A Voice of Warning

Last summer, I attended a Pandemic preparedness regional meeting offered by a Medical Doctor who was called by our church, on a mission to teach us about pandemics and how to prepare for them. Her exact wording was “when” there is a pandemic, not “if” there is a pandemic. She talked about how the Lord has always used plagues, pestilence and sickness to help his children turn their hearts to Him. She also stated (the MD) that we are well over due for a pandemic. When I first heard this information, I thought that most of you sisters would totally freak out- basically, so I have been hesitant to pass on the ino.

Since Christmas, as I have been studying and praying about what classes to teach, I have had strong feelings and noticed a similar thread among reputable websites I have checked. They are all talking about and encouraging us to prepare for the pandemic- including LDS.org. (http://providentliv ing.org/content/ display/0, 11666,8041- 1-4414-1, 00.html
) In my patriarchal blessing, it specifically states that I will be “preserved during times of pestilence and plagues”. This is yet another reason that I feel strongly about becoming prepared for it, because the Lord specifically told me that they would come. I suppose that we can all put our heads in the sand, or become educated, and prepare so as to have “no fear” as our prophets promise us. I hope that you will join me in the classes that will come. It would be awful to loose family members, or even ourselves, when perhaps we could have prepared and perhaps prevented some calamity through education.


When I read the 1st Presidency’s message in the Ensign this month, (Januray 2009, Be a voice of warning) my feelings were reinforced and I am prompted to pass a long the information I have gathered. Please, if you don’t feel like it is your time to prepare, save the information, until you are ready, or pass it along to someone you love. When we become educated as a ward, family and friends, there is strength in numbers and support beyond measure. I know we all feel this way.


Here is the information from the pandemic seminar; the class schedule of classes that I will teach will come later.

Pandemic Preparedness fireside notes

Dear Friends,

I attended the recent fireside by Dr. Susan Puls who serves as the Medical Coordinator for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Emergency Response program.  If you are interested you can read my summary of the key points of her address.

1.  The scriptures tell/command us not to fear at least 91 times.    We can live comfortably if we choose a culture of preparedness and readiness.

2.  Every family should prepare a one page preparedness document that lists where everyone is likely to be, phone numbers, doctors, out-of-state contacts, meeting places etc.  This should be reviewed often with the family.   (I have also heard a good idea presented elsewhere suggesting an “essentials” list, in priority order, posted on commonly used exit doors identifying what to grab on the way out during an evacuation.)

3.  Everyone should have a 72 hr. kit or a “grab and go” bag.  It should have water, life-saving medication (i.e. insulin for a diabetic etc.) food, shelter, etc.  In an emergency the only way you can maybe get necessary supplies you are lacking is if you have CASH.  (In my opinion we should have cash in our wallets, in our homes, in our cars, & in our 72 hour kits.)  One of the biggest problems faced by victims of disaster is BOREDOM!  Be sure to include something to keep you and your children occupied in your 72 hr. kit.   

4.  We should have longer term supplies in our homes…such as: medical kit, prescription glasses, baby formula (even if you normally breastfeed), radio, lights, tools, shelter, blankets, tents, clothes, children and pet supplies, toys, treats, etc.

5.  Have 3 months supply of food your family normally eats, 9 months of bulk food stores, 2 weeks of water and equipment for and knowledge of how to clean water, and financial reserves.  Rotate and use your supplies.

6.  When the PANDEMIC(S) happen it (they) will be (a) worldwide event(s).  (No one from a neighboring state or country is going to come in and provide you with assistance.  You must be ready to take care of yourself and your family.)   “If you expect your neighbors to feed you, hopefully you like tortillas!  That will be all that they can slide under your door!”   In “mock” pandemic drills, persons driving I-15 Southbound through Utah were barred from exiting the freeway!

