News Story

Mormons Teach Self-Reliance Techniques at Emergency Preparedness Fair

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joined with the American Red Cross and Deloitte & Touche (a financial services company) to host an emergency preparedness fair - a community service project that featured speaker Tom Ridge, the former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary.

Ridge asked participants to be ready for "any kind of unanticipated event that might disrupt the community." His suggestions for readiness ranged from preparing family emergency kits with enough material to last several days following a disaster to participating in community emergency planning.

Over 30 booths at the fair, mostly staffed by Mormon volunteers in the area, provided information on portable water purification, canning food, emergency communications, sanitation, financial preparedness, elderly care considerations and pet survival. Emergency agencies - the National Guard, state troopers, police, fire departments and the Red Cross - provided additional demonstrations and instructions.

A central tenet to the Church's welfare program is helping people become self-reliant. Church members have been encouraged to prepare for times of adversity - whether a community disaster or personal struggle such as loss of employment - by storing a three-month supply of food and drinking water.

Dave Checketts, a local Church leader who presides over Mormon congregations in Yorktown, New York, said the benefits from the fair would be far reaching.

An official statement issued from Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell echoed Checketts' remarks. Governor Rell "urged all Connecticut citizens to take advantage of the generosity and collaboration of the Red Cross, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Deloitte to keep us safe and prepare us for the future."

The Church maintains a Web site on which Mormons can regularly access welfare information and resources. The site is also a community resource for anyone wanting to learn more about self-reliance.

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