How much emergency preparedness is enough?

How much emergency preparedness is enough?



Dear Gramps,

My husband is serving as a Bishop.  We continue to have disagreements over emergency preparedness.  He says all we need to do is to follow what the church website says and the living Prophet and Apostles.  I have shown him quotes from Pres. Benson and other non living apostles and prophets that gives much more detail and counsel.  He seems to be content with the bare minimum. I feel the need to be more prepared.  Any suggestion on how to solve this difference of opinion?





Dear Worried,

While I can’t solve the problem of the difference of opinion in your marriage, nor do I know what your husband considers to be “bare minimum,” I can show and share some resources on the topic of emergency preparedness.

At one point in our church history we were counseled to have a years supply of food.  The counsel on that has changed somewhat. Or perhaps I should say has been added to.

Per, an article titled Emergency Preparedness and Response gives the following counsel on a simple plan in case of an emergency:

  • Three-month supply of food that is part of your normal daily diet.
  • Drinking water.
  • Financial reserves.
  • Longer-term supply of basic food items.
  • Medication and first aid supplies.
  • Clothing and bedding.
  • Important documents.
  • Ways to communicate with family following a disaster.

You’ll notice that it states a three month supply and also longer-term supply of basic food items.  The emphasis for so many years was to have a year supply of longer term basic food items.  That hasn’t changed really.  What has been added is to have a three month supply of food that you would eat on a daily basis.  Basic longer term food items would be wheat, rice, potatoes, pasta, oats and beans.

There appears to be at times a complacency in the subject of food storage and preparedness.  There is the attitude among many members that the Church will come to their aid.

President Ezra Taft Benson once said:

“Too often we bask in our comfortable complacency and rationalize that the ravages of war, economic disaster, famine, and earthquake cannot happen here. Those who believe this are either not acquainted with the revelations of the Lord, or they do not believe them. Those who smugly think these calamities will not happen, that they somehow will be set aside because of the righteousness of the Saints, are deceived and will rue the day they harbored such a delusion.”  Prepare for the Days of Tribulation

Elder L. Tom Perry has said:

“…..we must remind ourselves that the Church welfare system was never designed or intended to care for the healthy member who, as a result of his poor management or lack of preparation, has found himself in difficulty. It was designed to assist the membership in case of a large, physical disaster, such as an earthquake or a flood. It was designed to assist the ill, the injured, the incapacitated, and to rehabilitate them to a productive life. In far too many cases, members who should be making use of their own preparedness provisions are finding that there is nothing there and that they have to turn to the Church.


It is time to ask ourselves, What has created the problem of placing such a heavy burden on the Church to supply our welfare needs? My analysis of this problem would lead me to believe that, as leaders, we have spent far too much time in administering relief and far too little in prevention by having our families prepared to administer to their own needs. It is time to teach the basics—again. It is time to make the number one priority of our welfare efforts personal and family preparedness. We must prepare now so that in time of need more of our members will be able to draw upon their own preparedness and not have to seek assistance from the Church.”   The Need to Teach Personal and Family Preparedness

So what do these quotes have to do with your question?  We live in challenging times.  We live in the last days. We’ve been promised that times will get bad.  Yet we’ve also been promised that if we follow the counsel of our current leaders, we will be blessed.  If we adhere to the counsel given above regarding an emergency plan, we will be blessed. That doesn’t mean that hard times will not come to us.  We all have a responsibility to make sure that we can be self-sufficient during the hard times.  We can’t be complacent in this or think the Church will bail us out.

If “bare minimum” is considered what was described earlier from, we are following the counsel of our current leaders.  Yet there is much wisdom in following what some of our past leaders have advised as well.  I also follow the thought that “we can’t be too prepared.”  Put together the basics as counseled and add from there.  There are certainly many things that I would add to my emergency items that aren’t on the list provided.

This is something that you and your husband will need to work out.  Prayerfully take it to the Lord for guidance in this matter for your family.




Why isn’t food storage mentioned in General Conference anymore?

Why isn’t food storage mentioned in General Conference anymore?



Is storing a one year supply of food no longer suggested by the Church? Also, as conditions worsen in the USA and the world, the less is said about the present conditions in the General Conference talks. It is like the 800 pound gorilla in the room that no one mentions. What are your thoughts on why the silence on present conditions in the General Conference talks?