7.  The Avian Flu (JUST one of many possible pandemic candidates) is in 67 countries.  Out of 383 cases 241 fatalities have occurred.  Human to human transmission of the disease has occurred in 15 countries.  We are in “Phase 3” (human to human transmission occurs but not easily.  “Phase 6” is pandemic where human to human transmission is easy and RAPID!)  In pandemics at least 40% of the work force will be home sick or protecting themselves from getting sick.  Schools, churches, movie theatres, etc. will all close.  Pandemics are expected to last for 3-6 months and will come in 2 to 3 waves lasting about 6 weeks.  50% of deaths occur in people 19 and under, 70% in those 29 and under, and 90% in those 39 and under.  (Looks like it could be a good thing to be over 40!)

8.   HAND WASHING is the single most important and effective component for preventing the transmission of infection.  Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for AT LEAST 20 seconds whether you are sick or healthy.  We should learn to keep our hands away from our eyes, nose, and mouth.  Go to www.coughsafe.com to watch a video about proper coughing and sneezing etiquette.  (This would be a good FHE activity.  The video lasts about 5 minutes and is funny as well as informative.)  We should disinfect common surfaces such as telephones, door knobs, toilet handles, computer key boards, refrigerator handles etc. often with regular household cleaning products containing bleach.  Be sure to store plenty of cleaners.  If you haven’t seen it before watch the pandemic video put out by BYU-I at http://streaming.byui.edu/safetyoffice/flu.wmv

9. Review all the pandemic information on the church website http://providentliving.org/content/display/0,11666,8041-1-4414-1,00.html Consider getting a supply of N95 Respirator Surgical Masks (she said at least 20/person), gloves, sanitation gowns, foot coverings and eye goggles..  (The best price I could find on the internet for the masks today was at Emergency Essentials -14.95/box of 20.  I think the best price on gloves is at Sam’s or Costco.  I bought the other stuff at www.onlinemedicalsupply.com )


If you are interested in more information from the seminar I attended, you can log onto http://webpub.byu.net/dst05/  to get the notes prepared by those who ran it.

The above notes are taken from  the Spanish Fork South Stake Self Reliance Fair held  Saturday August 23, 2008.

Class Schedule for 2009

Hi everyone,

I wanted to give you the heads up on some up coming classes. I know that we are all on different levels of preparedness, so I am still offering one 101 level class each month, (i.e. cooking, etc.) but feel impressed to also move forward with some hard core classes and hopefully, acquire peace through knowledge. Please do not feel over whelmed with the below schedule. Each of us are surrounded by a pool of knowledge in our neighbors and good friends who are willing to help us along as long, if we are willing to be taught. We still have time, but in my opinion, if we are listening to our Prophet, the time to become prepared is now. So, let’s get started!

Below is a list of my upcoming classes that are to be seen as a “BANQUET of opportunity”. Hopefully I can start to quench many taste buds on various levels of learning for all of us. (If I am not, please give me your suggestions on things you are interested in.)

There are some words in the English language that instill a certain level of fear. Words like PANDEMIC, NEUCLEAR ATTACK and many more. I must say that these things are scary, but they can be less scary by becoming educated, Hence; here is a “Face your Fears” opportunity for us to come learn, become informed and hopefully to empower with ability.

Here are the classes for the next couple of months:

  • January- Pressure cooking, canned meat, Jerky, smoked meats and TVP. All about meat choices for storage.

This was great class that pretty much covered all meat choices for long term storage. There was also a mini class on Food Storage Fast Foods”. When I get it all typed up, I will post it under “pressure canning.”

  • February 5th- 7:00-9:00 pm – Bird Flu Pandemic

Class will be in the Chapel in the Larson Park Ward. (Same chapel where the Jim Phillips Sanitation class was held.) You may invite whomever you would like to take advantage of this great class. (I am hoping to fill the chapel. J) Alison Robinson will teach this class. She is C.E.R.T. (Community Emergency Response Training) certified, a member of the Medical Reserve Corps, both of which are connected with Homeland Security. She has received the information in a MRC meeting and would be presenting that. Is also co-commander of our CERT team and is extremely knowledgeable.

