I admit I have a religious bias as I work on personal preparation. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We have received specific counsel as to how to prepare ourselves. I turn to that counsel as I determine my preparedness level. For years, the church has counseled us to have year's worth of food storage. Recently, however, the guidelines were changed. Bishop Keith B. McMullin in his talk, Lay Up in Store, given at the April 2007 General Conference, discussed these changes. (I'm going to include an expanded portion of his comments below because the quotes are so good). Anyway, the two new pamphlets, introduced at this conference (and subsequently sent to every member through priesthood leaders and the Ensign), form the basis of my preparedness plans. I'll discuss those pamphlets in separate entries.
Here is the quote by Bishop Keith B. McMullin:
"A cardinal principle of the gospel is to prepare for the day of scarcity. Work, industry, frugality are part of the royal order of life. Remember these words from Paul: "If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."13
Seated before us are the three presiding high priests who constitute the First Presidency of the Church.
From President James E. Faust, Second Counselor, we hear: "Every father and mother are the family's storekeepers. They should store whatever their own family would like to have in the case of an emergency . . . [and] God will sustain us through our trials."14
From President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor, we hear: "Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their year's supply of food . . . and were debt-free. Today we find that many have followed this counsel in reverse: they have at least a year's supply of debt and are food-free."15
From President Gordon B. Hinckley, the Lord's prophet, we hear:
"The best place to have some food set aside is within our homes. . . .
"We can begin ever so modestly. We can begin with a one week's food supply and gradually build it to a month, and then to three months. . . . I fear that so many feel that a long-term food supply is so far beyond their reach that they make no effort at all.
"Begin in a small way, . . . and gradually build toward a reasonable objective."16
Inspired preparation rests on the foundation of faith in Jesus Christ, obedience, and a provident lifestyle. Members should not go to extremes, but they should begin.
We call upon priesthood bearers to store sufficient so that you and your family can weather the vicissitudes of life. Please see to it that those entrusted to your watchcare receive these two pamphlets entitled All Is Safely Gathered In. Exhort them to prepare now for rainy days ahead. Priesthood leaders, enlist the Relief Society in promoting family preparedness and homemaking. The women of the Church need your backing and will respond to your leadership.
Encourage our members to regularly put into their home storage a few wholesome, basic food items and some water that is safe to drink. They should save some money, if only a few coins each week. This modest approach will soon enable them to have several months' reserve. Over time they can expand these modest efforts into a longer-term supply by adding such essentials as grains, legumes, and other staples that will keep them alive in case they do not have anything else to eat.17
As we do our very best, we can be confident that "the barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail."18 We shall enjoy greater wisdom, security, peace of mind, and personal well-being. We shall be prepared, and because we are prepared, we "shall not fear.""