News Story

Emergency Preparedness Week Motivates Canadians to Action

To prepare for an emergency or disaster, the Canadian government has established 511 May 2013 as Emergency Preparedness (EP) Week and is encouraging people to stock a supply of water and food — a practice that has been taught for many years by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Church leaders have encouraged members of the Church to maintain a reasonable supply of food in the event of an emergency. Emergencies could range from natural disasters to unemployment. This encouragement stems from one of the Church's guiding welfare principles: self-reliance.

Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints explained, “Self-reliance is a product of our work and undergirds all other welfare practices. It is an essential element in our spiritual as well as our temporal well-being.”

Based on that counsel to care for ourselves and our families in the routine or extenuating circumstances of life, Latter-day Saints store in their homes food and water that would sustain them in the event of weather-related catastrophes, illness or economic challenges.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provides resources, including a Web site, that teach people how to select the right food and non-food items, as well as how to prepare for emergency situations. Information is also available on long-term food storage.

The First Presidency — the highest governing body of the Church — has asked that members be prepared “so that, should adversity come, we may care for ourselves and our neighbours.”

Recent disasters around the world have prompted the importance of emergency preparedness. 

EP Week encourages Canadians to be prepared to cope on their own for the first 72 hours following an emergency. During this time, frontline emergency responders may be assisting those in urgent need and might not have the ability to support other households.

The focus of EP Week this year is reaching seniors and teaching them about the importance of emergency preparedness. Seniors have much experience from which to draw, but they can also face added challenges and vulnerabilities. This means emergency preparedness educators must consider seniors' specific needs in emergency preparedness and provide them with the information they need to be more resilient.

As people become self-reliant, they are better prepared to endure adversities and are “better able to serve and care for others,” advises the Church’s handbook (Handbook 2: Administering the Church [2010], 6.1.1).


Additional Resources

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