This was shared with me by a good friend who is in the Olathe Kansas Third Ward in Kansas.
Individual self-reliance and emergency preparedness has long been an important teaching and practice within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The First Presidency has said, “We encourage all members worldwide to prepare for adversity in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in savings. We ask that you be wise as you store food and water and build your savings. Do not go to extremes; it is not prudent, for example, to go into debt to establish your food storage all at once. With careful planning, you can, over time, establish a home storage supply and a financial reserve.”
In addition to this, we have been encouraged to prepare 72 – hour kits, have emergency communication plans, and more. With all of the various areas of Emergency Preparedness and Individual Self Reliance, it is easy to see how many families can become overwhelmed and wonder where they should start. From a church perspective, how are Ward Bishoprics and Emergency Preparedness specialists able to gauge the level of preparedness of their members? Unlike other metrics that are easily traceable within the Church, individual and family preparedness is more ambiguous and arbitrary.
Recognizing the vital importance of Emergency Preparedness, and in an effort to overcome some of these challenges, the Olathe Kansas Third Ward is implementing a new Emergency Preparedness Certification Program. The purpose of this document is to outline how this Program for individuals and families within the Olathe Third Ward.
The Stake Emergency Preparedness Certification Program’s primary objective is to increase the level of preparedness for the families and individuals within the Olathe Third Ward. In addition to this, other objectives are:
To overcome the misperception that emergency preparedness is just food storage.
Family education and planning for emergencies. Often time’s families are overwhelmed with the daunting task of emergency preparedness. This program will help individuals and families to take action in their planning and preparations.
Have a means for tracking the level of preparedness of each of the members.
The Program is designed to break down the overwhelming task of Emergency Preparedness into manageable groups/tasks that constitute a level of certification. The Program consists of four levels of certification, each one advancing the individual of family toward greater emergency preparedness. This merit – badge style approach helps individuals and families by identifying each area of preparedness that they need to work on and prioritizing them in order of importance.
The first level of certification is designed to be attainable by all members of the Ward within a reasonable amount of time. It focuses on preparing families for the most basic disaster preparedness. It is also more family oriented, whereas levels two and three tend to have requirements that will primarily involve the parents or heads of household. Each level helps to progress the individual and family towards greater preparedness. Careful planning and some sacrifice may be required to achieve all of these requirements, but sacrifice and obedience to counsel of the Prophets will undoubtedly bring peace and blessings to your family.
When you or your family has completed all of the requirements for a particular level of certification, please contact your Ward Emergency Preparedness Specialist.
Olathe Third Ward is putting together a training program to help those individuals who want to participate in this program. This will include workshops put on through Priesthood Quorums’, Relief Society, and Youth Groups. The workshops are designed to help individuals and families to achieve their goals that are outlined in each of the three certification levels that is the core of this program. An example of the workshops will include: Proper home food storage, meal preparation from home food storage, communications, and personal self-defense for both men and women, how to put together a 72 hour kit, first aid, CPR, and much, much, much more.
Here is a list of great resources for working on your Emergency and Family Preparedness: www.ProvidentLiving.org was created by the Church for this very purpose. This site has excellent information on food storage preparation, financial preparations, emergency communications, and much more. www.ready.gov is a FEMA website to help people with emergency preparedness. www.mormonshare.com has great ideas on all subject matters, including comprehensive 72 hour kits. www.preparedldsfamily.blagspot.com good site for ideas for preparing. www.ldsavow.com/propmanualgeneral.html The “LDS Preparedness Manual” which is a 550 page preparedness manual jam packed with ideas on emergency preparedness. This manual is downloadable and FREE.