Sunday, December 30, 2012

Council Member Charlie Luke Newsletter

The following article from Salt Lake City Council Member Charlie Luke is posted from the District Six Community Update Newsletter, Winter 2012.

Council Member Charlie Luke
DISASTER: What If It Happens Here?

When we see or read reports of the seemingly more prevalent disasters that strike around the world, one simple question returns again and again: If disaster were to strike in Salt Lake City, are we prepared?  Do you know what to do in case of an emergency or disaster such as those mentioned above?

In taking a hard look at our City’s emergency preparedness posture, the answer is, we are much better off than we were five years ago, but there is much more that can be done. Salt Lake City’s Emergency Services personnel include the traditional fire, medical and police personnel, as well as nontraditional teams from Public Services and Public Utilities.

The Emergency Services teams are well prepared for dealing with both day-to-day “garden variety” emergencies and major emergencies, but disasters are different. Disasters cross geo-political boundaries and consume all resources within hours. If a major earthquake occurs, emergency response from official government sources will be overwhelmed and delayed due to the magnitude of such an event.  Residents could be “on their own” for days or even weeks.

As individuals, families and neighborhoods, everyone must come to the firm realization that the first and most important line of emergency preparedness in Salt Lake Valley is the individual.  Each person is responsible or preparing for a disaster.  Much can be done for little expense and a small investment of time.

Salt Lake City’s Office of Emergency Management is an excellent source of information for emergency preparedness and offers the following recommendations: three items that should be immediately available are a battery powered flashlight, a battery powered radio and a well stocked first-aid kit. Keep at least a half tank of gas in your car at all times. Next, store a 3-7 day supply of water; at least one gallon per person in your household per day.  Seventy-two hours is a minimum planning figure used to prepare a supply kit for each person  in your family.

You should consider assembling kits with items you will need to sustain yourself for 120 hours without outside assistance, utilities, or human needs supplies.  Be sure to include an extra pair of glasses and medications for any conditions you may have, such as diabetes, heart conditions, or asthma as these medications may not be readily available.

Consider the time of year when assembling your kit.  As we are moving into the winter months, think about including an extra coat, blanket, and boots in a kit for your vehicle; it could save someone else as well as yourself. Your “Emergency Kit” should be portable in case you need to evacuate your home in situations such as a chemical spill/release, ruptured gas mains, structural instability, or flooding.

After gathering emergency supplies, develop individual, family, and neighborhood emergency preparedness plans that account for time at work and school.  The plans should outline what each participant should do before, during and after an earthquake or disaster, no matter where you are!

Finally, know where to go for accurate information.  In times of emergencies, stay off the phone, except for 911 life-or-death matters.  Surviving phone lines will be desperately needed by emergency responders.   Send runners to check on family and neighbors.  For disaster information and instructions, turn your battery powered radio to 1160 AM (KSL).  This is Salt Lake City’s primary Emergency Alert System station.

For details on how to prepare yourself and your family, please contact John Flynt, Preparedness Coordinator at or 801-799-3604.  He can provide an excellent assortment of free emergency preparedness information or, visit or Sign up to receive updates and stay informed during an emergency at

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Lessons from Hurricane Sandy

Article posted from  Click on the title below to read from their website and see the follow-up comments.

26 Lessons from Hurricane Sandy

This week, we were forwarded an email from a family that lives in New Jersey that dealt with the power outages as the result of Hurricane Sandy.

This family made a list of lessons they learned during the storm. We wanted to pass along some of the points on their list so that you and your family could learn from their experiences and be better prepared for a power outage...

