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.

6 Replies to “A Voice of Warning”

  1. Thanks so much for sharing this! I also wanted to mention another important aspect of preparing for a pandemic is taking care of our health. When we are following the Spirit of the Word of Wisdom, we will be doing everything possible to strengthen our immune systems–eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, avoiding harmful foods and substances, getting enough Vitamin D, etc. The D&C tells us that, if we follow the WoW, the “destroying angel” will pass us by. I think that “destroying angel” could be a pandemic, and the faithful will survive if they have followed the Lord’s counsel to care well for their bodies to keep them strong. 🙂

  2. April:

    Did you personally attend this seminar? If so, when and where was it held (exact date, place, etc.). I am seeing some truly unbelievable claims made about what was said (e.g., 1.4 billions deaths worldwide, which is directly contradicted by a 2006 Harvard study published in Lancet that estimated about 62 million deaths worldwide from an avian flu pandemic; likewise, 3 months mandated quarantine for non-infected people, which is directly contradicted both by common sense and by the US HHS writeup on actions in an avian flu pandemic). Please drop me a line. ..bruce.. (bwebster@bfwa.com)

  3. Yes, I did personally attend the seminar when Dr. Puls spoke at Spanish Fork South Stake Self Reliance Fair held August 23, 2008. I am not sure about your numbers, but my notes stated that 88% of people that got it died. She did talk about a “reverse quarantine” that would require us to stay home for a extended amount of time and suggested that we have a 90 supply of food and reserves for that time as well as 9 months of bulk storage, and financial reserves. She said that that would be to protect our families and ourselves from being infected/and or infecting others. She suggested that we stock pile masks, latex gloves and anti-viral medications. She also stated that we are “over due for a pandemic”. I have since heard someone who is a member of the Medical Reserve Corps, both of which are connected with Homeland Security who taught the same information concerning a reverse quarantine.

    Here is a URL for the Spanish Fork South Stake Self Reliance Fair http://webpub.byu.net/dst05/ where you can get more information if you would like. You can also contact me with any another questions you might have. I asked my husband as well as my friend who attended with me, and we all agreed and checked our notes to be the same.
    Hope this helps,
    April Widmer 🙂


  4. I must also add that after I attended the meeting, I did talk about it to others, but didn’t have a blog until 2 weeks ago. That is why I am now posting things that are somewhat old events. Just thought I’d clarify that.
    April 🙂

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