Joseph (more…)

How can I be prepared for an economic crash?

How can I be prepared for an economic crash?



Dear Gramps,

I have heard some of my friends, two who are former bishops, tell me that in the future the economy will crash. I am striving to prepare with food storage, etc. The one thing I won’t be able to do is pay off my home loan and car loan. If the economy crashes I will no longer have an income to support my wife and myself. This has lead me to believe that we may be kicked out of our home when it is foreclosed upon because of my lack of income. What will happen to other saints and myself who face this same problem? I have heard that the saints will all gather together and share their food storage to survive but my friend, who is a former bishop, does not think there is any church policy in that direction.






Before addressing your question about preparing for an economic dive, I want to mention some things about your sources. As soon as your friends were released as Bishops, they lost any keys or spiritual gifts used specifically for leading their respective wards. In other words, despite any former title or position he held, each spoke as Brother SoAndSo and not as Bishop SoAndSo. As such, weigh their words the same as you would anyone else you know with similar experience in their fields.

Now what is to happen to Saints who collectively experience economic challenges? This reminds me of a professor I had in college. About a week before the final exam, some concerned students asked what they could do to best prepare for the test. The professor replied, “Well, 3 months ago when we first started, you take really good notes and review them periodically. You read the chapters assigned and do the homework assigned. Then, just before the test, you review your notes and take the final exam with confidence.” In short, don’t delay your preparation. Similarly, our prophets for several years have told us to build up a supply of food storage. It sounds like you are doing well in this regard. They have also encouraged us to save for a rainy day. It sounds like this is an area you need to work on. Tackle it the same way you did food storage: put a little away every paycheck and don’t touch it. In time you’ll have a 3 month supply, which you can build up to 6 months or a year as needed. Then you can have the confidence that if you no longer have a job, you have 3 months to find another (even more if you’re given a severance package, and more if you collect unemployment). You won’t be able to pay off your home and car outright, but you will be able to maintain the status quo while seeking gainful employment.

Finally, I offer it as my opinion that if there is a second Great Depression, it will not be the catalyst for a new Zion. The Church already has a program for supporting the poor. As part of the Welfare program, the Church assists the unemployed in finding work; those that have are encouraged to give generously, not just in fast offerings, but in other contributions as well; those that have not are temporarily assisted with these sacred funds. A large scale, physical gathering is not needed because the Church already has a system in place to assist should such a calamity befall us (assuming we can count on Saints like yourself to act as Saints).




Which would be wiser?  Investing in food or a 401K?

Which would be wiser? Investing in food or a 401K?


Hi Gramps,

I am fairly young and trying to plan for my and my family’s future. Would you think it wise to invest in food rather than in 401ks, investments, etc? I figure that eventually someday money will be worth nothing, and the most valuable things will be essentials to survive on. Is it too soon to start worrying about food as an investment, or should that be an emphasis for me and my young family.  Thank you for all the time you have spent helping so many people like me with your insights!




Dear Jeff,

For as many years as I can remember we have been counseled to have a years supply of food, water and other necessities.  We have also been encouraged to get out of debt and save some money for a “rainy day”.   At almost every General Conference we have been given counsel to prepare for difficult times ahead.  We never know when or where a disaster might occur.  Recently many members have needed to turn to their savings and food storage to get them through difficult times because of the downturn in our economy.  Many people have lost their jobs,  their homes and their ability to support their families.  Hopefully they have listened to a “prophet’s voice” and were prepared for these times by having their food storage and savings available.

One of the problems with storing food is that it deteriorates and spoils.  We need to rotate our food storage to prevent this from happening.  If you were to store more than one year’s supply of food, much of it would probably spoil before it could be used.   My recommendation would be to follow the counsel of the Brethren and have in your storage sufficient to support you and your family for one year. There are several countries where people are not allowed by their government to store food or they might not have room to do so.  Those of us who live where we can store food are fortunate and need to follow the counsel of the Brethren.

We have been counseled to save for the future.  Not only should we have sufficient in our savings account for whatever may come, but it is a great way to make our purchases.  Often you will get a better deal when you pay cash for your purchases and you will have received interest on your savings instead of paying the finance company interest on your purchase.

