Dreaming Big Living Small

What is emergency preparedness?  The four key parts of being prepared

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When most people think about emergency preparedness, they tend to think about being prepared for a natural disaster.  I think this is extremely important after the flash floods we dealt with back in 2015 while living on the coast. Thankfully for us, the ground was mostly sand and drained well, but in town, they weren’t so lucky. Roads were flooding up to people’s porches, hillsides slid down pushing multiple homes partially off their foundation, people were forced out of their homes with little to no warning and most had nothing to take with them.

I think it’s extremely important to be prepared for these things and our family continues to work on this to this day.

As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe in being physically, intellectually, socially, and spiritually prepared.  So, what other things might we consider an emergency and how can we be prepared?

Exactly one month after the day of our wedding, I got a call from Alex.  He had headed to work only a short time before. When I answered the phone, he said “I’ve lost my job, I’ll be home soon.” I remember standing there in complete disbelief. How could this happen? How were we going to afford our bills? How would we buy food?  His “I’ll be home soon” seemed like an eternity as he cleaned out his office and made the half-hour drive home.   

Physical Preparedness

If you’ve never been laid off, you might think that it’s not a big deal because you get unemployment but, it isn’t much in comparison to a full-time job.  We hadn’t even been married long enough to build up much food storage, but we took his severance and stocked up on some things.

Gathering food for physical preparedness
Gathering food for physical preparedness

My parents also blessed us with some basics like flour, sugar, and other things that we used to make bread and cook meals. Building up food storage is a huge part of being physically prepared, not just in the case of natural disasters, but in the case of job loss.

You should have a plan in place. Have some emergency supplies. While not everyone can prepare in advance with tons of food on the shelf, at least making the effort will start you down the right path. Check out this article on preparing a 72-hour kit to get help with making your short-term emergency kits.

Intellectual Preparedness

When I first heard about being intellectually prepared, it made me think of the college education I never completed. But when I sat back and pondered this more, I realized that even those with the greatest college educations are of little use if they don’t put their knowledge into practice. I don’t believe you MUST have a college degree to fulfill this portion of being prepared.

Preparing with book knowledge
Gather books that can teach you new skills

Over the years I have gained different life skills that have helped me and my family. I can cook nutritious meals, I know how to clean our home, I can sew and mend clothing, and safely make candles that can give off light and heat in the case that we lose power.  I’ve learned how to make soap that can wash hands, bodies, clothing, and dishes.

I’ve spent time learning how to care for animals that provide us with food and how to garden. With that small start has come the knowledge of how to save seeds from different plants and how to use the plants for both food and medicine. Also, knowing how to draft plans and using different power tools to carry out those plans has been a valuable skill.

Spending time learning new skills will always be valuable. We have all heard of book smart vs street smart. Having intellectual knowledge and implementing it is the perfect balance between the two. Don’t just read a bunch of books and do nothing with the knowledge. Instead, learn and implement what you just learned. Test these new skills for yourself.

Social Preparedness

Now, what does it mean to be socially prepared? In my book, that means to be part of something bigger than yourself or even your family. What you don’t know, someone else might.  This could include your whole local community or even just a smaller community of people you trust.

Having people from all walks of life brings so many great blessings. I’ve talked to a friend who has built a small community of people who come together to exchange their skills and knowledge.

In the case of the crap hits the fan situation, they have people who know how to hunt or raise and butcher animals, those who have training in emergency medical situations, those who know how to help with the delivery of a baby, and those who can garden and know how to safely preserve the food.  All of these are important.  What is something you could bring to the table in a group setting?

Seek out those you get along with the best with varied skills. Work towards building a group that you can rely on. Know what you can bring to the table. It’s not just about relying on others but growing a community where you all mutually support each other.

Spiritual Preparedness

The last part of this is spiritual preparedness.  I saved this one for last, but I believe it is the most important in the world we live in today.  Whether you call it the last days or the rapture, as followers of Christ, we know the days ahead are going to be hard.  I really love this quote…

Preparing spiritually by studying scriptures
Preparing spiritually by studying scriptures

“In the coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, and comforting influence of the Holy Ghost” – Russell M. Nelson

So, what can we do? For me, it’s time spent in the scriptures and in prayer. 

Last year members of our church studied the Old Testament as part of our Come, Follow Me curriculum. I enjoyed learning from Isaiah and Daniel. This year we are studying from the New Testament, and I’m excited for the end of the year when we get to study the book of Revelation. Now you might be saying “Woah, those are hard to understand” and you would be right, they’re not easy books to understand.

I have struggled all my life to have a greater understanding of these but in the last couple of years, I have found some books by Michael B. Rush that I like, and they have helped me to dig deeper and to have a greater understanding of the things which are to come.

In Michael’s third book, Revelation (https://amzn.to/3xhdnlj), he talks about why these books are harder to understand. He states, “John’s revelation is the culminating fulcrum of any study regarding the latter days. As such, why was it written in such a cryptic nature? It could have been written plainly, but it was not. Let’s not forget that John was not the only one to witness the events of the last days. Many others saw them as well. Nephi, the brother of Jared, Ezra, Daniel, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Zechariah, Joel, Either, and Moroni all saw these same things, and this is not an exhaustive list.” (Rush 7)

He goes on to say “I have come to believe there are several reasons for the cryptic nature of this subject matter. First, it was a means of preserving the content for an intended audience.  It is clear that someone removed certain plain and precious truths from the Bible. Cryptic writings were much harder to censor because their true meanings were masked. Second, the subject matter is of such spectacular nature that if it were to be written plainly, nobody would believe it anyway. Third, the events of the last days are intended to sift people into two groups, wheat, and tares. Therefore, the Lord wanted this information to be limited to the wheat. The Lord’s purpose for using parables was similar. It was a way of safeguarding content from passive audiences.” (Rush 9)

I believe as we take the time to stop and study, not just read, we will gain a greater understanding of the things which are to come and we will be better prepared to stand against the adversary in the last days.

If you want to check out Michael’s books, the links are below.

A Remnant Shall Return – https://amzn.to/40I0cYl

Daniel 11 – https://amzn.to/3jSxnHX

Revelation – https://amzn.to/3xhdnlj

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Picture of Ashley
Wife to Alex & mother to our four children. I spend my days homeschooling our children and running my candle business. I enjoy getting outside and working in the garden or going hiking and taking photos.

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