72-Hour Kits and Emergency Preparation

Yesterday during a combined priesthood and Relief Society meeting, our Farmington City Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, Paul White, was invited to teach us about emergency preparedness. The snow pack on our mountains yesterday measured the same as it did on April 1st of this year. And I woke up to snow on the ground this morning. Though we could experienc flooding in some areas, it will less likely happen in my neighborhood. However, Paul encouraged us to “be prepared for everything,” including flooding, landslides, earthquakes, fires, wind storms, etc.

Flooding and landslide risks in Utah will be high for the next 6 to 8 weeks.
Farmington residents are asked to be vigilant if they live in an area that has flooded in the past, or experienced problems. Danger will be particularly high after 5 days of 80 degree weather. Farmington Canyon will probably not be opened until July 4th. We may be called upon to help fill sandbags. A sandbag does not prevent a mudslide, but it can redirect water. We were counseled to keep children away from the water in the creeks. I was sad to read that a 2-year-old boy died on May 28th after wandering away from the family campground in Starvation Canyon.

Much has been done to reinforce potential flooding areas so we don’t repeat the flooding of 1983, however we need to be watchful. More flooding preparation information for Farmington residents can be found in this May 19th letter. (It’s important. Read it!) Historical pictures of the 1983 flood and other floods in Utah can be found at this Deseret News link.

We were asked several probing questions:

  • Do you know where your 72-hour kit is and how to use it?
  • Do you have a kit for each member of your family?
  • Do your kids know what is in it?
  • Is the 72-hour kit up to date?
  • Do you own a battery-powered radio?
  • In an emergency, do you know where to find emergency information for our area? (Our radio station is 1700 AM). We need to check to see if our radio goes that high.
  • Do you have a family emergency plan?
  • Have you practiced it recently?
  • Do you carry a paper list of contacts with a phone number of someone at least 100 miles away for everyone to contact?
  • Do you have an emergency kit in your car? In your office?
  • How long will it take for you to walk home from work?
  • Do you know where you will evacuate? (In Utah, LDS stake centers and schools can become shelters)
  • Can you bring your 72-hour kit to an evacuation center if needed? Or can you stay home and shelter in place?
  • Do you own a shovel?
  • The government can bring emergency drinking water in trucks, but when they do, what kind of container to you own to carry the water in?
  • Do you own a tent or travel trailer?
  • Do you have 2 gallons of water per day per person? 1 gallon for drinking and 1 gallon for sanitary use?
  • Is your hot water heater strapped to the wall?
  • Do you know how to shut off your water so you can use it?
  • Do you know how to shut off the gas? Only shut it off if you smell gas.

Great information! And much to think about. “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.” (D&C 38:30) Don’t get overwhelmed with everthing there is to do. You just need to begin.

Suggested list of 72-Hour Kit Supplies.

Suggested list of Medical and First Aid Supplies.

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