Their counsel for us to get out and stay out of debt is very important as well.  By doing so we show obedience to the Lord’s prophet and it is very sound financial advice.  Interest is a very heavy taskmaster.  It works 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  It doesn’t take vacation or holidays, but is always there.  The Brethren have advised us that we should only go into debt to buy a home and possibly a vehicle.  Even in the purchase of a home, we need to be prudent and not purchase one beyond our means and ability to pay for.  For everything else we should avoid going into debt and wait until we are able to pay cash for it.  Several people who have lost their homes might have been able to save it if it were not for all the other debt they had.

The First Presidency has given us the following counsel:

“Our Heavenly Father created this beautiful earth, with all its abundance, for our benefit and use. His purpose is to provide for our needs as we walk in faith and obedience. He has lovingly commanded us to “prepare every needful thing” (see D&C 109:8) so that, should adversity come, we can care for ourselves and our neighbors and support bishops as they care for others.  We encourage members world-wide to prepare for adversity in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in savings.  We ask that you be wise as you store food and water and build your savings. Do not go to extremes; it is not prudent, for example, to go into debt to establish your food storage all at once. With careful planning, you can, over time, establish a home storage supply and a financial reserve.”



How do I best prepare myself for the return of my missionary boyfriend?

Dear Gramps,

I have a missionary who is currently serving a mission in France. Is it OK for a missionary to leave a girlfriend at home? While he is gone, what should I focus on when I write to him? Since he is gone and growing a great deal spiritually, what should I do to prepare and grow spiritually while he is gone?

Gennie, from Rialto, California (more…)

What can I do to keep from thinking bad things?

What can I do to keep from thinking bad things?

Dear Grams,
I just read the article on this site about when it is right to talk to one’s bishop about making out. And one thing that frustrates me, but I know is true, is the quote you used about adultery. I know I shouldn’t think about girls inappropriately, but I’m a growing boy and it happens. It gets really hard for me because I want to honor my father and mother, and my mother doesn’t want me to really go out with anyone before my mission. I want to stay as clean as I can, but I want someone to hold and care for. I’m so confused. Also I’ve got non-member friends who use a lot of unclean talk, which is tempting to me. What should I do? I feel uncomfortable talking to my parents about things like this because they are my parents and (like a typical kid) I think they won’t see anything my way. My Mormon friends have asked you questions and you’ve helped them a lot. Please help me. I know I could get some action…but part of me says get a little action, and the other part says get back. Which should I listen to?
Michael (more…)

Do you know of any general authorities of the Mormon Church that said that goals need to be measurable?

I’m trying to find a quote about measurable goals. I believe that it was a general authority who said that goals need to be measurable, or that they are not as effective if they are not measurable. I’ve searched the search and internet extensively and have not found it. Do you have ideas about this quote, and who, if anyone, said it?
Johnny B. from Oregon (more…)

Do you know of any place where a general authority of the Mormon Church has reccommended having on hand a seventy-two-hour emergency supply kit?

Dear Gramps,
I have a friend that thinks that since she can’t find any where that a General Authority or Prophet told us to have 72 hour kits, that it is not really a necessary thing. She thinks it is a good thing- just not on the same level of importance as a year’s supply. With all the natural disasters occurring around the world, I disagree with her. I also have quoted her the scripture about “he that hath to be commanded in all things…” But unless I can find a direct quote, she doesn’t believe me. So with your vast knowledge and library, tell me, has a 72 hour kit ever been encouraged by our General leaders or did someone just pick this up along the way on their own?
Cheryl, from Woodstock, Georgia (more…)

How can I develop a closer relationship with the Savior?

Dear Gramps,
I’m one of those who are trying to be good faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ. I have a testimony of the restoration of the Lord’s Church, the fact that Heavenly Father and His Son live and that they commune with living prophets in our day. I love the Church and its doctrine. I have a worry though. I appreciate Jesus for His atoning sacrifice. I know that it is only through Him that I, you and everyone else can be exalted. My problem now is how do I make that a reality in my life. How can I build a special relationship with the Savior to the extent that I feel His love for us. I know He loves us but how do I actually feel that. I know of His love and I have a testimony of it, the only missing part is actually feeling it. I hope you will understand my question even though I feel that words are limited and I fail to really ask my question as I want to..
Kojo, from Durban, KwaZulu Ntal, South Africa (more…)

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