(A Complete Medical kit will be available to purchase in advance of the class, or a sign up sheet will be passed around and filled later. There will also be a follow up class to teach you about anti-plague recipes, home remedies, and other antidotes that have been proven to work that can save your families lives. More information to come in the next few days.)

  • Feb. 12th 10:00 am.

Bread Making 101. I will demo bread making and you will sample some of the sisters home-made bread. I will also demo Survival Bread- #4 of “Rebecca Lee’s 20 things I wouldn’t do without” at Widmer’s house taught by me, April 🙂 As always, recipe and shopping list will be provided before the class. Mini class on your “Laundry Bucket must haves.”

  • March 5th, 6:30-9:30

Nuclear attack and the book of Revelations taught by a local specialist, Farley Anderson. This is a very spiritual meeting that gave me such peace instead of fear. Of course Heavenly Father has provided a way to protect His children. Come and find out how. It is extremely fascinating! (Nuclear attack package is available in advance of his lecture for $50.00 each. When I heard him speak, I wanted to order a package for EVERYONE I love. This is definitely life saving information including antidotes, and is very well worth the money.)

Everyone is welcome; bring your loved ones and neighbors- especially your husbands!

  • March 19th- 10:00 am

Organic gardening at the Widmer’s. What is the big deal, and why do I want to do this? Rebecca Griffin will be teaching this class and answering all of those questions. (Group ordering and catologue will be available.) Mini class on Organic Honey.

  • April’s classes – the month, silly!  🙂

I am sure that you are wondering what I will come up with next right? #3 of “Rebecca Lee’s 20 things I wouldn’t do without”, sterilized wraps, (first aid kit package will be available.) and #6, Pulse/sprouts. This is something you will not want to do without in your storage and has up to a 30-year shelf life.

  • April 9th – 10:00 am, Larsen Park Ward. 9600 So. 6000 West

April Widmer’s house. Traditional “sprouting in a jar” and other methods as well as dirt sprouting. I am going to get a great discount on bulk buying here for sprouting seeds. I will post the group order prices on May 1st.

  • April 23rd 

Rosa Rice will be teaching us how to make our own Sterilized wraps and dressings. Start finding/saving white sheets to cut up, and saving your brown paper sacks to complete this project. 

This is #3 of Rebecca Lee’s “20 Items I Wouldn’t Do Without”.
We will meet in the Larsen Park Ward (6000 West 9600 No. in Highland) in the RS Room at 10:00 and should be there about 1 1/2 hours. 
Sorry ladies, we won’t have a nursery.
Hope to see you all there,
April 🙂
  • May is “Solar Month”

May will be my solar classes, so solar ovens, panels and other solar things will be made available. Sieg is putting a package together so that you can have portable solar. More info will come as we get closer.

  • June- Power is out, how do I cook?  Dutch Oven cooking and other alternative fuel sources.

This is all for now sisters. Doesn’t this sound like fun? I am excited and hope that you too, feel like this is a lot of great stuff to learn, and start checking off of your preparedness lists. We are blessed to have so many knowledgeable people around us who are willing to share what they know. We are really being blessed!

Take care sisters,

April Widmer 🙂

Love Quilts


My Grandmother Amelia, and my Mother Hermine  were amazing quilters. Each of us 7 children had at least one of their adorned masterpieces on our beds that resembled favorite dresses and outfits of the past, but mostly reminded us that we were loved, safe and cared for. As a small child, we were taught to tie quilts and knew how much love went into one of these works of art.

When I was 12 years old, half of my family was in a fatal car accident in Vulcan, Alberta, Canada, in which our beloved Grandmother was killed. My Mother and my only brother Briggs were also critically wounded. We sat in the pouring rain until a farmer rescued us. He wrapped our bloody family up in a beautiful hand-quilted green quilt, and left for help. When we arrived at the hospital, I felt so bad that we had ruined his quilt, and knew that he had sacrificed something for our trembling family that day.

