Followers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints religion are taught a lot about self-reliance. One of the key components of their teachings encourages you to prepare your family for the possibility of hard times to come. Their strategies and beliefs are a thoughtful approach to prepping and offer something even non-members of their church can follow.
Prepping doesn’t just necessarily mean we are always prepping for the end of the world. Mormons believe that we should prepare for any potential disaster, even the ones that hit close to home. The Mormon prepping principles would help you in a true SHTF scenario, a natural disaster or even just economic hardship and unemployment. Adopting some of the basic principles LDS members follow, is a great way to look at you own home storage and emergency preparedness– especially for someone who is just getting started.
LDS Home Storage
Mormon teachings focus on four main aspects of home storage to help keep their families safe in hard times.
1. A Three Month Supply of Food
Mormon’s suggest that you build a small supply of food that is basically the same as your normal, daily diet. Since Mormons also teach to spend your money wisely and not live beyond your means, for many Mormon preppers this mean buying a few extra items each week until you can build up a one week supply of food. You add to it from there and work toward a goal of three months of food. Canning and other food preservation is very popular in the LDS faith. They even have canning centers in some cities that they can utilize to build their own stockpile and package food for long term storage. It is also important to begin rotating your stockpile regularly to avoid having your shorter term food spoil.
2. Long Term Food Storage
Another aspect of food storage for preppers is their long term supply. Many basic staples, believe it or not, can last as long as 30 years. Wheat, grain, white rice, powdered milk, corn, pasta, potato flakes, pinto beans, and sugar are all good examples for foods that when properly stored can last between 20 and 30 years. Many dehydrated foods can last near this long too. Building up the long term food storage helps supplement the three month supply, or keep your family fed if your hard times extend beyond your three month supply of food.
Storing water is a smart practice, as there are numerous situations that could result in a tainted water supply. Store water in sturdy, leak-proof, breakage-resistant containers. A lot of LDS preppers, trying to keep their costs low recycle juice or water containers, but for there are many ways to easily store water. Keep water containers in a cool, dark place — away from heat sources and direct sunlight. There are excellent storage options for water. You can also choose to purchase prepacked water, which is another easy way to stock up.
Depending upon you space and the size of your family, it might not be feasible to store enough water. If this is the case, you may turn to a water filtration system that could help aid in keeping you and your family hydrated in case of a contaminated water supply or lack of running water in general.
4. Financial Reserve
The teaching of the LDS church encourages their followers to prepare for adversity by paying attention to their finances. They encourage people to have a financial reserve, even if it is small and believe that will help your family feel more secure and at peace. They also encourage you to discipline yourself to avoid debt as well as be modest with unnecessary expenditures.
A financial reserve can come in many different forms, but in a world where the possibility of banks collapsing truly exists, most smart preppers know investing in an alternative currency, like gold or silver is a better bet for the long term.
Items Beyond Food
The church also encourages you to collect other resources that will aid you and your family in the case of a disaster or emergency. Other items in an LDS stockpile may include:
- Medication and first aid supplies
- Clothing and bedding
- Important documents
- Alternative Communication Means
Have an Emergency Preparedness Plan
The LDS Church has a 5 point emergency plan for its followers to help them prepare for emergencies in advance.
1. Identify Likely Disasters – Make a list of the disasters that are most likely to occur in your area. For each type of disaster, consider the specific response that would be needed.
2. Gather Critical Information – Gather information on one easily accessible place for things like important phone numbers and contact, as well as maps and locations of local organization that may be of service in a time of need.
3. Outline Assignments & Procedures – Identify within your family unit what everyone’s jobs and tasks will be in the case of emergency. Make sure you go over and practice how to complete these tasks, especially for the children; make sure you have age appropriate tasks as well. Remember to consider a task that will be important both before, during and after a potential disaster strikes.
4. Identify Emergency Communication Methods – Plan for alternative communication methods that can be if phone lines, cell phone service or transportation routes are disrupted during an emergency. Short range two-way radios, as well as emergency radios will help keep communication possible in a disaster.
5. Encourage Member Participation – Mormons are also instructed to encourage their fellow congregants to participate in emergency planning, home storage and financial planning that goes along with their beliefs about self- reliance.
Key Tips From the LDS Teachings
When you are first acquiring your stockpile it can be overwhelming, especially financially. The church suggests that its followers begin their home storage supplies slowly, only buying a few extra items each week.
Live Within your Means
The church also teaches it’s followers to avoid debt, and live within their own means. For prepping, this means you are not supposed to put yourself into debt, just to create a stockpile. They also encourage you to avoid credit cards and buying on credit, as a precaution. When times get tough it becomes much harder to make ends meet with credit card bills piling up at your door. That is why Mormons choose their own expenditures wisely– keeping in mind what they can afford and what they truly need.
Buy Bulk and On Sale
One of the best things about having an established stockpile, is you only have to buy items when they are on sale. Many Mormons practice the simple money saving technique… it you buy in bulk when it’s on sale, you can use what you have in your stockpile until the particular item is on sale again. This enables LDS preppers to save much more money over the long haul.
Grow a Garden
Since living within your means is so important in the LDS faith, many Mormons grow a garden as sort of a living food supply. In addition, whatever you don’t use while it’s fresh can often be dehydrated or canned to keep for longer term storage.
The Mormon church preaches on self-reliance, but that goes beyond things like growing a garden. The truth is true prepping whether LDS or not, goes beyond your food stockpile. While many preppers are prepared in the case of attack and arm themselves with self-defense tools and knowledge, the LDS church thinks of another possible scenario to prepare for as well.
Mormons are taught they must prepare themselves with proper vocational skills, in the event of unintended unemployment or financial hardship. This is an important aspect that most general preppers look over, while they are considering larger scale disasters, but the truth is unemployment could leave your family in a bad place if you are not properly prepared. Gaining education and usable job skills might not help you in a Zombie apocalypse, but let’s face it the likelihood of becoming unemployed is still a lot greater than being attacked by zombies… so buy that shotgun, but maybe buy a book too.
Mormon self-reliance is an intelligent and thoughtful approach to prepping. Considering more variety of what would be constituted as a disaster can help your family not only be prepared for a SHTF scenario, but also for other of life’s twists and turns. Offering an intelligent, balanced approach is an effective way to begin your plan to help your family survive in potentially challenging times.