Cover image: Hurricane Irma seen from space.
Heavenly Father has given us signs of events that will occur before the second coming to the Savior. Throughout time God has revealed these signs to His prophets who have recorded them so we can know and study them. He has said that all faithful followers of Christ will know what the signs are and will be watching for them. Why would He tell us of events to come? Could it be for the same reason we warn our children of dangers ahead, because He loves us and wants us to be prepared so we can minimize our suffering and our fears?
Paul warns: Thessalonians 5:1-6 “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.”
“Too often we bask in our comfortable complacency and rationalize that the ravages of war, economic disaster, famine and earthquakes cannot happen here. Those who believe this are either not acquainted with the revelations of the Lord, or they do not believe them.” Ezra Taft Benson
Do we believe the Lord? Will we do as Paul has taught, “Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.”?
Heavenly Father has warned us for a reason, now let us get serious and show our gratitude for that warning by heeding it and preparing.
After a disaster we often decide now is the time to prepare but it is easy to quickly forget the lessons to be learned. This week we will share what others have experienced and learned in recent natural disasters. I have commented on a few and on January 24th we will begin addressing each one and taking steps to make sure our experience with a disaster will ensure we thrive and don’t just survive.
“During the recent fires in Santa Rosa California the firehouse was destroyed.”
*We often fail to consider the damage to the infrastructure after a disaster. Two lessons to learn here: it may become more expensive to live in your community as repairs and replacement needs are addressed and two, we need to be prepared to care for our own needs as first responders may be unable to reach us if their equipment is no longer usable.
“We piled under layers of blankets and sleeping bags on the floor, we ran a generator for a few hours at night to drift off into a warm sleep. But when morning came, we were chilled to the bone.”
“All of us have really bad colds when the storm hit.”
“Things disappeared never to be seen again, at least not for a long time. Top missing supplies: Fuel, of all kinds for both heating and cooking, wood, charcoal, propane etc., Matches and lighters, Toilet paper, Paper plates and cups, plastic forks and knives, Batteries, Milk, Spark plugs (generators), 2 stroke motor oil, (chainsaws), Anything that could be used to wire a generator to the house, Extension cords, Medicines.”
“We spend our days shuttling back and forth between the hotel and the house, cleaning the house and cooking meals on the gas stove, which is one of the only things in the house that still works. We must wait for the landlord to work things out with his insurance company. As the days grow shorter, the place has become a damp breeding ground for mold. We have to bleach the walls, the bathroom, the kitchen cupboards, the fridge, everything.”
“My husband lost his job as a truck driver because he missed so much work after the storm.”
*This is not unusual. More than 40% of businesses never reopen after and storm. Many lose their jobs because transportation routes are no longer viable to get to work or time must be spent trying to work through the insurance maze or helping your family cope with the stress of loss.
“Our teens lost all of their school books and supplies in the flood. They just got their report cards, and they’re not doing very good. It’s hard to study when you have to go home to a destroyed home.”
*After a disaster you will need to pay close attention to the ways in which your children are coping. You will need to be patient and you may need to be more involved with your child’s school.
“The excitement and coolness of a major disaster wears off around day three.” And another wrote “The hours go by very slowly when the power is out and you get bored fast.”
“If you do not have water stored up you are in trouble. A couple of cases of bottled water is “NOT” water storage.”
“I was surprised how quickly normal social behavior goes out the window. I am not talking about someone cutting in line at the grocery store. But rather, the 3 people who were killed at gas stations within 50 miles of my home.”
*Being able to care for your needs in your home will help to keep you safe from the craziness on the streets. Whenever possible, plan to shelter in place unless specifically told to evacuate.
“Cash is king (all the money in your savings means nothing). ATMs were down and the power was out so no credit cards could be used.”
“You eat a lot more food when you are cold. We should have stored more”
“All the food storage in the world means nothing if your kids won’t eat it. You might be prepared to take care of your children and their needs, but what about when the neighborhood children start to show up at your door? Although neighbors can be a great resource, they can also be a huge drain on your emergency storage.”
“The electrical grid is way more fragile than I thought.”
*One of the biggest risks we have as a nation is failure of the electrical grid. The grid in the United States is in very bad condition and our enemies know it.
“Small solar charging gadgets will keep you in touch. Most work pretty well it seems.”
*These are particularly good for charging cell phones, HAM radios and running small appliances.
“Think of the things that are your comfort, your escape, a cup of hot chocolate, a glass of milk and a ding dong before bed. Stock up on those too. You will need that comfort after day 3.”
*Adults as well as children need reassurance and the feeling that everything will work out. Comfort foods go a long way to meet this need.
“We are all entirely dependent on outside sources of everything.
If trucks stop rolling due to road damage, or gas shortages you are without for a long time. We learned that fast.”
*Grocery stores normally stock only a two day supply in their back rooms. Shelves will empty much faster than you think and there will be no more until delivery trucks can get back in.
“Just because you think you are prepared for a storm doesn’t mean you are. I know I have enough flashlights for every member of my family and that I have a basket full of batteries sitting in my closet. Yet, somehow, almost all the flashlights have disappeared and I am almost completely out of AA and D batteries. Keep a flashlight next to your bed at night and if you are going out and will be coming back after dark, take a flashlight with you.”
“Having a battery powered or a hand crank radio can be a lifeline when the power goes out.”
*Yes! Also consider a HAM radio. That will help you get information from a much greater geographic area and also allow two way communications.
“If you must leave animals behind do not lock them in the house. Many animals survived the fire because they were left loose. Many who did not survive had been left in the home or cages”
“Mail will still be delivered. After the Santa Rosa fire the mail was delivered even when there was no home left to deliver it to. Where the mailbox was destroyed the mail was left on the ground, so federal law.”
“ Be sure to report all losses to insurance companies even if you think you have reach the maximum you are covered for. Insurance companies can reduce the amount paid you as they calculate not on replacement cost but on depreciated value.”
“You are never really prepared to go weeks without power, heat, water etc. Never!”
“Yes it can happen to you! I didn’t believe it either but I do now.”
“Fill your freezer. Not only does a full freezer stay cold longer, but by freezing as much water as you can in advance, you will have a nice supply of very solid blocks of ice to stash and use for water.”
“Gas appliances totally rock.”
“Keep a corded phone somewhere in your house. Our cell phone only worked occasionally.”
“My home was fine but I am renting and my landlord lost his home so I lost mine as they wanted to move in.”
“The government can’t do everything. Citizens didn’t prepare as well as they could have. New York City is a place where, in normal times, you can get any kind of food you want delivered to your door at any hour of the day or night. But when times aren’t normal, you need to have some food in your pantry.”
For those who have been reading here at Meridian or following on facebook you have heard much of this before. Now you have heard it from survivors. Let us all learn from their experiences so we don’t have to suffer the same as they did. Let us be those who thrive and don’t just survive.
* comments I added
How is your binder coming? If you have not been building it now is the time to recommit. Start today by going to https://www.facebook.com/TotallyReady/ and copy the posts the fo related to preparing when you know a disaster is approaching. Begin with the following:
December 29th post
October 7th post
September 6th post
Please join our facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/TotallyReady/ and share your own experiences with surviving a disaster.