Six years later, when my sister Shelley and I graduated from Young Women’s, our ward quilted a blanket for each of us. Hers was green, and mine was turquoise. (Mine was prettier- or so I thought.) Several years later, Shelley died of cancer, and my brother and I fought over her quilt, knowing that it was a “love quilt” made and given to her from our ward family. Because I already had a quilt from our ward, and Briggs was her twin, I allowed him to keep it. On his return home to Idaho, he came upon a car accident where a family was brutally injured. He saw the pregnant Mother who had lost her ear, and all of her scared children, and quickly ran to his car to retrieve his newly acquired green quilt. He stayed with them until the ambulance came, and then watched them, and his green quilt drive away in the snowy weather.

In the fall of 2008, we had to place our daughter in a place of healing for troubled teens. Our hearts were broken, as we dropped our beloved daughter off to her new home. When I saw where she would be sleeping, I began to cry, for on her bed was a beautiful hand-made quilt that was sewn by many of my Relief Society sisters for a humanitarian project. My heart was lifted as I felt the love that went into making it radiate from her bed. I was humbled, and knew that she would be wrapped in love while she was so far away from home.

That same year, we had major trial one after another including death, and had also become unemployed for many months. As we exchanged letters with our daughter, and met in counseling sessions with her, we would talk about our lives and what was happening at home as well. Secretly, her school decided to do something nice for our family for Christmas. On Christmas morning, we were each surprised to open a big present with a beautiful hand-made quilt inside. Each one of my children were given the exact quilt made out of the fabric that I would have chosen to suit their individual personalities. As I marveled “how could they have known?” I opened up my quilt, and was amazed- it was solid green. Instantly, I started crying, knowing that only the Lord knew us well enough to know these details, and he was wrapping up my family in beautiful love quilts just like he always had.

These blankets that we received were also humanitarian blankets, made by our Relief Society sisters. I am humbled thinking that somewhere, someone had made that far in advance, the love quilt that my family would need to feel our Heavenly Fathers love in such a special, unique way. I know that as we, as Relief Society sisters, continue to make love quilts and send them around the world or across the street, we are sending a message of our Father’s love for his children. Heavenly Father knows “every little bird that falls” and uses His love quilts to gently catch them. For this, I will always be grateful.

Pandemic Shopping List

N95 particulate face masks- 4 boxes (2 boxes per adult)

Latex gloves- 200 pairs in a variety of sizes

Anti bacterial hand sanitizer Lg. bottle

Digital thermometer


Hydrogen peroxide


Anti-bacterial wipes

5 hospital gowns

5 hospital caps

5 pairs of hospital shoe covers

Things to prepare to be ready for a pandemic:

1.   Prescription drugs to insure a continuous supply in your home. You may ask your doctor if he has samples or can help you to lawfully prepare.

2.   First aid supplies.

3.   Nonprescription drugs including pain and fever relievers, stomach remedies, anti diarrhea medications, and cough and cold medicines and preventive medications.

4.   Remember, never give young children aspirin. Purchase medications specifically designed for children.

5.   Fluids with electrolytes.

6.   Vitamins.

7.   Anti bacterial wipes for cleaning up after attending to a patient.

8.   Hand sanitizers should also be included in your first aid supplies. These should be used every time you are with someone who is ill or after you shake hands with anyone.

9.   Make sure you also have at least one thermometer on hand and alcohol to clean it.

Medical gloves are essential. Purchase a variety of sizes for the needs of all family members. Remember, some gloves are latex – so if you think you may have a latex allergy use care in selecting gloves.

10.  N95 particulate face masks. These will help prevent the transfer of germs as you are in public or caring for a loved one. There are many types of medical masks. The surgical variety will provide added protection from fluids. These are especially valuable when you are caring for someone who is sweating, sneezing or vomiting. For the best protection these need to fit firmly against the face. If you are using masks for children place the mask on the face and then a bandana. This will help to hold the mask firmly on their face. It can be like dress up! Make sure you remove the bandana and place it directly into the washer. Then discard the mask, preferably outside, and wash your child’s hands, face and exposed skin thoroughly with a hand sanitizer. I have heard people advise that masks do not need to be stored because they cannot be fitted tightly enough to the face. So long as hospitals, police and fire departments and schools are stocking up with supplies of masks for all their staff and students, I am stocking face masks, too. When they no longer consider it important, I will stop. Until then, I believe it is important.

