Days before a category F-5 tornado touched down in Greensburg, Kansas, destroying 95 percent of the city, residents of Orlando, Florida, were taking part in an emergency preparedness fair, hoping to learn what they could do to help themselves and their family in the event a disaster struck.
As with many disasters, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are preparing to assist in the recovery effort in Kansas. Mormons will be on the ground working alongside the Greenburg community to clean up debris and make repairs.
Over the last few years, hurricanes have swept through many parts of the United States, leaving communities without utilities, shelter and food. These communities know firsthand what it is like to survive a disaster and what it takes to rebuild.
Members of the local Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian and Latter-day Saint congregations in Orlando hosted a free emergency preparedness training seminar last week. Twenty information booths were set up in the St. Margaret Mary Catholic church. Topics included water storage, food rotation, family emergency plans and 72-hour emergency kits.
In addition to booths, classes were provided in which experts spoke on city preparedness, severe weather and family preparedness.
“I learned how to prepare my family,” said 13-year old Shaina — one of the youngest attendees at the fair. “Being prepared will take your fear away and calm you.”
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provides resources, including a Web site, that teach people how to select the right food and non-food items, as well as how to prepare for emergency situations. Information is also available on long-term food storage.
The First Presidency — the highest governing body of the Church — has asked that members be prepared “so that, should adversity come, we may care for ourselves and our neighbors.”