  1. The excitement of a power outage wears off around day three.
  2. Just because your generator runs smooth, does not mean it’s producing electricity.
  3. A couple of cases of bottled water is NOT water storage.
  4. You should have as much fuel as water. That includes:
    • Propane
    • Gas
    • Kerosene
    • Firewood
    • Fire starter (kindling, paper, etc.)
  5. If you are not working, chances are nobody else is either. Don’t just sit around, go out and work.
  6. You eat a lot more food when you are cold or bored.
  7. You need more food than you think if your kids are out of school for 2 weeks.
  8. Kids do not like washing their face in cold water.
  9. Your 1972 Honda Civic gets to the grocery store as well as your 2012 Escalade, but the Honda allows money left over for heat, food, water, a generator, fire wood, a backup water pump … you get the idea.
  10. The electrical grid is way more fragile than I thought.
  11. Think of the foods that calm you down and help you think – a cup of hot chocolate, a glass of milk and a ding dong before bed, etc. You’ll need comfort food.
  12. You quickly become the guy in the neighborhood who knows how to wire a generator to the electrical panel, directly wire the furnace to a small generator, or get the well pump running on inverter power.
  13. A woman who can cook a fine meal by candle light over the BBQ or open fire is worth her weight in gold.
  14. It takes a lot of firewood to keep a fire going all day and into the evening for heat.
  15. In an emergency men stock up on food, women stock up on toilet paper.
  16. I was surprised how many things run on electricity!
  17. You can never have enough matches.
  18. All of the expensive clothes in the closet mean nothing if they don’t keep you warm. The same goes for shoes.
  19. You cannot believe the utility companies. They are run by politicians! Or so it seems.
  20. “A man with a chainsaw that knows how to use it is a thing of beauty”.
  21. Most things don’t take much power to operate. Things like:  
    • Computers
    • Phones
    • Radios
    • TV
    • Lights
  22. Some things take a ton of power to operate:
    • Fridge
    • Toaster
    • Freezer
    • Hot plate
    • Microwave
  23. It gets darker a lot sooner than you think.
  24. Getting out of the house is very important. Even if it is cold. Make your home the semi-warm place to come home to, not the cold prison that you are stuck in.
  25. Someone in your family must play or learn to play guitar.
There were also many things that were not learned from Hurricane Sandy, but reinforced. Those things were the importance of my family and their love and support, especially my lovely spouse and that I am very thankful for the upbringing and experiences that have taught me and brought me to where I am.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Two Emergency Preparedness Guides

I have just posted two guides in pdf form regarding emergency preparedness.  Both provide really good information for us here in the Salt Lake valley.  I have included the links below, and posted links in the menu bar above under "Documents".  Enjoy!

Salt Lake Valley Health Department Family Emergency Preparedness Guide

Putting Down Roots In Earthquake Country

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Generator Maintenance

Many people purchase a portable generator for use during a power outage.  Follow this expert advice on how to buy, operate and maintain a gas powered electrical generator so that it's safe and ready to go when the power goes out.  Topics include:

Tip 1: Don't get burned by wattage ratings
Tip 2: Stock up on oil and filters
Tip 3: Chill out before you refill
Tip 4: Running out of gas can cost you
Tip 5: Old fuel is your worst enemy
Tip 6: Backfeeding kills
Tip 7: Store gasoline safely
Tip 8: Lock it down
Tip 9: Use a heavy-duty cord

Read the full article posted on '" at the following link:

As with any product you purchase, always make to follow the manufacture guidelines for operation, maintenance and parts purchase.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Deseret News, Mormons Prepare for Hurricane Sandy

This article posted in The Deseret News on October 29, 2012.  It shows how some members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints prepared for Hurricane Sandy.  Below is just a small portion of the article.  Click on the title below and read the full article.

As Mormons prepare for Hurricane Sandy, they live their faith

"Preparedness is part of what we do as Latter-day Saints," said President Ahmad Corbitt, president of the LDS Church's Cherry Hill New Jersey Stake (a stake is an ecclesiastical unit that is similar to a diocese in other Christian faiths). "As a culture we are prepared because we've been prepared by our leaders. One of the great benefits of having membership in the restored church is we have prophets on the watchtower who see things afar off and sound the warnings. One of those warnings over the decades has been to be prepared."

Mormons are layering additional precautions on top of that typical groundwork with Sandy on its way. Local LDS leaders in the Eastern United States have been working with church members and missionaries and urging preparedness, caution and outreach to others who may need help during a natural calamity.

"We all went out and bought cases of bottled water," said Elizabeth Stuart, a student at Columbia University, who lives in the Washington Heights area with several LDS roommates. "We filled up buckets of water in case we need them, and we bought batteries and flashlights and candles and matches. We feel like we're ready."

The Red Cross is prepared to call on the underlying LDS infrastructure where needed.

"The (LDS) Church has created a strong culture of preparedness among its members that I believe can be a model for others throughout the country," wrote Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross, in an summer op-ed for the Deseret News.