11. Paper plates, cup, bowls, and utensils will cut down on the possibility that germs will be passed as meals are cleared. They will also save precious time for those who are the care givers and a must have should the power fail.

12. Paper towels, become essential items for keeping your home germ free.

13. Stock up on TP and facial tissues with anti bacterial properties…you will use more than you think during a time of illness. Each family will need a different amount of these items. Don’t guess what your need will be. For at least one month keep track of how may rolls of toilet paper and how many boxes of tissues you use. I suggest you place the wrapper from the TP roll in a drawer and at the end of the month count how many you have used. You can multiply this number by three to understand how much you need to store. Add an additional 25%-50% more to prepare for a pandemic as family members will all be home all day long, and some family members are likely to be ill.

14. Large plastic trash bags for soiled clothing,towels, and trash.

15. Liquid soaps: laundry and dish soaps will be much more useful if there is an interruption in your utility service.

16. Bleach for laundry and cleaning, and other disinfectant cleaning supplies should also be stored.

17. Remember the foods we discussed in Preparing for a Flu Pandemic with Food Storage.

18. Alternative to electricity.

a. For light: Flashlights, glow sticks, and/or lanterns, and batteries.

b. For heat: Firewood, non-electric heaters (propane or kerosene – follow manufacturer instructions for safety), and heavy blankets and/or sleeping bags.

c. For Cooking: Portable propane cook stove, barbecue grill and fuel, can opener.

d. For Laundry: large tub for washing laundry, rope for a clothes line and clothes pins.

e. For Communications: Battery/solar/crank radio and/or TV to keep up on the news and health warnings.

f. Water: Bleach and other items needed for purification.

19. Sanitation needs: Port-a-potty with chemicals and liner, kitty litter or sand to help absorb waste and a plan to bury your waste away from your home. You will also need to be prepared to bury or otherwise dispose of every day’s trash in case services are suspended temporarily.

20. Entertainment: Just think about three months at home with no place to go. Talk about cabin fever! Consider purchasing DVDs that you know your children or spouse would like to have. Keep them put away until they are needed or until the next major gift giving occasion. Then replace the old with new titles. You can also establish a stash of age appropriate books, magazines, puzzles and games. Reading a few classic books as a family would also be a great way to pass the time. Stock up on craft supplies and even a new hobby to start with the kids. Cooking can be lots of fun together so make sure your three month supply includes ingredients to make some fun snacks and meals. A sense of humor is key to survival, so be sure to choose entertainment that is funny and/or uplifting.

21. Cash: Should the power fail ATM machines and credit cards will not work. Have a stash of small denomination bills on hand for emergencies when you are forced to leave your home.

22. Gas up: As soon as you hear the flu has come to your region, fill all your cars with gas. Not only will supplies be hard to come by, but if the power fails, so do the pumps.

23. Develop a list of health care providers in your area including clinics and hospitals. Include friends in health care, who you can call at home to get advice or direction.

24. A bell or whistle for your patient to sound when they are in need of help. A whistle can be heard much easier than the human voice.

25. Whether you are trying to prevent disease or prevent it from spreading, you will want to take precautions in every aspect of your family routine. Now is the time to start by teaching and practicing good habits.

26. Teach your family the proper way to wash their hands. You do not need to use hand sanitizers on a daily basis. In fact, this can prove dangerous as sanitizers kill all germs, good and bad. Hands should be washed with plenty of water, soap and scrubbing. Practice rubbing all the surfaces of the hands, including the fingernails and between fingers, under running water every time you wash. Since this needs to take some time children can learn to be patient and sing either Happy Birthday or the ABC Song while scrubbing. This will help them to recognize the length of time necessary to do a thorough washing.

