As Latter-day Saints, we live in a culture where a sense of preparedness constantly lingers in the background. I suppose it begins in the history of the restoration of the Church. Our spiritual ancestors had to pick up and move so many times and endure the harshest of political and environmental climates for the chance to practice their spiritual beliefs and to avoid being murdered.
While our lives are generally more stable today, the topic of emergency preparedness is still a popular characteristic of our faith: extra food in our pantries, kits for emergency evacuations, frugal shopping and home canning, camping and survival skills, independence and self-sufficiency. The ward I currently live in often addresses the issue of being prepared for economic and natural disasters. Today, we had a ward activity to give us ideas on how to plug the holes in our family emergency plans.
Ed and Kari worked out a sheet for home storage budgeting. It helps figure out how much of what ingredients we need to store 3 months' or 6 months' or 12 months' of our favorite meals.
Dallin brought Donna's homemade granola and this hot oven made from a cardboard box!
The bottom pan holds briquettes. The top pan holds whatever food you are baking. There is a lid to close off the entire thing and ventilation holes on the sides. Each briquette puts out 50°F of heat (so, to bake at 350°F, use 7 briquettes). Neat!
A spectator mentioned one could probably even attach a thermometer inside the contraption as well. I'm thinking of hosting a project night where those interested in creating one of these each bring the supplies necessary and Dallin helps us make them. I like that in case of no electricity, I can still bake with somewhat accurate precision. How hard can it be to store a year's supply of briquettes?
Here's where my 72-hour kit vomited onto the table. I could have done a cleaner-looking display, but that's what you get when I'm at the end of having had no husband for 3 of the last 4 weeks. (The wooden turkey is not part of my kit.)
Beau showed off a slide show of his amazing year's supply of food. And he has 5 (or 20) kids! AMAZING!
Rich shared some helpful information and products for various water purification and storage methods. I found a product at his table I want to add to my kit. I'll just wait for him to look the other way.
Man, I'm SO in the right neighborhood for riding out an economic depression!
This morning, our neighborhood also participated in the emergency food drive to stock county food banks. They have been depleted by the increase of people needing assistance during this downturn. I was walking through my house last night with the list of needed items and feeling, at first, a little apprehensive about giving away our fortune. But as I saw how much we have, I heard the song "Because I Have Been Given Much" in my head.
Because I have been given much, I too must give.
2 packs of toilet paper, a box of oatmeal packets
Because of Thy great bounty, Lord, each day I live.
canned chicken and cans of tuna
I shall divide my gifts from Thee
bag of pasta, cans of evaporated and condensed milk
with every brother that I see
tomato sauce, cream of mushroom soup
who has the need of help from me.
a million hotel soaps/shampoos, and conditioners
Because I have been sheltered, fed by Thy good care
I cannot see another's lack and I not share.
My glowing fire, my loaf of bread,
My roof's safe shelter overhead
That he, too, may be comforted.
By the time I opened my front door to set the items out on the porch for collection, I was overcome. How blessed I am! How ungrateful I have been!
I am surrounded by material and spiritual blessings all day, every single day! But I rarely take the time to acknowledge them, much less appreciate them. I was told by a patriarch when I was about 16 years old that I would always have what I need and always have a surplus to share. What an awesome blessing! One of my challenges is to wrap my head around that blessing and let go completely of a scarcity anxiety.
In the spirit of emergency preparedness, I'm doing a giveaway. This one is for your 72-hour emergency kits. I have here (try not to faint) not one, not two, but THREE hotel shampoo/conditioner/facesoap/bathbar/bodylotion/comb sets. These are perfect for 72-hour kits. One set for you, one for a spouse, one for a child. Or three for you. Or two for you, one for your spouse. Or one for you, one for each of two siblings. Or one for three kids' kits. Or... you get the idea.
These have been imported from various parts of the country. I don't remember which parts, but be assured they're from Seattle, Anchorage, Atlanta, Philadelphia, San Diego, Omaha, New York or one of a dozen other U.S. cities. One of the bars of soap has the word "French" printed right on the label! (Fancy? Oui!)
All you have to do to be eligible for the drawing is tell me a joke in the comments section. It doesn't have to be an original joke. Dave and I will read them and select the winner by who makes us laugh hardest. If there's a tie, we'll draw names from a hat. The winner gets ALL THREE hair and body sets for your emergency kit!
The deadline is Tuesday, November 18, 2008, 5pm Mountain Time. I will announce the winner the following day (Wednesday, November 19, 2008).
OK, get to it!