News Story

Emergency Preparedness Week Prompts Canadians to Be Ready

May 6–12 is highlighted as Emergency Preparedness Week within Canada. The week celebrates a theme that many members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hold particularly close to their hearts.

Self reliance and emergency preparedness have long been a part of both Mormon doctrine and culture, largely centred on a verse from Doctrine and Covenants section 38, verse 30: “But if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” Whether it is a sudden, serious medical challenge, a financial reversal, unexpected expenses or a natural disaster, all can significantly impact our emotional well-being. Our ability to handle these situations is markedly improved when we have prepared in advance for emergencies.

The Cedeno family, a family of seven who are members of the Church in Toronto, Ontario, unexpectedly needed to rely on their food storage and savings for an extended period. Due to their efforts to be prepared for emergencies, not only did they find there was a minimal effect on their normal lifestyle, but they were also able to meet other unexpected financial expenses that occurred during that time. Mrs. Cedeno stated: “God provided every needful thing for us for those long 14 months!” They followed inspired promptings to build up their emergency fund and increase their supply of familiar foods, even though, at the time, they didn't know why. When the challenges came, their spiritual and temporal preparations enabled the family to cope with the challenges they encountered.

The Neale family of Toronto, Ontario, has also benefitted from being prepared for emergencies. When the Neales bought their home in 1988, interest rates were high by 2018 standards. To ensure a stable interest rate and payment schedule, they chose a shorter term with accelerated weekly mortgage payments. Living within their means, saving for major expenses and keeping credit card debt paid off monthly enabled additional funds, when available, to be used to pay down the principal. Almost 14 years later, when the company George Neale worked for downsized, George was unexpectedly laid off. Fortunately, the mortgage had been paid off for seven months, lessening their economic challenges.

The Church is well known for its emphasis on self reliance and emergency preparedness, often highlighted by endeavors such as the bishops’ storehouse, a place where those in need can go to obtain food and other supplies at the recommendation of their bishop. Food and supplies from the bishops’ storehouse can also be sent to those affected by natural disasters, wars or economic crises at a moment’s notice.

Given the nature and extreme severity of recent natural disasters, such as floods, wildfires and major storms, Emergency Preparedness Week is a timely reminder of ways that individuals, families, communities and organizations can implement strategies to be better prepared in case of emergencies.

L. Tom Perry, a former member of the Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught: “The need for preparation is abundantly clear. The great blessing of being prepared gives us freedom from fear” (“If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear,” Oct. 1995 general conference).

Please refer to for a list of the various agencies participating specific to each province.

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