I read a series of books I really, really enjoyed--one of those series that cause me to neglect my house and all but the essential duties because I must read them, now. (The series is the Life as We Knew It series. Go read it.) Anyway, the main premise of the book is that the moon has been hit off course by a giant meteor and, as a result, all kinds of natural disasters are wreaking havoc on the earth. A lot of other things happen, of course, but that main premise is what I kept thinking about. I've read a lot of post-apocalyptic books, but none that felt as real as this one--perhaps, in part, because this book started in our time, as it is right now, and showed how society fell into the post-apocalyptic books. And, I couldn't help but think during and after reading the books that all the calamities described sounded just like the warnings in the scriptures that will come before Christ returns to the earth.
I really thought about this a lot--how these disasters could legitimately happen. Yes, the moon is not likely going to be knocked off course to cause all these disasters--but they could happen. They are going to happen. And my little family? We weren't at all prepared for any of it! You'd think that years of hearing prophets and apostles caution and urge us to prepare for emergencies would have impacted me more than a FICTION book--and really, I'm not proud that they didn't--but I'm just glad that something finally got me in gear.
Honestly, it started as fear. I felt anxiety that something was going to happen and we wouldn't be at all prepared and that would be my fault. I started almost frantically researching emergency preparedness and 72-hour kits and everything and soon was overwhelmed by the loads of information I found. I talked to my dear friend Krista and realized that I just needed to START. With something. I needed to break the task into doable chunks and then just start doing it!
A few years ago, I'd started an emergency kit. The kit had been largely neglected since moving and I knew it was something I could easily start with. I also knew that I wanted to get at least a start on 72-hour backpacks that mostly held food to go along with our emergency kit. On our next shopping trip, I let the kids each pick out a box of granola bars, a box of crackers, a can of soup, some candy, and a trail mix. I also picked up a few cases of water bottles. Then, that night for FHE, we started! We had a little lesson on why we need to be prepared for emergencies, then piled the foods we'd chosen into our backpacks. Then we went through the emergency kit to see what we already had and what we needed to add.
Really, it was so, so simple--but just starting made me feel a huge sense of relief! In the few weeks since then, I've been working on putting together our important papers and documents, picking up a few more items for our emergency kit at each store trip, and am now planning my next steps. I'm hoping to start building up my three months storage--first, by buying extras of things we already use. (For example, if I need one bottle of ketchup I'll buy two.) We will go from there.
I think that the Lord knows how we'll best listen. And in this case, I needed to read a fiction book to realize that I hadn't really been listening. I've felt peace from the spirit as I've followed the prompting to help my family become more prepared for whatever may come our way.
And on a lighter note, the story in our emergency preparedness FHE lesson talked about having a candlelit dinner--so of course we had to have our own! We only had three small candles and three battery-powered tea lights, but we made it work--and had a fun time in the process.