Filed under: Basic Beliefs of Mormons, Gospel Principles, Practices & Precepts, Preparedness
The recent Japanese tsunami has brought attention to the fact that in an emergency, it is often difficult to purchase food and water. Because normal deliveries are halted and many stores are closed, people find themselves running short of critical supplies in a crisis.
Mormon beliefs include storing enough food, water, money, and other supplies to be used in emergencies. Many people misunderstand this belief, considering it hoarding or a last-days scenario. However, many people use these supplies during critical times in their lives, such as natural disasters or unemployment.
You might remember that in the Old Testament, Joseph (famous for his coat of many colors) was freed from prison after interpreting Pharaoh’s dream about seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine. He suggested the Pharaoh needed to prepare for the famine by storing food ahead during the years of plenty and that God had been teaching him this through the dream. God has often taught his people the importance of preparation.
Mormons don’t stockpile the food in the basement and forget about it. They use what they store and rotate it. When grocery day comes around, they shop from their food storage for non-perishables and then replace it when they shop at a regular store. This allows them to cut food costs. Since they have everything they need, they can shop only when items are on sale. They can also purchase in bulk, which helps keep costs lower. If poor weather conditions cause the price of sugar to rise, they can use their stored sugar and not replace it until prices go down again.
Mormons have three types of storage. The first is a 72-hour kit. This portable storage has what they might need to take with them if they have to evacuate suddenly and need to care for themselves for 72 hours. This includes food, hygiene materials, blankets and pillows, scriptures, and other necessities. It can also include entertainment items for children who may get bored quickly in a shelter.
The second type of storage is a three-month supply. This includes everything a person needs to survive for three months. It often includes the most common foods the family eats, cleaning and hygiene materials, pet food, and anything else that would be useful in helping a family spend no money for three months. Read more
When people learn that Mormons are taught to compile a year’s supply of food and other necessities, they often picture paranoid people stockpiling for doomsday or a nuclear disaster of some kind. While some people have used their supplies in a crisis, such as Hurricane Katrina, most use it for much more ordinary moments, such as unemployment, illness, or even just to save money. Read more