I’ve been working on becoming prepared for a variety of contingencies. After all, the world we live in is not very stable. Unrest can happen at a moment’s notice — think of Hurricane Katrina. Thus, as a wife and mother, I want to make sure I am a provident individual, intent on blessing the lives of my family.


Imagine my shock a week ago when our city issued an emergency boil water alert. To my chagrin, I did not have water stored, for all my other preparations! Of course, a convenience store was nearby, but that thought apparently was in the minds of many city folk. My friends next door found only three jugs left when they went to buy water. They promptly snatched those up.


As grateful as I was for the boil water alert (who wants to brush your teeth with fecal-contaminated water?!), it soon becomes a bit tedious to boil water… and boil water… and boil water. And that was then the thought occurred to me: what if the electricity were out? There would be no power to boil water. What then? What would my small children do without water to drink? for us to cook with?


Hopefully you are better prepared than I was. After all, a person can only live for about three days without drinking water. And water is, of course, “free.” (Okay, we do have to pay our water bills… But you know what I mean!)


So here’s my emergency preparedness tip for the day: store water! Don’t be like me and find yourself caught without it when that unexpected emergency occurs. In fact, a good way to help your family be prepared for the unexpected is to remember the famous psychologist Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.


In other words, begin your emergency preparations from this perspective: what do you most urgently need first? Then next? And next?


You absolutely need water, shelter, clothing, and food. There are other essentials also (i.e., love), but these are some good places to start. The government now recommends two weeks of supplies as opposed to 72 hours, as was swiftly learned when Hurricane Katrina devastated miles upon miles of territory, not just one city. People in multiple states were without life-saving necessities, not just those in the televised cities. It takes time for government agencies to respond.


Start today. Put some water aside. Whether you are recycling jugs for storage, buying bottles of water, or tablets to purify water from a local stream. Take care of it today. Now. Before your city experiences a sudden emergency like mine did a week ago. You’ll sure be glad you did!


To learn more about emergency preparedness, go to the Church’s website Provident Living for free tips. You’ll find tons of great ideas, including words from the Lord’s living prophets on how to help your family in many troubling situations.


This article was originally published in March 2008. Minor changes have been made. To view more LDS Blogs tips on emergency preparedness, click here.

About Cindy B

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