If Ye Are Prepared...

In the summer of 2002 my family moved to south Texas. My husband was working across the border in Mexico everyday. Our daughter was about to turn 3, and I was very pregnant with our first son. The news was full of reports of potential dirty bomb attacks and I was anxious and unsettled (and looking back, probably very hormonal), and I felt constant uneasiness. I remembered the scripture in Doctrine & Covenants 38:30 that reads, “but if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.” I took it to heart and realized that in order to quell my fear I needed to do something, to actively engage in a project. That’s when I built my first 72 hr kit. It was bulky and did require a Little Tikes wagon to transport, but hey, it was a start.

Since then my preparedness efforts have waxed and waned depending on our situation. Small living spaces and a student budget weren’t particularly conducive to food storage when we were living in Boston for graduate school. But then the time came when we decided to move back to California – the state where we had been living on Sept 11, 2001.

At that time we had been in process of moving out of California to Pennsylvania. My husband was already working in Pennsylvania and was scheduled to fly home the evening of Sept 11th. Of course he didn’t make it back to California that night. The movers were coming the very next day to pack up our house and ship out our cars. Our daughter was 2 years old and had no comprehension of the events of the day, but wanted to watch the footage over and over again – she found it exciting, like it was a fireworks display.  I, however, was almost in a panic, trying to reconcile just how much our world had changed that morning and how my sense of peace and security were completely wiped out, all while trying to figure out how I was going to accomplish my husband’s extensive honey-do list before the movers came. Thankfully there was a young couple in our ward (church congregation) - the husband had been sent home from his job in one of the downtown L.A. towers, and the wife was my daughter’s nursery leader. Thanks to them, we didn’t have to spend that awful day alone, AND we were fully ready when the movers came the next morning.

The idea of moving back to California unleashed many of the feelings I had tried to bury after that experience - feelings of helplessness and isolation - and so once settled back in the Golden State I jumped into emergency preparedness and food storage as a way to reduce the possibility of having to feel that way again.

We’ve been back here almost 6 years now. We’ve got a couple more kids, a year+ supply of food, 2+ months of water, and paper goods and personal supplies galore. Our yard is full of fruit trees and I’ve got a healthy little garden. We’re also focusing on preparing our bodies to withstand the physical and psychological struggles a disaster would bring. While I’m still nervous that there’s so much to do, and so little time in which to do it all, I’m confident that my efforts to prepare myself and my family will never go to waste.

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We survived hurricanes in 1982 and 1994 in Hawaii. We remained safely in our home and have positive memories of those times as a family because we were prepared.

I am inspired by the dedication and vision of C. when it comes to preparedness...

Preparing every needful thing and creating a house of order ensures peace and security.

Great post! So important to be prepared, and sometimes it takes a disaster to bring up to that understanding.

Having lived through 2 hurricanes I am a firm believer in the importance of being prepared -- and honestly feel like one can never be "over" prepared.

So true - an a much-needed reminder for most of us (to be properly translated as ME).

I teach young children and can understand the feeling of "am I prepared enough for my class". This was a great reminder to me to be better prepared physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

We were in Peru during a very severe earthquake and for a week or so imports were interrupted. After a few days, the shelves were bare, but we were fine, because we subscribe to the principles you so eloquently enumerate. Our pantry was well stocked and we wanted for nothing.

I feel like in these turbulent financial times, this message is particularly timely and nothing if not increasingly relevant.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, I passed through the Pentagon on my way to work. When I returned home later that same morning, much sooner than I'd planned, I crossed the river from DC to VA by car and then had to walk the rest of the way home. As I passed by the Pentagon streams of uniformed personnel headed home as well. Those of us who were civilians joined their throng and we all walked in stunned, but communal, silence to our various destinations. To say that experience and the one that precipitated my long walk home was surreal, would be an understatement, but I was comforted in the midst of so much uncertainty that I had been reared with good emergency preparedness skills. One of the lessons I learned that day is you are never too young to be exposed to importance of being prepared.

Being an apartment dweller, and essentially a nomad, I envy your garden and your food storage. You're a great example of what to do to prepare for any eventuality. Don't be surprised if you get a knock on your door from me when the end of the world is upon us! :)

Great article! It's so important to be ready for anything especially in California.

Very inspiring!

You have just inspired me to get my food storage in order! Thanks C.


When you're prepared you're not as scared about whatever comes your way.

Procrastination is a bad choice when it comes to preparing.

Prepare yourselves so you don't have to come running to my house if there's an emergency.

Prepare ahead of time because you don't know what's coming.

Vote for "If Ye Are Prepared"!

Wow, I just learned so much more about you and your family. You are definitely inspiring to me. I know you and your family will be prepared for anything...now the question is, will I be???

I thoroughly enjoyed this window into your life. Thank you.

I was at an earthquake emergency preparedness fair the other night with my daughter. A man was discussing 72 hour kits and listing items to include in them. My daughter (8 years old) kept leaning over and saying things like, "All you really need to have is seeds. Then you can plant whatever you want to eat." I thought it was pretty cute that she thought that in the event of an earthquake, all you need is to grab your seeds and go. We went home and packed real 72 hour kits and talked about some more immediate forms of sustenance.

Yeah for preparedness!

This post is a reminder that preparedness is essential to peace of mind.

C has personally inspired me to tackle my own family's preparedness!

Thanks for the inspiration.

Definitely works for those times the electricity is off because of a car hitting a utility pole on Kamehameha Highway!

If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear!

Power outages because of a car hitting a power pole on Kamehameha Highway on Oahu really make you want to be prepared!

Even when when the rains come, causing flooding, it is a greatto be able to prepare and serve food to those in need.