Some of this list is taken from Meridian Magazine and other classes I have attended.

Handwashers to help you do your laundry

Hi Ladies,
I have been asked to do the 6th order of the handwashers. So, if you would like one or many, please e-mail me back. Here is the URL that shows you what it is, and why you want one. There were many times when I wish that I had one of theses while camping.


They are $13.00 each, and I recommend buying 3 so that you have one to wash with, and 2 to rinse with, but one will also work, it will just take longer. You use this in a 5 gal bucket, with 1 1/2 gals of water & 2 Tbls. soap. It can also keep your kiddies busy,  and is a great bardering tool.

If you are interested, I place an order on the first Thursday of every month as long as I can meet the minimum order. If you have 30 or more, I can have them shipped to you, otherwise, you have to pick them up from my house. When I receieve your check, I will order your washer for you and contact you by e-mail when they come in. 

If you are receiving this e-mail and belong to a different group other than the Highland 22nd ward, please feel free to pass this along, and offer it to your wards and neighbors. The more people that want to buy when we bulk order, the lower we can get our over all prices in the purchasing to come. You will just have to collect the orders and money on your end, bring it to me, I will order it, and when it is delivered, you pick it up and take it to your people. Here is my e-mail address: swissmiss1010@yahoo.com

I  do many bulk orders monthly. The month of May will be my solar classes, so solar ovens, panels and other solar things will be made available. I am working on a bulk seed orders, green houses and hot boxes for April/May as well as local honey. So if you are interested in any of these things, start saving your money now.

Scrambled Eggs

snapshot-2009-02-09-23-21-12We have had chickens since March of 2008. In August, we had 1-2 eggs daily from our 9 hens. Every day, Sieg has entered our house angry that the chickens were not producing, and that they had better produce soon, or they will end up in the freezer or the next pot of stew! I have kindly reminded him that he needs to talk nice to the chickens, or they won’t lay. Month after month I have listened to his daily murmuring.

One day I had this feeling that the chickens wouldn’t lay eggs until he started to pray that they would. I suggested that this would be a great teaching opportunity for the children, as well as a great exercise for himself. This was on a Tuesday, and Sieg thought that this was a silly thing to do. The children and I prayed for the chickens 4 times that day without him. The following day, just like magic, we got 3 eggs- there was visual proof, now Sieg had to start praying with us. Only 7 days later, we started getting 5 eggs a day!

Does the Lord answer our prayers?  He not only hears them, but also answers them if we will humble ourselves and exercise faith in Him. With God, all things are possible- even scrambled eggs.  🙂

Clothes Washing Kit

Here is a  way to do your laundry in an emergency. You can easily put this together yourself. I wish that we would have had this while camping many times! Now, we will!

  • 5-gallon bucket with lid (cut hole in middle of lid for plunger handle to fit through)
  • Toilet plunger (brand-new, clean) or “The Breather handwasher”
  • Store in bucket:
  • Liquid laundry detergent
  • Stain remover/stain stick
  • Vinegar (add 1/2 cup to rinse water) helps remove soap
  • 1/2 measuring cup or device
  • Rope (for clothes line)
  • 150 Clothes pins
  • opt. clothes pin bag (to keep them together)


To Use:

Empty contents of bucket.

  1. Place water, small amount of detergent, and clothes in bucket.
  2. Move plunger up and down for a few minutes or until clothes are clean.
  3. Remove soapy clothes and ring them out.
  4. Dump out soapy water (on your garden or lawn.)
  5. Place soapy clothes in bucket and fill with clear, clean water.
  6. Add 1/2 cup vinegar to rinse water.
  7. Move plunger up and down to rinse clothing.
  8. Wring out clothes and hang to dry.
  9. Conserve water – use rinse water for next load of laundry.


NOTE: You could use two or 3 5-gallon buckets, stacked side by side of each other. Use one bucket for the soapy water and the other two for the rinse water. You may be able to wash and rinse a couple of batches of clothes without changing the soapy water depending on how dirty the clothes are.