“Emergency Preparedness Game,” Ensign, Sept. 2002, 73
Often when I watch the news on television, I see reports of natural disasters. With each new report, I am reminded of the counsel given by Church leaders to be prepared. Since our family did not have an emergency supply kit and preparing one seemed overwhelming, I wanted to find a doable solution. As my husband and I counseled together, we realized that we didn’t have to accomplish the task alone—we could enlist our children’s help.
To involve everyone and make preparing for an emergency seem fun instead of daunting or upsetting, we decided to have a scavenger hunt as part of family home evening. Together we could gather items for an emergency preparedness kit. Considering family members’ individual needs, I made a list of supplies for our search. For starters, the baby would need a bottle, formula, and diapers, while my husband would need sturdy clothes and work gloves. I also found ideas from information I had saved from Home, Family, and Personal Enrichment lessons.
At the start of our family night, we discussed possible natural disaster situations and the importance of being prepared so we don’t have to be afraid (see D&C 38:30). After our discussion, we divided our family into teams and gave each group an empty laundry basket and part of our list. Then we had our scavenger hunt throughout the house, collecting the needed supplies. The children had a great time gathering the items and choosing which clothing to include. Within an hour, we had items for a complete emergency kit—tailored for our family’s needs. What once had seemed an overwhelming task became a fun activity for our family, and we now feel better prepared should an emergency arise.—Windy L. Hasson, Celeste Ward, Las Vegas Nevada Sandstone Stake
The Church offers helpful suggestions for preparing emergency supplies in a booklet titled Essentials of Home Production and Storage (item no. 32288; U.S. $.75), available in distribution centers. Regarding emergency storage, the booklet advises everyone to have portable containers with the following: water; food requiring no refrigeration or cooking; medications and critical medical histories as needed; change of clothing, including sturdy shoes and two pairs of socks; sanitary supplies; first aid booklet and equipment; candles; waterproof matches; ax; shovel; can opener; and blankets (see p. 7). The booklet also recommends preparing a portable packet with valuable family documents, such as family history records.