Ready or Not #169: Prepare for Disaster

Tax time is here, and for all of you that are getting tax refunds, what are you going to do with it?   Yes, that 60” plasma TV might be really enticing and a vacation would be a lot of fun, but can I make a suggestion?  Here it comes – BUY FOOD STORAGE!  Upgrade your 72 hr. kit!  Get prepared!  I know, no big surprise, after all you are reading my article!  Do you have your water stored?  Yes, you knew that was coming too.  (Two gallons per person, per day, for a two week period.)

How many times do I need to say this before you actually do it instead of just thinking about it?  I get a lot of feedback from people who say that they like my ideas and suggestions, “but I just haven’t gotten around to doing them yet.”  The ideas that I share with you really aren’t that hard to do and they aren’t that expensive – remember, I’m cheap and I don’t do expensive.  Mostly I am asking you to spend time and maybe just a little bit of money.  It is all doable – just do it!

Go to the Ready or Not section at and you will find that my first seven or so articles are all about emergency preparation for potentially dire situations, making kits to help you in an emergency and getting your water stored.  Go read them as a refresher and get your family together to prepare – as a family.

I know that even if you have been living under a rock, you have still heard about the devastating earthquakes, first in Haiti, then Chile, Taiwan, and now in Japan.  I haven’t heard much about Taiwan or Japan, but Haiti and Chile are still having some really fierce aftershocks; most of the aftershocks would be considered a really big earthquake just on their own merit!

The earth seems to be going through some pretty dramatic shifting recently and we live in earthquake country.  Have you been building your 72 hr. kit?  How about your Under-the-bed/Nightstand kit – is it in place and ready to use?

The mission president and his wife in the Santiago East Chile Mission are a couple that I attended high school with, Larry and Lisa Laycock.  I can’t think of more competent people to handle such a horrific situation.  Just in their mission alone they have over 171 full-time missionaries under their care and fortunately they are all safe because Pres. and Sister Laycock prepared all of their missionaries for an earthquake/disaster before the earthquake happened.  Because of their foresight and training, all of the young men and women are safe and have been accounted for.  Did you see that?  They PREPARED all of the missionaries AHEAD OF TIME and they ALL knew exactly what their PLAN OF ACTION was if they had an earthquake or other disaster.

I e-mailed Pres. Laycock and he gave me permission to share the letter that they sent to their family.  You can read the letter in full that Lisa wrote about their ordeal and preparation.  If you want to see any additional updates on their situation go to their site at:

A question that I have is how many of those young missionaries in Chile and Haiti has CERT training and knows what needs to be done in the aftermath of an earthquake or disaster and how to do it safely?   Nineteen and twenty one year old young men and women are still very young and most will not have any experience with disaster type situations, but they can be trained.  Getting your family members CERT certified when they are still at home will help them when they leave to start living their own lives whether it be to serve a mission, go to college, or start their own family.  You can’t protect them from life, but you can give them the skills to better be able to take care of themselves.

If you missed the CERT training during March in Salem, then check out the training schedules at Provo City, , or find out when your city will be offering the training – yes, it is that important.  This is not an article to scare you into frantically getting ready, but instead I would encourage you to think that, as my friend Connie would say, “It is a time for a calm urgency.”  It all comes down to “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.”

You might be stressed and the situation might be frustrating during a disaster, but if you have prepared and have your water, food and other emergency items in place, then your situation is going to be so much less fearful and much more manageable.   Now, what were you going to spend that tax refund on?

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