News of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Pittsburgh area, counsel from its leaders, and reflections from its members.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Emergency Management Institute Courses

Elder Gary Reed, our Area Welfare Specialist in Atlanta, GA, wrote that some may wish to take courses offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through its Emergency Management Institute. He writes, "The classes are free, home study, exam-only, and they go quickly.

"There has been some talk that FEMA may require volunteers to have certifications in order to have access to federal disaster sites. Here is an opportunity to get some helpful instruction.

"I have taken nine of the Emergency Management Institute courses. Let me recommend:
1. IS-00022 -"Are You Ready?"—This has a great section on which hazards are most likely in your area and how to personally prepare for them.
2. IS-00235 - "Emergency Planning"—Planning on a community level.
3. IS-00288 - "Role of Voluntary Agencies"—A look at how FEMA sees us.
4. IS-00394.A - "Protecting Your Home..."—A companion piece to "Are You Ready?"

"I also enjoyed the Leadership series: IS-00240, 241 and 242. The others I took: IS-00007 "A Citizens Guide..." was too basic and IS-00244 "Developing and Managing Volunteers" was for someone who is not LDS. If they only knew how we do it....

I found that it worked for me to print the exam first and then read with those questions in mind. It helped to get to the meat of the chapter. They can be pretty wordy. With the exam in hand I can do a course in about two hours.

Family Home Storage Starter Kit

The Church Distribution Center and home storage centers now have available a family home storage starter kit that can be used to teach family home storage principles and help individuals get started with longer-term food storage. The kit includes materials that teach the importance of a three-month food supply, water storage, and savings, and 6 cans of longer-term food supply items. The item number is 06604000. The cost is $25.95, including shipping.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Assessing Home Storage Success

The Brookville PA District has adopted a form they will use to assess members' progress in reaching the region's goal for every member family to have at least a month's home food storage by the end of 2008. Perhaps others may want to make use of it or adapt it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Longer-term Supply

Findings of recent scientific studies conducted by a team of researchers at Brigham Young University show that properly packaged, low-moisture foods stored at room temperature remain nutritious and edible much longer than previously thought. Details are available on the Church's Web site.

Work-at-Home Scams

Bro. Doug Mallory's (Detroit Employment Resource Services) most recent Career Outlook Bulletin (Career Outlook Bulletin, Fall '07.pdf) warns about scams that target people who are looking to work at home. Read his fascinating account of sleuth work to uncover one appealing but deceptive pitch. Relief Society sisters, beware!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Are You Ready?

You can get a free copy of Are You Ready?: An In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) by calling 1-800-480-2520, or you can read or download it on line. This information is compliments of Sister Charlette Dudley (Pittsburgh 1st Ward, Pittsburgh PA Stake).

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Pressure Canning

Tammy Brose (Warren Ward, Jamestown NY Stake) contributed the following:

I would like to encourage people to look into canning with a pressure canner without being afraid, if they aren't using one already. I can meat all the time, especially when me husband gets a deer during hunting season. We also grow way to many potatoes to store before they go bad, and I can can them up and they keep very well. I don't like to keep all my eggs in one basket. If the electricity goes out and all the stuff in my freezer has to be used up quickly, I still have canned vegies and meat that will be good. Maybe I am preaching to the choir, but I am surprised how many people won't use a pressure canner for fear of its exploding or something. They are much safer now than they were 40-50 years ago.

What's a 1-month Supply of Food?

In last night's "Family Home Storage" class Sister Mary Jane Anderson (District R.S. President, Brookville PA District) shared a good idea for knowing what constitutes a month's supply of food: Make a week's worth of menus, then list the commodities needed to prepare those meals. Multiply times 4 to have a good idea of what a one-month supply of food would be for your family.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Charlette Dudley's Water Storage

Sister Charlette Dudley (see the September 26 post) called last night to report that the water had been suddenly turned off in her apartment building at 9 A.M. and wasn't turned back on until 4:30 P.M. Charlette, however, was prepared with water in her apartment. She had no problem, and was able to help her neighbor by giving her some of the water she had stored. Now her neighbor is beginning to store water, following Sister Dudley's excellent example!

