January 24th, 2009

A Second Snapshot of a Community’s Preparedness


photo credit: Linda & Clark

Last September, I blogged about a recent emergency preparedness drill our stake had conducted. This past week was “round two” of the drill, conducted to assess what progress our community has made in acquiring more food storage and getting everybody a 72 hour kit.

Three wards did not participate in last year’s drill, but everybody did participate this year. The data can be seen in this graph:

Like last time, this data is sanitized of any identifiable information. I share it here in order to inform others as to what a typical Utah community looks like in terms of its preparedness and supplies. There has been some steady progress in the past few months in a few neighborhoods, while others have seemingly fallen behind—likely due to two factors: new move-ins who have arrived without any storage, and more or different people reporting in this drill than last time.

An average of about 60% of families were successfully contacted in this past drill, so while the numbers are fairly accurate, they can’t be interpreted as representative. I know that our ward’s numbers were affected by one family moving out who took their two years of food with them! Still, the data here is compelling in its measurement of the Saints’ obedience and commitment to prepare.

As I said last year, we’ve still got our work cut out for us. Our block captain system is coming together nicely, and more people are proactively trying to figure out the whats, hows, and whys of food storage (and general preparedness).

If “slow and steady” truly wins the race, then I suppose we’re doing okay…

7 Responses to “A Second Snapshot of a Community’s Preparedness”

  1. Justin
    January 24, 2009 at 9:56 pm #

    It is such a relief to have a year supply. I rank it as one of my favorite commandments to keep.
    Once I do what has been asked, I feel so free to work on something else. I know that whatever comes at us in the next few years, our family will be fine b/c we haven’t procrastinated doing what the Lord has asked us to do.

  2. Kelly W.
    January 26, 2009 at 10:13 am #

    Interesting stats, Connor. I have been big on food storage and gardening for more than 20 years now, and have found it interesting how the Church has changed its stance during the last few years.

    The Church started with its official website, http://www.providentliving.org and in the beginning there was info on the site about gardening and home production and food storage (among other things like employment, finances, welfare, etc.) But, if you look at the provident living website now, you will see it does not resemble how it started out in regards to gardening and a year’s supply.

    The Church has rescinded all doctrine of the past with the new admonition of a 3 months’ supply, with longer-term storage considered as “going the extra mile.” The Church has also purged all articles and teachings about gardening or growing or producing your own food. The website also only has about one sentence on 72 hour kits – – stating that they are not discouraged, but are left up to the individual to decide.

    But, as far as the provident living site leads us to believe, provident living has not gone away, but the emphasis SEEMS to now be on the financial aspects. Budgeting and debt seem to be far more emphasized than before.

    But, I will speak for myself here. I feel that growing your own and preserving your own is by far the most economical thing you can do when looking at your food budgeting. And healthier, too. Growing your own also is cheaper than going out and buying your food supply from a “preparedness” store.

    Also, a deeper concept applies to food storage as a way to save on your food budget. IT IS FAR CHEAPER TO HAVE A FOOD STORAGE PROGRAM THAN NOT TO HAVE ONE.

    Food (and other items) have a cycle. They are most plentiful and cheapest at one time per year. For example, applesauce.

    If you buy your applesauce a can at a time at a dollar per can, you might end up paying $52 dollars per year by eating one can per week. But, you run across the yearly case-lot sale and buy two cases at 50 cents per can and store the extra cans for later use during the year. Having the cans in your food storage has saved you 50% on your food budget for applesauce. But, say you have an apple tree like I do. And you already have some empty mason jars. My ONE apple tree gives me 50 quarts of applesauce every year! For free! Now that is a real savings on my food budget!

    This is the value of a true “ONE year supply of food.” You can take advantage of this yearly cycle. You cannot do this with a three months’ supply. You really need to work up to a year’s supply as you find the case-lot sales or end of summer harvests. Even linens and such have a yearly cycle of sales in department stores.

    Hopefully the saints can see the value of storing food by jumping from a 3 months’ supply to a full year’s supply of rotating food. This is where the real savings in $$ and peace of mind start to come into the Church’s teaching of provident living.

  3. Kelly W.
    January 26, 2009 at 11:56 am #

    The Church used to encourage a 7 year supply. Then, it was reduced to a 2 years’ supply. Then to a one year’s supply, and now to a 3 months’ supply.

    Perhaps when enough members don’t even take the 3 months’ supply to heart, the Lord will make it a 72 hours’ supply. (ha ha)

  4. Mom
    January 26, 2009 at 1:52 pm #

    When I lecture on financial preparedness, I ask people if they want to make 50% or more on their money. THey all are very interested. Then I explain just that method of shopping. Shop on CLEARANCE and you can save 50-90%. On things you will eat or use anyway! People don’t think that way but they should. I must say post-Christmas food is the best and we always stock up then because food goes on CLEARANCE (as opposed to sales . . . :) And Walmart and Biglots are great sources of cheap clearance food . . . But lots of you live in Utah and you are SO lucky it’s cheap there!

  5. Carborendum
    January 26, 2009 at 9:19 pm #

    This reminds me of the parable of the ducks learning to fly.

  6. Dara
    January 30, 2009 at 3:20 pm #

    Thank you for posting this. It’s something I haven’t really thought about, and now I feel as though the clock is ticking to prepare.

  7. Clumpy
    January 31, 2009 at 12:10 am #

    Y’know, I don’t think the apocalypse is anytime soon, but food storage is an excellent way to get us to take care of ourselves and eat right. When I restock myself from the supermarket I tend to load up on junk and unhealthy foods, but making things from scratch and having a wide variety of foods available from many sources encourages me to eat right and, by extension, feel much better.

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