Monday, January 26, 2015

Preparedness: A Desperate Appeal

As one of the worst snow storms looms on the NE I have to ask, are you prepared? Media usually is no help here. From “Doomsday Preppers” to “Naked and Afraid” the people of North America are subject to watching those “nuts” on TV. That’s because if TV did a real show on preparedness it would do two things: 1. “Scare” people and 2. Be boring as heck. Preparing is not glamorous or exciting.
In a poll done by the Discovery channel in 2012 it was found that 85% of Americans were underprepared. When asked what they thought would happen in the U.S. in the next 25 years the top responses were significant earthquake, 64%, significant hurricane, 63%, and terrorist attack, 55%. When asked how many years from the time of the survey they thought this would happen the top response was 17% at less than a year, 17% 20 to 99 years, and 17% 10-19 years. 16% said never.
The Doomsday Preppers Survey was conducted by Kelton Research between January 3rd and January 10th, 2012 using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas are set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population ages 18 and over.
While millions may be preparing, and over half of Americans expect a major catastrophic natural or man-made event to occur in the course of their lifetimes, at least 25% of Americans – fully 80 million – have taken no active steps to prepare themselves for disaster because they simply don’t believe it’s a possibility.
My guess is that these overwhelmingly under-prepared individuals will be the first ones screaming for FEMA to give them food.
To give you an idea, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012 within 3 days the system began to break down as transportation systems in large metro areas came to a halt. The only supplies available were being distributed by the National Guard and availability was so thin that FEMA had to place emergency orders for more food. There was no clean water, no gas, and grocery stores had been cleaned out to the point that people resorted to digging through the trash just to find a meal
The Congressional EMP Commission in 2012 estimates that, given the nation’s current unpreparedness, within one year of an EMP attack, (or a grid down situation) two-thirds of the U.S. population — 200 million Americans — would probably perish from starvation, disease and societal collapse.
As members of the Mormon Church, we have been warned about being prepared since the 1937 April Conference.
"Let every head of every household see to it that he has on hand enough food and clothing, and, where possible, fuel also, for at least a year ahead...." (President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., April 1937 General Conference)
Every prophet since 1937 has spoken about preparedness. Most recently, President Thomas S. Monson said:
“We should remember that the best storehouse system would be for every family in the Church to have a supply of food, clothing, and, where possible, other necessities of life.” Thomas S. Monson, 1st Presidency Message, September 2014
If you are not prepared and you are a member of the Church what’s your problem? I mean I don’t know how much clearer we as members need a warning! I want to be rude and say, “Are you stupid?” but I won’t.
Everyone has excuses. I’ve heard them all from real reasons to ridicules excuses. When we were first married, my wife had only been a member 5 years. When we moved into our first apartment she brought buckets of wheat. Little did she know that this was the beginning of her being an expert in cooking with food storage. We were in the military several years and we maintained a food storage. We have been through difficult and lean financial years, yet we still found the funds and the room for being prepared. There are very few reasons that I could accept for NOT working on preparedness. It can be done. It should be done. Have a plan and work your plan. I realize that plans will change with circumstances. We sent out a missionary and married off several kids while maintaining our preparedness. I know from personal experience it can be done. So what’s stopping you?
The opposite of fear is faith. What it takes is a small plan. Look at the basics (shelter, water, food, fire, security). Start small and build upon it. Find a place for your preparedness items. Take and maintain an inventory. Sacrifice for this and you will be blessed. Review your plan every 6 months to a year and adjust or expand it as necessary. Learn a new skill each year. Practice some of those skills. Involve your whole family and make it fun.
Every head of household in the Church should be ensuring the three P’s spoken of in The Proclamation. Preside, provide, and protect. Part of this responsibility is preparedness and self-sufficiency. I plead with you, do this. Start today and commit.

Semper Paratus
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