"The church counsels members to be prepared for a personal emergency or natural disaster by preparing emergency plans and having basic emergency supplies on hand," she continued. "And, because individual church members are prepared and resilient from disasters, the church can focus on helping other community members following an emergency."

Friday, December 7, 2012

Disaster Stress And Older Adults

I found this article on the FEMA website about disaster stress and how it may affect older adults.  It has some really good ideas on how we might assist older adults to deal with disaster related stress.

Release date: DECEMBER 7, 2012
Release Number: 4086-049

TRENTON, N.J. -- Many survivors of Hurricane Sandy find themselves under additional stress these days. But disaster-related anxiety can be especially high in older adults, particularly those living on their own or isolated from friends and family.

Because of their age and other unique circumstances, older adults often react much differently than younger people to catastrophic events. It’s not uncommon after a disaster for them to become withdrawn, agitated, disoriented and confused.

Family members, friends, neighbors and caregivers should be aware of this and be ready to safeguard both their physical and mental health. Be on the lookout for the following symptoms of senior stress:

  • Fear of losing their independence because of disaster-related injury or loss of their residence. This can be the biggest trauma that older people face after a disaster.
  • Problems talking to people and answering questions. Difficulties in communicating after a disaster can be increased by factors such as slower thought processes related to age, problems with seeing and hearing, and reduced mobility.
  • “Welfare” stigma. Many older adults are cautious about or even unwilling to accept government help because they have always “paid their way.” Their reluctance to accept assistance can be compounded by a lack of knowledge about government services for which they may be eligible.
  • Memories or flashbacks of other events in their lives when they were traumatized or suffered severe losses.
  • Anxiety caused by poor reading skills and inadequate command of the English language.
  • Worry about limited financial resources and having enough time to rebuild their homes.
  • Fear of being put in an institution because they cannot return to a home that was destroyed by the disaster.
  • Withdrawal and isolation from family and friends.
  • In severe cases, seniors also may undergo personality changes in the wake of a disaster.

Because older people may be on medication for health conditions, it’s important to ensure they are medically stable before deciding that any of the above symptoms are due to emotional stress.

It’s also important to keep in mind that seniors have decades of experience and strengths gained from facing previous disasters and adversity.

Those who live or work with older adults who have been adversely affected by Hurricane Sandy can take a number of steps to monitor and improve their mental health:

  • Provide consistent verbal reassurance.
  • Assist them in recovering personal possessions.
  • Help them re-establish contact with their family, friends and social networks.
  • Help them find a suitable residential relocation until they can return to their own home, ideally in familiar surroundings with friends or acquaintances.
  • Make frequent home visits and arrange for others to visit them.
  • Ensure medical and financial assistance.
  • Provide transportation to the doctor, grocery store, etc.
  • Re-establish and monitor their nutritional and medication needs.

Older people or their family and friends seeking additional information about stress counseling and services should contact their local mental health agencies. The New Jersey Department of Human Services is coordinating statewide efforts to help individuals and communities manage the emotional impact of the storm. Crisis counselors are currently providing support and assisting in FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers as needed.

In addition to providing face-to-face disaster crisis counseling, the state provides informational materials about coping, and it has partnered with the Mental Health Association in New Jersey to offer assistance through a toll free helpline: 877-294-4357 (also applies for VRS or 711-Relay users) or TTY 877-294-4356. More information about disaster-related stress can be found at the website:

See the FEMA website article at

Sunday, November 25, 2012

How much is peace of mind worth?

By Leslie Probert, For the Deseret News
Published: Friday, Nov. 2 2012

Hurricane Sandy provides a stark reminder of the unpredictability of our weather. The drought affecting many areas of the country this summer was another reminder of the uncertainties of life.

It's not as hard as you might think to store some food and water for a time of difficulty. It’s not that difficult to organize supplies that can be grabbed in case of evacuation. The biggest challenge is making a serious decision to do something about getting prepared. Once the commitment is made, people who are diligent will find ways to make it happen.

Peace of mind is invaluable in a time of difficulty. The following benefits are motivation to get going, to persistently acquire a supply of food and water, and to organize basic disaster supplies.

