Sunday, May 15, 2011

Make Preparing for Emergencies a Family Affair

Putting together a 72-hour kit can be something that just doesn't make it to the to-do list. Here is a clever idea  suggested by a mom in Las Vegas on how to get everyone involved in the process. Many of us have most of what we need, it is just scattered throughout the house. By having everyone join together to gather it, the entire family learns a little about the need to be prepared. You can then make a list of the items you are missing as a family and work to collect those as your budget allows.

Emergency Preparedness Game

Often when I watch the news on television, I see reports of natural disasters. With each new report, I am reminded of the counsel given by Church leaders to be prepared. Since our family did not have an emergency supply kit and preparing one seemed overwhelming, I wanted to find a doable solution. As my husband and I counseled together, we realized that we didn’t have to accomplish the task alone—we could enlist our children’s help.
To involve everyone and make preparing for an emergency seem fun instead of daunting or upsetting, we decided to have a scavenger hunt as part of family home evening. Together we could gather items for an emergency preparedness kit. Considering family members’ individual needs, I made a list of supplies for our search. For starters, the baby would need a bottle, formula, and diapers, while my husband would need sturdy clothes and work gloves. I also found ideas from information I had saved from Home, Family, and Personal Enrichment lessons.
At the start of our family night, we discussed possible natural disaster situations and the importance of being prepared so we don’t have to be afraid. After our discussion, we divided our family into teams and gave each group an empty laundry basket and part of our list. Then we had our scavenger hunt throughout the house, collecting the needed supplies. The children had a great time gathering the items and choosing which clothing to include. Within an hour, we had items for a complete emergency kit—tailored for our family’s needs. What once had seemed an overwhelming task became a fun activity for our family, and we now feel better prepared should an emergency arise.Windy L. Hasson, Celeste Ward, Las Vegas Nevada Sandstone Stake

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints offers helpful suggestions for preparing emergency supplies in a booklet titled Essentials of Home Production and Storage (item no. 32288; U.S. $.75), available in distribution centers. Regarding emergency storage, the booklet advises everyone to have portable containers with the following: water; food requiring no refrigeration or cooking; medications and critical medical histories as needed; change of clothing, including sturdy shoes and two pairs of socks; sanitary supplies; first aid booklet and equipment; candles; waterproof matches; ax; shovel; can opener; and blankets (see p. 7). The booklet also recommends preparing a portable packet with valuable family documents, such as family history records.

Source: Sept 2002 Ensign

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