickly as possibly to safety.
Comments and Questions: Please share your comment and questions below. We all learn from each other. Or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
Next posting March 31st with April's monthly assignments and emergency preparedness ideas.