Being prepared is for more than your family, it is for your extended family--including all those in need!

Cecily, your story brings back memmories.

Do all of the chickens on the point count as food storage?

I am always impressed with your insights into what is really important.

"prepare every needful thing" great counsel.

I remember all the destruction after Ewa. It was a blessing that we were prepared with all that was necessary for Thasnksgiving. Do you remember all turkeys we cooked for the neighborhood because we had a gas rather than electric oven? Preparation really does reduce fear.

Thank you for such an inspiring article. I definitely need to prepare some more. Off to the store for some flashlights!!!! ( never seem to find one that works when I really need one!!!!

Your mention of a garden in your article put a smile on my face. After a 15- year break from growing our own vegetables,our little family has started a garden again that, so far, has taught us all about responsibility, caring, and satisfaction that only comes from loving dedication to it. My husband called it, "our new baby"
I admire your dedication to being prepared from the early stages of starting a family. What a great inspiration!!!!

I love Doctrine & Covenants , section 38 verse 30,"if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear" These very wise, guiding, uplifting words have helped me in all aspects of my life, throughout all my life.

Preparedness is so important, thanks for sharing with us.

I am excited to continue growing my preparedness kits

Thanks for inspiring me!

I know if we are prepared we can have no fear.

Love this! Great inspiration :)

Need to recheck out kits to make sure we have everything.

Super motivating! Thanks for important info.

prepare every needful thing, you can say that again. I'm grateful for people who know so much about emergency preparedness.

"If Ye are prepared" kicks everyone elses preparedness. no contest!


You should write a book. It's that good.

Almost everything in our backyard is edible. Thanks for the inspiration.

You'r pretty much an emergency preparedness guru.

This is lifesaving advice. Seriously.

Preparedness rocks.

Thanks!!! You are an inspiration.

"Preparing our bodies" is not something I considered before, but that is so true.

Your insights are chalk full of common sense and quite interesting too.

So how often do you post?

Thanks for the advice.

Come help my mom prepare.

We're just going to your house.....forget making emergency kits!

Prepareness can be as hard or easy as you make it.

My car first aid kit is one why of being prepared.

I am thinking I need a wagon for my 72-hr kit.

It is a great idea to learn how to garden.

Instead of "preparing my body" can I just count my extra lbs, as extra food storage?

What did you put in your 72 hr kit that made it so you needed a wagon?

How do you prepare for the psychological struggles?

Good post.

Why did you enter this?

How do you get your kids involved?

Sept 11 was difficult day for everyone. It was especially hard for us to feel so unsafe and separated by thousands of miles. It's important to not lose the perspective of what is important that we gained that day.

Cecily's preparedness has become rather extensive. And at times, I think people see us as a bit extreme. But no one complains when we happen to be the only one to have the first aid remedy needed in our car.

You're so prepared.

Our preparedness had another benefit. As the economy turned south a few years ago, we had additional confidence from our food storage. Had we lost full employment we could have gone months without needing to purchase non-perishable food.

Great post!

Thanks for making us prepared!

Enjoyed your story.

I need to get going on this stuff for my family.

Your awesome.

great post

I hope this will help Jack being diligent picking up rabbit drops in your garden...

excellent!!! loved it.

Glad I live around the corner from you - bring it on Armaggedon!

Ever thought about making a business out of this?

Guess I should keep dropping goodies off so that I can stay your good graces!

Great ideas & I love the background info.

I think I have 3 first aid kits in my car...but no socks!

Can I just move in with you & save myself some work? :) I'll wash windows!

You are a very good writer!

Honestly, I'd have some nice wheat & herbs if there was an emergency. I'd rather eat wheat with rosemary than starve....right?

We still need to get together & can chocolate chips!

People don't like to think about what can happen but it's best to be ready for anything!

Great advice, I need to put together a kit!

A year ago, we ate our 72 hour kits and I have yet to replace it... This is such a good reminder to all! Thanks!

Awesome Writing!

Great article!

Your post has inspired me to plan and prepare.

Thank you for sharing your story with us.

Your post get my vote!

Lucky to have a preparedness expert as a neighbor.


Having also moved around the country and lived in homes of all shapes and sizes, I've used several excuses for not being prepared-- not enough room, we'll just have to haul it when we move again, etc. This post gave me the inspiration I needed to do what I can to make it fit into my surroundings and take it with me regardless of the hassle. Thank you!!

Thank you for sharing your story.


Great advice!

Need to fill up my water barrel!

Good reminder to get prepared!

Great story. Thanks for sharing!

This is living proof that being prepared is essential in this day and age. Thanks!

It's time to restock the pantry -- thanks for the reminder and witty article!

I always enjoy your literary creations. How can anyone read your article and not be driven toward preparedness?

I think it's time for you to write a book! I'd buy your first copy! Thanks for sharing!

Time to go and plant the garden..,thanks for sharing!

thanks, cecily! i always need a kick in the butt in the preparedness department. . .

Vote #2

We love you!!!

When are you coming to Hawaii to help us with our preparation?

Take care and good luck. You deserve it.

You are a good auntie with lots of good ideas.

Remember my birthday is next month and I really really want one of your cool first aid kits.

Vote #3

Comment #4

Aloha and good night. I have school tomorrow.

Vote #3

Vote #4

Vote #5 Good luck!!

Good story

Response one.

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response 4

final post

Excellent Advise

Excellent AdviCe :) in this article.


Vote #2

Vote#3. Love it!

You are my preparedness hero!

Vote #5




Loved it

Vote number 5

Great info!

Love the storage ideas!

There is always a way!

I realize how lazy I have become about this.

Great advice. Thanks.


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