Is Your Family Ready?

The damage are as seen from Our Savior Lutheran Church's parking lot in Washington, Il on Monday November 18, 2013. A pickup truck with clean up volunteers can be seen to the upper right of the picture. On Sunday, November 16, 2013 one of many tornados across the Illinois touched town in Washington, Il a central illinois town of about 15,000.The tornado damaged many member homes including Our Savior Lutheran Church. Dan Gill for LCMS

The damage are as seen from Our Savior Lutheran Church’s parking lot in Washington, Il on Monday November 18, 2013. A pickup truck with clean up volunteers can be seen to the upper right of the picture. On Sunday, November 16, 2013 one of many tornados across the Illinois touched town in Washington, Il a central illinois town of about 15,000.The tornado damaged many member homes including Our Savior Lutheran Church. Dan Gill for LCMS

Family preparation

God has given us a great gift: He has given us each other. As Christians, we can appreciate that God has made each one of us unique and purchased each one of us, not with gold or silver, but with the precious blood of His Son on the cross. Moreover, because of this and our shared conditions in this sinful world, we bear each other’s burdens.

Christians aren’t the only ones who “bear one another’s burdens.” God also has chosen to work through families, careers, governments, organizations, etc. Often we help and serve each other through these vocations without even realizing it! Consider both how you could respond and how others may respond. Sometimes disasters can be an opportunity for you to strengthen others through a kind deed, a firm handshake or a well-chosen word.

Family disaster plan

Disaster preparedness begins in the home. Local officials and relief workers may not arrive immediately.

Families must be able to cope with disaster by preparing and working as a team. Maintaining a ready supply of food, water, hygiene, health items and a few basic tools can go a long way to making sure your family can take care of itself for a few days without outside help.

Each family in your congregation also would benefit from similar preparation, especially the elderly and those who may need additional attention. When families don’t have to worry about themselves so much after a disaster, it frees them to serve their neighbors. What a wonderful thing it would be if every family was able to reach out to one other family in meaningful ways with food, supplies and the comforting Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Knowing what to do is the best protection. FEMA’s booklet, “Are You Ready: An In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness,” and the companion DVD, “Getting Ready for Disaster: One Family’s Experience,” provide more helpful tips and directions.

Below are two websites that offer guidance for your family:

https://www.fema.gov/plan-prepare

https://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/documents/files/Family_Emegency_Plan.pdf

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Note: LCMS leader blog articles express the personal experiences and views of our ministry staff and have not been subjected to the LCMS doctrinal review process. Readers are encouraged to leave questions in the comment section or consult their pastor with any queries related to this content.

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