Saturday, March 03, 2007

Tip: 1st Aid Kit

I was reading recently in the book Emergency Preparedness and Survival Guide, a publication by the Backwoods Home Magazine people. I'm not familiar much with their website or what else they have, but their book is great because it delineates clearly many simple principles in helping your family lived a preparedness lifestyle.

Some may get tired of hearing that we need to take care of our families in this way. But I think that after seeing the devastation, the despair, and the frustration of the people hurt by Hurricane Katrina, individuals around the world have a better idea of how sudden a disaster can occur...even with warning.

Hey, it wasn't like we didn't know it was coming. Whether it was complacency or some other factor, there were people whose families were torn apart by the tragedy caused by that mighty storm. Some people were NOT able to leave and how frightening for them to have this thing tearing up their surroundings. But for those who could have left and didn't, ouch. Hindsight can be very painful.

That hurricane was out there in the gulf for a few days. Forecasters had been talking about it. It wasn't an eency-weency storm. Yet all along the coast, people were still caught-off guard by its fury--even the natives of the state. Even of the people who COULD leave, some didn't. The "government" cannot be in all times and places, folks. It is unrealistic, numerically impossible, and impractical to think so.


All this, from a disaster that was public knowledge. What about those sudden disasters that come without warning? That brings me to the first page of the book I have in front of me, Emergency Preparedness and Survival Guide. The author of the first chapter, Gary F. Arnet, D.D.S. points to the complacency of our society. He mentions the people lined up to get bandaids after a California earthquake (Ibid., p. 3) Bandaids!

These weren't the severely injured, but those people who presumably had scratches and bruises. They needed bandaids. One could presume that perhaps these people weren't able to get to their homes to get to the bandaids. But what if it's as the author states, that they simply hadn't bothered ever to purchase a 1st aid kit? Now THAT is being unprepared.

The whole point, folks, is that there really are things we need to take responsibility for. As Dr. Arnet states in his article, these people were impeding the progress of the medical personnel trying to deal with the truly injured.

So do you have a 1st aid kit for your home? It would be wise also to obtain one for each car. It would be even better to have a tiny sandwich bag of at least bandaids and ointment, safety pins, etc. for your purse, backpack, briefcase, or desk.

In the case of Hurricane Katrina, that hurricane's arrival was not a surprise. But in many instances, we have no notice.

Tip: Get your 1st aid kits today. And remember to put one in each of your kid's school backpacks.

Spiritual Preparedness

I feel that somehow I've been remiss in the posts I've shared thus far. It has occurred to me that I've overlooked the most important element of a preparedness lifestyle (remember the adage that "Preparedness is a lifestyle, not a one time event"):

Spiritual Preparedness is that missing element in my posts here.

We can read many scriptures that speak of the last days. Each of us probably have our favorite ones, or if not favorites, at least ones familiar to us. What is the common thread through most of those? That common thread is simply "If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear."

No where could anything be more importantly "prepared" than the private chambers of our own heart, mind, and soul.

So how are we doing? How am I doing? How are you doing? If called upon to appear before the judgment seat of Christ, would I squirm? Would I rejoice? My daily choices NOW will determine my response THEN.

So yes, absolutely, spiritual preparedness must be discussed, pondered, and acted upon by those who seek to be prepared in all things. Indeed, being prepared is a lifestyle, not a one time event.

In no topic is that more true than seeking daily to know the Savior by serving as He did while upon the earth. No topic is more true than seeking daily to purify ourselves so that we can stand in His presence, rejoicing rather than wanting to hide.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Tip: Take Care of Medical Needs

Remember that preparedness is a lifestyle, NOT a one time event. Thus, it influences every facet of our lives.

Therefore, get in the habit of taking care of your medical needs now...and those of your family members. For example, if you need a tooth extraction, call today to set the appointment. If you need to have a physical exam (and you've been putting it off), call the doctor today to set up the appointment.

Be proactive with your medical needs. Learn to think a few months in advance. If your company has a mail-order pharmacy program, take advantage of it. It may be difficult to have a year's supply of medicine, but at least you can have a three-month supply on hand (if your company offers that).

One never knows what kind of upheaval either your personal life might take or perhaps that your community or society might experience. If you are prepared, you will experience less fear. Nothing would be worse than truly needing a root canal and now you can't get one. Or being in pain and not able to get relief.

Tip: Take care of your medical needs now! Today! Make that phone call.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Quote: Bruce R. McConkie

It is one of the sad heresies of our time that peace will be gained by weary diplomats as they prepare treaties of compromise, or that the Millennium will be ushered in because men will learn to live in peace and to keep the commandments, or that the predicted plagues and promised desolations of latter days can in some way be avoided.

We must do all we can to proclaim peace, to avoid war, to heal disease, to prepare for natural disaster -- but with it all, that which is to be shall be.

