Saturday, March 29, 2008

be prepared!!

I went to an awesome Relief Society (our church's women's organization) activity last night. It was called "chicken soup for the prepared soul". There were four rooms set up for one topic each: physical, emotional, spiritual and temporal preparedness. In each room we got part of the dinner. Taco soup & tortilla chips in one, veggies & dip in another, pizza in another and hot chocolate and dessert in the last one. I really loved the mini classes and felt so uplifted afterwards. Our church has taught people - for as long as I can remember and even longer - to save enough money, food, water and other needed supplies in case of an emergency. The temporal preparedness class focused on 72 hour emergency kit. The idea behind it is to have enough necessary supplies for 3 days for your family if you ever needed to evacuate your house in a hurry (in the event of fire, flood, tornado, ice storm, chemical spill, etc). Everyone in the family should have their own backpack packed and all ready to go (front closet is the perfect place for them). Backpacks leave hands free and make it easier to carry heavy loads. Bigger backpacks for bigger people, smaller ones for small ones (well, duh :-D). What to pack?
Water, unperishable foods (both should be rotated every 6 months or so for freshness, foods that don't require cooking is the best), flashlight & portable radio (preferably solar powered or one you can "crank"), candle, waterproof matches/lighter, plastic garbage bags, first aid kit, toiletry items (including toilet paper - remove the paper roll and put it in a ziplock bag - and feminine hygiene items and diapers if needed, they mentioned that those free sample packs you get in the mail are great for this purpose), change of clothes for everyone (remembering to prepare for the weather that is typical for your area), anything your baby/children might need (including some activity items to keep children calm - according to the age of your child/children), any important medications, blankets/emergency heat blanks/sleeping bags, copies of important documents (passports, ID cards, birth/marriage certificates, wills, insurance policies, etc - they mentioned that you might keep this in a hidden place that is easy to get to in case of an emergency, there's always danger for identity theft), some cash, candy/gum, a tent/any camping type of equipment might be good to have available as well. We were also reminded to always keep our car's gas tank half full of fuel so you can get out of harm's way if needs be (that one is hard to do, I think, as it means more trips to the gas station, but wouldn't you feel terrible if something happened and your gas tank was empty and no way to get gas, maybe you could store some gas in one of those containers, if you do make sure you do it in a safe manner). All this by the way makes a great family activity every once in awhile. Twice a year you could go through the kit together to make sure everything is ok. Good idea is also to talk about what could possibly happen and what you would do as a family in case of an emergency. They recommend that you have a meeting place outside your home (one in your neighborhood and one outside the city) in case you get separated. I just took a first aid course and it's a great idea to start teaching kids that are old enough some basic first aid skills as well.
To some this might sound ridiculous but we have all seen the news and know that anything can happen and rescue help or aid might not reach you right away in case of an emergency. Being prepared will give you some peace of mind. If you never have to use this kit - GREAT! If you do - you will be so happy that you prepared.
In the physical prepardness class (which I desparately needed as I have struggled in this area all my life, never learned to enjoy sports or physical activities) I learned something I'd like to share with you as well. I guess the best stomach exercise is to suck your tummy in and hold it there for 5 seconds, release and repeat (work your way up to 100 repetitions which sounds like A LOT to someone like me, I guess the idea is to do as many as you can atleast). Some reasons to exercise:
*more energy
*better quality of sleep
*better quality of life
*more alert
* reduce % of body fat
*decrease health problems
*increase lung efficiency
*increase size and strength of heart muscle
*decrease resting heart rate (I just found out mine is pretty high :( )
*increase brain function
*increase self esteem
*model healthy lifestyle for your child(ren)
*you feel good afterwards
*this is also a spiritual principle, helps your whole soul
I'm sure we all know all this but I wanted to write it in here to remind ME.
My friend Karly taught the mental preparedness class and her class was probably my favorite. She did so AWESOME (honestly Karly!!). The Spirit was so strong in that class. I think most of our eyes were a bit wet from tears. It was all about how to handle trials in life. We all sure have them. It's important to take care of our mental health as well. Trials are a part of life which knowledge itself helps us in the middle of them. Then we don't need to ask "why me?" etc. We just know that everyone has trials, it's part of life, we are to learn from them. Karly shared one of her big trials she has had to deal with and how going through that has blessed her. I'll share a few things from her list (I'm quite sure she won't mind):
*empathy (seriously, how else could we learn it!)
*learned that she is stronger than she thought
*more willing/prepared now to help others
* closer relationships with husband/family/etc.
*prepared her husband for his church calling (he is the bishop in our ward and has to deal with all the problems anyone might have)
*learned that Heavenly Father WAS mindful of her even during the hard times, received help from Him
*learned to love the scriptures even more as she found many quotes that helped her feel peace during her trial
Karly also shared this quote that I liked:
"When we pluck the roses, we find we often cannot avoid the thorns which spring from the same stem." (James E. Faust)
I really like this quote as well:
"Even flowers have to grow through dirt."
I found that quote in one of Dr Laura's books.
We sure learn lots from our trials. It's hard to go through them but we sure need them. I love to have my faith and the knowledge I have about the purpose of life. It helps me to know that THIS life is meant to be hard but the NEXT one will be amazing & glorious if we live our lives well.
Well, I went off a bit with all this but last night was just so uplifting. Can't help but keep thinking about all the stuff that was talked about. Had to share atleast some. :-)
*Know how to shut off the water, gas and electricity in your home
*Remember to plan for your pets too (leashes, pet carriers, food...)


  1. wow... that's alot of info! but good stuff. we got a great 72 hour kit at costco. it is all in one duffle bag and is good for 4 people, including water and food. i also packed 2 back packs full of water and foods that we would want, including skim milk powder. i have to rotate the food, but i think it is worth having, just in case. i included protien bars, peanut butter, dried fruit, crackers, and nuts. i also packed lots of water, fleece blankets, diapers, wipes, and some small toys. i still need to pack a bag with a change of clothes for each of us. i really want to go out to the cannery one of these days. ok, totally off topic. what would you think about doing a dessert night for all the ladies in our family? we could do it once a month or every other month if everyone's too busy. i think it would be nice for all the women to be albe to get together and actually visit without kids running all over the place. i feel like i can never really sit and visit when we get together. just an idea...

  2. brandy: Someone else mentioned that you can get a 72hour kit at Costco. I need to remember to check it out. I'd love to get together "just us women". Once a month sounds good to me. We could include Val & Helen & Keltie as well. I think in the summer we should try to be more creative with our family dinners as well. Maybe do a Saturday picnic instead etc. Great idea, Brandy!

  3. Mekin saadaan monisivuinen ohjelehtinen katastrofitilanteiden varalta joka vuosi kotiimme, mutta taytyy hapeakseni myontaa, etta hatavarastot tulee "vahingossa" kaytettya ja jos jotain sattuisi, niin aika heikoilla sita muutenkin olisi. Taytyisikin taas vahan enemman funtsia asiaa.

    Tuollaiset mielialaa kohottavat, ideoita ja kaikensorttista energiaa antavat illanistujaiset ja pikkutapahtumat ovat tosi hyva idea! Moni on taatusti sellaisen tarpeessa.

  4. Antoisa ja hyödyllinen illanvietto! Oon nyt tässä tehnyt noita vatsalihasliikkeitä, mukava kun voi tehdä vaikka koneen äärellä istuen. :D


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