“Earthquake Drill,” Ensign, Dec. 1994, 58–59
Responding to the need for family preparedness, our family periodically sets aside a family home evening to teach and practice different preparedness skills.
One Monday evening just before dinner, my husband, Richard, and I turned off every light in the house except the kitchen light. When dinner was over, Richard got up and turned off the kitchen light as well. At the same moment, I told our children we were having an earthquake drill. The children and I scrambled under the table while my husband took refuge in the kitchen doorway. We talked to each other throughout the “quake,” reassuring ourselves of each other’s safety, just like we would do if the quake were real.
After two or three minutes, we told our children that the imaginary earthquake was over but that it had left us with no electricity. We asked the children to show us what they would do if we were not with them. The children led us through the dark house to the shelf where we keep our emergency supplies—an emergency pack for each member of the family as well as flashlights and extra batteries.
We then pretended that we could smell gas, and we taught our oldest son how to turn off the gas, water, and power before we evacuated the house. We secured the house, grabbed our emergency packs, and climbed into the car.
Making believe that the nearest safe place to go was the ward meetinghouse, we drove there and unloaded our packs. We sat down in a circle to talk about the things we had done during our earthquake drill and what we would do next.
We located our emergency notebooks kept in the handy outside pockets of our emergency packs. In these notebooks are the names, birth dates, and other pertinent information for each member of the family. There is also a list of telephone numbers of extended family members and friends, including the number of a contact person living outside our geographic area.
On another page is an inventory of everything in the emergency pack and basic instructions on how to use some of the items. There is also a list of simple games and activities to help the children pass the time.
We then discussed the proper use of each item in our packs. Our Scout-age sons told us how we could build a shelter with the piece of rope and the ground sheet. My husband reviewed the contents of the first-aid kits and showed us how to do various types of bandaging. We ended the evening by reading from copies of the Book of Mormon we had in our emergency packs.
When we returned home and replaced our supplies on the shelf, we were grateful that the experience had only been a trial run. We know, however, that if a disaster ever does strike, we will already have made an important step toward realizing the Lord’s promise “if ye are prepared ye shall not fear” (D&C 38:30).—Brenda Molnar, Abbotsford, British Columbia