The following is a letter that was given to sisters in another ward.
As I’m sure you have heard on recent news reports, those in the health and medical community are anticipating a very bad year for the flu virus. It has been estimated that at any given time during this flu season, 40% to 60% of the workforce in this country may be absent from their employment. That, of course, would include medical facilities, grocery stores and trucking companies. Our ability to obtain goods and services that we need to maintain daily living could be negatively impacted for an extended period of time. Hopefully, we have followed the admonition of the prophets and have established a preparedness plan for their families. If they have not, the task may seem overwhelming and with other economic and personal issues, they may have set this important and necessary project aside waiting for better times. In those situations, we have some suggestions that may help.1. Make a list of the food and hygiene items currently in your homes. When you know what is available to you, make a menu to establish how long you could survive if you could not get items from the store. Monitor to see how quickly your family uses soaps, shampoos, dish and laundry soaps, etc. to establish how much of a supply of those items you currently have in your homes. Include hygiene, paper supplies and medications on your list. Don’t forget diapers, wipes and basic first aid supplies.2. Establish what items would be necessary to be completely self sufficient for a 1 month period of time if a situation arose where you were unable to get any replacement supplies in your home. Again, in addition to food, remember hygiene and paper products as well as medications. Water storage also needs to be maintained.3. Review the family budget to see if there are any areas where expenditures could be reduced to provide means to purchase the items on that list. Pay attention to the items that you are using daily and adjust your list accordingly so that those items are replaced. Try to obtain and then maintain a 1 month supply of food and other items needed by your family. Once that is done, work on a second month supply.4. Check on your water storage. See if it needs to be treated or replaced and verify that you have at least a 2 week supply for every member of your family. The recommended amount is 2 gallons per person per day.Please have the sisters remind their children to wash their hands with soap and water several times a day while at school to avoid becoming ill. If they suspect that a member of their family may be ill with the flu, keep them home to avoid spreading it to other families. We are aware that many families are unable to take on any additional expenses at this time and are already in great need. However, we have seen great miracles take place when families live the gospel and work to follow the commandments of the Lord. The last sentence in the Visiting Teaching Message for September is a statement by Elder Hales, it says, “The reason we pray, study the scriptures, have good friends, and live the gospel through obedience to the commandments is so that when-not if, but when- the trials come, we are ready”.