We do not know when the calamities and troubles of the last days will fall upon any of us individuals or upon bodies of the Saints. The Lord deliberatley withholds from us the day and hour of his coming and of the tribulations which shall precede it -- all as part of the testing and probationary experiences of mortality. He simply tells us to watch and be ready"
Ensign, May 1979, p. 93).

Interestingly enough, this was spoken nearly 30 years ago. Elder McConkie's words still hold true. There is much we can do to bless the lives of others and to prepare our families, friends and loved ones, and even our communities to help assuage suffering. But there is no sense in trying to hold back prophesy. That would be rather like trying to impede the progress of a tsunami with a lone hand.

Instead, let us do all in our power to do what we've been asked to do. Then we can confidently stand back and allow the Lord to do His part in these important moments in the history of this world. Let's get busy and Get Prepared Now! :0)

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Tip: High Quality Sleeping Bags

Here's a tip. Let's assume you live in upstate New York and the power goes out. And stays out. For days on end--and it's in the heart of winter.

Just think how your family will thank you, because you previously purchased high quality sleeping bags for every family member.

Start watching now for sales on high quality sleeping bags. Not just the cheap Walmart kind, but the kind that are rated to go down in temperature in matching manner to your worst winter storms. That way if your home loses power, you and your little ones can still stay warm while sleeping!

Tip: Get a high quality sleeping bag for each member of the family.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Quote: President James E. Faust

It is my testimony that we are facing difficult times. We must be courageously obedient. My witness is that we will be called upon to prove our spiritual stamina, for the days ahead will be filled with affliction and difficulty. But with the assuring comfort of a personal relationship with God, we will be given a calming courage. From Divine so near we will receive the quiet assurance. (President James E. Faust, Ensign, January 1999, p. 5).

We need not fear, but we best be getting ready...spiritually and in every way possible. Then the climb up the "spiritual mountaintop" will be more full of glorious vistas then painful muscle strains. :0)

Monday, February 26, 2007

Tip: Prioritize

OK, if you aren't very "emergency prepared," I can relate. I wasn't either for a long time. In fact, I remember standing in a Walmart check out line astonished at the amount of batteries and fuel the guy in front of me was buying. "Wow, he must be planning a big camping trip," I said to the checkout clerk when it was my turn for my purchases.

She looked at me like I had a big hornet on my nose. "Uhhhhh, no." Long pause. Confused look in my direction. "Uh, he's buying that for the hurricane."

"The hurricane," I asked, still cutely bemused.

Now I must have had two hornets on my nose, because I will never forget the look she flashed me. "UH, yeah, the hurricane. Like the category 5 hurricane heading right for us in two days!"

"Wow," was about all I could muster. Sheepishly I paid for my purchases and hurried home. I flipped on the weather channel. Where had I been? With all the evacuations? With all the plywood-purchasing-people scurrying home? How had I missed it all?

Actually I knew how I'd missed it. I rarely watch TV or (during that time) read the newspaper. And somehow I now had a hurricane 5 barreling down, making a beeline for my home town.

The next 36 hours were crazy. I didn't have anything ready. My important papers were scattered in various places, drawers and files and boxes in the garage, etc. I didn't have 72 hour kits ready for my family. I didn't have any of my creative works ready to take in an evacuation, let alone photos, etc.

Fortunately for us (and quite sadly for others) the hurricane suddenly veered, just two hours from striking my area. But I learned my lesson the very-nearly-hard way. Getting prepared slowly and consistently is far better than freaking out and throwing everything in a basket. Definitely NOT the way to do things.

So here's quick tip: Get Prepared Now! Write down the top five or six priorities of what you'd just die if you lost in a storm. (Hint: you might start with your children, husband, and dog. ) Put those priorities on individual index cards. Then place them in order of importance (after your family, of course).

Tape the first card to the fridge. Every time you walk by that card, you'll be reminded that you're working on that priority. Perhaps it's finding all your important papers and putting them in a ziploc/waterproof bag. Perhaps it's finishing that scrapbook with the one of a kind photos (that then goes in the trunk of your car if you needed to evacuate). Perhaps it's rounding up all of your photographic negatives and placing them in a safe deposit box at the bank.

Whatever the priority is, keep on the first one until it's done. Set a deadline so you don't become complacent. Reward yourself when you've accomplished your goal. Then tape the next card to the fridge and begin working on that priority (maybe it's mailing a copy of your important papers to your out-of-state contact or maybe it's creating 72 hours kits for each family member or car or kid's backpack, etc.).

When you've completed all five or so priorities, pat yourself on the back. You'll be in a much better place than I was back in 2004!

Remember: Emergency Preparedness is a lifestyle, not a one time event!

Summary: Prioritize your emergency prep needs and get started today completing each one, one at a time!