Saturday, February 17, 2007

President Ezra Taft Benson

President Benson:

"You do not need to go into debt, may I add, to obtain a year’s supply. Plan to build up your food supply just as you would a savings account. Save a little for storage each pay-check. Can or bottle fruit and vegetables from your gardens and orchards. Learn how to preserve food through drying and possibly freezing. Make your storage a part of your budget. Store seeds and have sufficient tools on hand to do the job. If you are saving and planning for a second car or a TV set or some item which merely adds to your comfort or pleasure, you may need to change your priorities. We urge you to do this prayerfully and do it now.

"...I have seen what the days of tribulation can do to people. I have seen hunger stalk the streets of Europe. I have witnessed the appalling, emaciated shadows of human figures. I have seen women and children scavenge army garbage dumps for scraps of food. Those scenes and nameless faces cannot be erased from my memory.

"I shall never forget the Saints of Hamburg who appeared on the verge of collapse from starvation, or their small children whom I invited to come to the stand as we emptied our pockets of edibles. Most had never seen these items before because of the wartime conditions. Nor can I forget the expectant and nursing mothers whose eyes watered with tears when we gave them each an orange. We saw the terrible physical and social side effects of hunger and malnutrition. One sister walked over a thousand miles with four small children, leaving her home in Poland. She lost all four to starvation and the freezing conditions. Yet she stood before us in her emaciated condition, her clothing shredded, and her feet wrapped in burlap, and bore testimony of how blessed she was.

"I cannot forget the French Saints who, unable to obtain bread, used potato peelings for the emblems of the sacrament. Nor will I ever forget the faith of the Dutch Saints who accepted our suggestion to grow potatoes to alleviate their own starving conditions, and then sent a portion of their first harvest to the German people who had been their bitter enemies. The following year they sent them the entire harvest. The annals of Church history have seldom recorded a more Christlike act of love and compassion.

"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 acquainted with the revelations of the Lord, or they do not believe them. Those who smugly think these calamities will not happen, that they somehow will be set aside because of the righteousness of the Saints, are deceived and will rue the day they harbored such a delusion.

"The Lord has warned and forewarned us against a day of great tribulation and given us counsel, through His servants, on how we can be prepared for these difficult times. Have we heeded His counsel?" (emphasis added, Ezra Taft Benson, “Prepare for the Days of Tribulation,” Ensign, Nov. 1980, 32)

Friday, February 16, 2007

Tip: Identify local help

Quick tip: How is your city or town set up to handle emergencies? What are their plans?

Lest we think this doesn't matter, we need look no farther than what happened during (or better put, after) Hurricane Katrina. If your officials don't have a solid plan, that places far more responsibility on you.

Some might even argue that regardless of what your community's plans are, you must prepare and be ready for self-sustaining activities for at LEAST 72 hours. Depending on the emergency, some roads are so extensively blocked that aid can't get in. Period.

My husband viewed this when traveling great distances to help hurricane victims in 2004. It was so frustrating to be on one side of a huge morass of trees, knowing that it's impeding people's abilities to get to people on the other side. There are only so many helicopters to go around.

But still, it is essential to learn from your community leaders how you would be warned should there be an emergency.

Find out where they're most likely to station food aid, ice, diapers, etc., after an emergency.

What kind of assistance is there for the elderly? The disabled? Small children?

My son the first two years of life needed electricity, due to his nebulizer and other medical needs. If electricity stopped working, we would have had serious problems.


TIP: Call your main county office to find out which individual or office can get you this information. Then call that office and ask at least the above questions. Write them down in a new notebook that will become your emergency notebook. This will be something you'd keep in your 72-hour kit. It will have all your important information.

Ah, but builidng that will be an assignment for another day. If you don't have a 72-hour kits yet for your family, write that down on your calendar for sometime in the next 7 days! At least for today, call your county and learn your community's preparations for disasters. If they have none, volunteer to at least get them started!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Quote: President Ezra Taft Benson

President Benson:

"An almost forgotten means of economic self-reliance is the home production of food. We are too accustomed to going to stores and purchasing what we need. By producing some of our food we reduce, to a great extent, the impact of inflation on our money. More importantly, we learn how to produce our own food and involve all family members in a beneficial project. No more timely counsel, I feel, has been given by President Kimball than his repeated emphasis to grow our own gardens. Here is one sample of his emphasis over the past seven years:

“'We encourage you to grow all the food that you feasibly can on your own property. Berry bushes, grapevines, fruit trees—plant them if your climate is right for their growth. Grow vegetables and eat them from your own yard.' (Ensign, May 1976, p. 124).

"Many of you have listened and done as President Kimball counseled, and you have been blessed for it. Others have rationalized that they had no time or space. May I suggest you do what others have done. Get together with others and seek permission to use a vacant lot for a garden, or rent a plot of ground and grow your gardens. Some elders quorums have done this as a quorum, and all who have participated have reaped the benefits of a vegetable and fruit harvest and the blessings of cooperation and family involvement. Many families have dug up lawn space for gardens.

"We encourage you to be more self-reliant so that, as the Lord has declared, 'notwithstanding the tribulation which shall descend upon you, … the church may stand independent above all other creatures beneath the celestial world” (D&C 78:14). The Lord wants us to be independent and self-reliant because these will be days of tribulation. He has warned and forewarned us of the eventuality.
(Ezra Taft Benson, “Prepare for the Days of Tribulation,” Ensign, Nov. 1980, 32.)

President Benson's words are as applicable now as any time in the history of the world.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Quote: President Joseph Fielding Smith

Get a load of this quote:

"We have had ample warning. We have been told of the calamities that are coming. We have been taught how we might avoid them, how we might be protected, if we would only hear the counsels that come to us, heed the testimony of truth. If we fail we cannot escape....Do not think we have reached a condition where things could not be worse. Unless there is repentance they will be worse (President Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, vol. III, p. 31).

That was spoken decades ago!

Let's get busy.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Tip: Memorize scriptures

What if your children get stuck somewhere in a frightening situation? How will they comfort themselves until help arrives? Prayer is a wonderful thing and so too is the ability to keep the mind calm and busy.

One of the best ways to help children do this is to teach them fun AND serious poems, in addition to scriptural verses and hymns. Have this become a family activity where your family memorizes one poem or hymn or scripture verse a week.

Certain prisoners of war who had knowledge at their mental disposal were able to keep themselves mentally occupied during very stressful times. Certainly we hope our children never be exposed to such rigors.

But in thinking of the tragedy that happened February 12, 2007 in Salt Lake City, I think it is important our children are not only physically prepared to handle emergencies, but also be mentally prepared.

When that gunman opened fire 2/12/07 on the Trolley Square Mall shoppers, many of them holed up for hours in closets, under stairs and in other hidden places. If my child were there, I would want him or her to be able to focus on something uplifting during such a stressful time.

Thus, I think part of emergency preparedness can be successfully found in "stocking up" on inspirational thoughts, hymns or scriptures to feed a troubled heart until help can arrive.

Tip: Memorize scriptures, etc.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Tip: Medic Alert bracelet

If you have any serious health issues and do not yet have one of these bracelets to alert "first responders", consider getting/ordering one today!

Here is just one sample site I found in less than 15 seconds on the web. Please be advised that when ever making important decisions, you need to carefully and prayerfully make your own decision of who to trust, rely on, and purchase from. Not knowing this company, I don't know their business practices. But it is a starting point for you to begin your research...should you need a Medic Alert bracelet! :0)

One sample Medic Alert site

Tip: If you or a family member needs a medical bracelet or identifying item, get one today!