Pandemic Flu Preparedness

Elder Russell M. Nelson represented the Church at a June 2007 forum convened by Secretary Michael Leavitt of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in D.C. to foster preparedness for a pandemic flu epidemic. Now HHS and Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide are establishing committees in nine pilot communities (in CA, DE, GA, MO, OH, SD, UT, VT, WA) to recommend how preparedness for pandemic flu can be emphasized at the local level, with meetings beginning September 17. At Ogilvy's request of Elder Nelson, the Church has assigned the respective regional welfare specialist to participate on each local committee.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Home Storage Recipes

In last week's "Family Home Storage" class Rod Harkness of the Pittsburgh 7th Ward suggested that we make home storage more fun by sharing recipes. Here are recipes I received in response from members who attended the class that night:

Charlette Dudley's Simple Pasta
2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
1 bag of pasta (not spaghetti)
Cook pasta until done. Mix soup with pasta. Add a little water if too thick. This can be a side dish or a meal.

Rod Harkness's Basic Bread
1 1/2 to 2 c. milk (any type, including dry milk made with good water)
1/2 c. butter or oil
3 1/2 c. water
2 pkg. yeast (any type)
3 T. sugar or honey
4 t. salt
2-10 c. flour (any type—the more flour used, the longer it takes the dough to rise)
Warm the milk and butter or oil. Dissolve yeast with sugar or honey and salt in warmed milk and butter or oil. Add 4 c. flour. Add remaining flour all at once. Knead and let rise twice. Divide into two large or four small loaves. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

Janet Wenhold's Miss Maude's Spaghetti Casserole
1 large onion, chopped
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. chopped green pepper
2 T. cooking oil
2 pounds ground beef
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
2 c. water
1 T. chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 (12 oz.) pkg. spaghetti
1 (13 oz.) can evaporated milk
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 pound American or Velveeta cheese, sliced or grated
Set oven to 350 degrees. Brown onion, garlic and bell pepper in oil. Add ground beef and cook until completely cooked, drain grease. Add tomato paste and water. Add seasonings and let simmer while preparing spaghetti. Cook spaghetti according to package and drain. In separate bowl, beat milk and eggs together with a fork. Grease two 1 1/2 quart casseroles or one 3 quart casserole. Layer spaghetti and meat sauce until all is gone. Put cheese on top. Pour milk mixture over all. Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and mixture is bubbly. This freezes well.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Charlette Dudley's Home Storage

Charlette Dudley was baptized a member of the Church in March 2006. She is single, a grandmother, the only member of the Church in her family, and she loves the gospel and the Church.

I was assigned to be Sister Dudley's home teacher at the beginning of 2007. In July I introduced Sister Dudley to family home storage. I read to her from the July Ensign and "All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Home Storage," and invited her to meet the regional goal of having a month's supply of food in her apartment by the end of the year. She readily accepted the First Presidency's counsel and my invitation.

When I visited Sister Dudley in August she proudly showed me the supply she had started to build. In September she allowed me to take pictures of her pantry.

I'm convinced that if Charlette Dudley can have a month's supply of food and two weeks' supply of water in her apartment by the end of the year, anyone can.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Emergency Communications Blog

The Stake and Ward Emergency Communications blog provides a forum "for stake and ward communications specialists to receive training, share ideas and make recommendations."

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Church Cleanup in Findlay, OH

The Courier in Findlay, OH, published a complimentary article yesterday, "Church provides large volunteer source,," profiling the Church's role in helping to clean up after the devastating flooding (worst since 1913) that occurred there the week before last. The Church collaborated closely with the Red Cross. Bishop Jones of the Findlay Ward led the Church's recovery efforts, which included 62 missionaries and many members from throughout western OH.

Family Home Storage and Finances

The Church has published a new lesson, "Family Home Storage and Finances," #18 in the "Basic Welfare Lessons" on