But preparedness is much more than having a storage room full of bulk food commodities. What about all those cans of wheat... do you have a way to grind it into flour? Do you think you will just use the neighbor's grinder, or the stake's grinder? What if it isn't available for some reason?
I don't want to brag or pat my own back, but I am much better prepared than most people, so I feel some sense of duty to warn and help others. If I wasn't prepared, I would be a hypocrite for even writing this blog entry. The Lord expects us to 'walk the talk' before we can help others (D&C 11:21, among others).
Here is a list of some things I have (by no means all-inclusive) and that I consider to be for the purpose of preparedness:
- A year's supply of food
- Enough garden seeds (fruit, vegetables and spices) to last more than three years
- A Magic Mill wheat grinder
- 6 portable cooking stoves - both propane and kerosene (Coleman fuel)
- Portable oven to fit on the cooking stove
- Lots of camp cookware
- Several tents, sleeping bags, pads, camp chairs/stools and backpacks for everyone
- Several small 16 oz. propane bottles
- 6 large (20 lb.) propane tanks (planning to get several more)
- Propane bottle adapter, so I can fill the small bottles from the larger tanks
- Several gasoline cans, and plan to get more
- 2 portable electrical generators
- Hunting firearms and ammo
- Fishing gear (plenty of it)
- 5 or 6 wind-up flashlights
- Wind-up lantern
- Solar lantern (lasts 8 hours on a day's sun)
- Water pump for pumping water into storage containers
- Water filter/purification system with 4 extra filters
- Assorted hand tools (no power), such as basic wrenches, saw, hammer, screwdrivers, etc.
- Rope (plenty of it)
I have a utility trailer than I can haul behind my vehicle in case we need to leave town.
I have solar panels on my roof, and an electricity-generating windmill (the second wind turbine will be built within the next two weeks). This electricity generating equipment can help provide power to my home, or at least part of it, in case of a power failure or cut-off. The gas generators are used for this purpose, too, but the solar panels and wind generators provide free electricity.
I need to get newer water containers to replace my old ones.
I must admit that this is not just an issue of obedience to prophetic counsel, but it has become my hobby. I have had my fun with other hobbies, such as golf. I have beaten professional golfers before in friendly matches - I used to be a pretty good player. But that type of worldly fun pretty much went away for me as I became more interested in the last days and in following the counsel of the prophets. I do have some older jet skis, and they are still a lot of fun, and they don't cost much money at all, so I'm fine with that. But paying $75 to $100 for a day at the golf course seems like a rediculous waste now. I would especially feel that way if I was spending that kind of money on a half-day of fun but did little or nothing to prepare my family from things which are sure to happen.
We don't know exactly how or when we will be affected. We don't know whether we will be called to leave our homes to escape hardship, or if circumstances will require us to stay where we are. It seems like a good idea to be prepared in as many ways as possible. I recently read a talk by President Marion G. Romney from the October 1976 General Conference about self-reliance and independence from government programs, etc:
President Romney makes it clear that we as a people must be independent in every way. This may not be feasible as individuals, but it is quite achievable as a community of saints, such as at the stake level. The knowledge I have gained from installing solar panels and building from scratch my wind generators, and figuring out the connections, could be a blessing to others in my community. Their talents or professional skills might bless me and my family. But what no one wants is to have to provide for healthy, able-bodied, skilled, but very foolish and slothful people who had plenty of chances to heed the warnings of the Lord through His prophets but simply failed to consider them important. We cannot deny them of our substance (see Mosiah 4:17-18), but we sure can - and should, in my opinion - acknowledge their lack of faith, their failure to obey, and make them work for what they receive in the same sense that a bishop should assign work projects to those able-bodied people who receive church assistance presently.
As Elder Ballard said in a different context in his October 2006 address about being wise, "There is no such thing as done." We should realize this when it comes to preparedness. We should store and prepare with a plan, with seriousness, with a sense of urgency but with order, and in faith. Personally, I don't want to be one of the 'five foolish virgins', caught unprepared because I didn't head the warnings that have been so plentifully and clearly given to me.