Click the following link to read more:

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Quote on Preparedness

“I know of no other way to prepare for these times of adjustment than to be certain that during times of employment, preparations are made for less prosperous times, should they occur. Start now to create a plan if you don’t already have one, or update your present plan. Watch for best buys that will fit into your year’s supply. We are not in a situation that requires panic buying, but we do need to be careful in purchasing and rotating the storage that we’re putting away. The instability in the world today makes it imperative that we take heed of the counsel and prepare for the future”

L. Tom Perry
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

October 1995 General Conference - LDS Church
“If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear”

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Preparation Comes Before Catastrophes Strike

Article posted written by Joey Ferguson,

It wasn't fear of a major disaster that motivated Doug Ellis to stock up on $5,000 worth of food, 300 gallons of water and a generator that could power his house for a week.

"My motivation is my family, but my fear is economic downturn and, here in Utah, an earthquake," said Ellis, who is raising four kids with his wife, Robyn.

Most people aren't like Ellis and his family, who are prepared for any possible disaster. A majority of Americans at least somewhat agree that they are not prepared for a major catastrophe, according to a January 2012 National Geographic study.

At least half of respondents to the study believe there will be a significant earthquake, hurricane, terrorist attack or financial collapse in the next 25 years.

Experts say the problem is that, unlike with Ellis, motivation for emergency preparedness is often the product of fear after a natural disaster, not before.

Read on the following link:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Earthquake App from the American Red Cross

Check out this app for your smart phone from the American Red Cross...and find more at the following link:

Earthquake by American Red Cross
Be ready for an earthquake with Earthquake by American Red Cross. Get notified when an earthquake occurs, prepare your family and home, find help and let others know you are safe even if the power is out – a must have for anyone who lives in an earthquake-prone area or has loved ones who do.

From your mobile phone, call "**REDCROSS" (**73327677) and we will send you a link to download the app to your phone or you can download them directly from the iTunes or Google Play app stores.


  • Step-by-step instructions let you know what to do even before/during/after an earthquake, even if no data connectivity.
  • Get notified when an earthquake occurs with notifications generated by the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
  • See the perceived shaking impact to your area or those of loved-ones.
  • Let family and friends know you are okay with the customizable “I’m Safe” alert for Facebook, Twitter, email and text.
  • Find open Red Cross shelters in your area when you need help.
  • Stay safe when the lights are out with the Toolkit, including a strobe light, flashlight and audible alert functions.
  • Prepare for the worst by learning how to assemble an emergency kit for your family in the event of power outage or evacuation.
  • Empower your family to stay safe and remain calm in an emergency by learning how to make and practice an emergency plan.
  • Earn badges that you can share with your friends and show off your earthquake knowledge with interactive quizzes.
  • See an illustrated history of earthquakes in your area.
  • Know how to what to do about food and drinking water when your area has been impacted by floods and power outages.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Hurricane Survivors Warned of Fake Building Contractors

As if disaster survivors don't have enough to worry about in repairing their lives!  See the article below from FEMA concerning the rebuilding efforts in Louisiana from Hurricane Isaac.

Release date:
NOVEMBER 2, 2012

Release Number: DR - 158

With more than $218 million in state and federal recovery dollars in the hands of Louisiana’s Hurricane Isaac survivors, fake building contractors and other con artists are angling to get their hands on some of it, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) warns.

Scam artists and other criminals often attempt to prey on vulnerable survivors once they have some money in hand to repair their storm-damaged homes. Authorities in Louisiana have already received isolated reports of unscrupulous people doing just that.

“While homeowners are anxious to repair their homes as quickly as they can, we urge them to first check the credentials of anyone offering to do those repairs,” said Gerard M. Stolar, federal coordinating officer for FEMA’s Louisiana-based recovery operation. “Asking just a few questions can save people from a lot of heartache.”  

Homeowners do have a valuable resource to help them determine whether someone is a legitimate professional. The Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors offers an online database that allows people to check up on potential contractors:

The site also includes a “For Consumers” pull-down tab, which includes a public education section, complete with tips for hiring contractors and managing costs, including advice on determining appropriate down payments and payment schedules.

The most common post-disaster fraud practices include not only fraudulent building contractors, but phony housing inspectors, bogus pleas for disaster donations and fake offers of state or federal aid.

Those who suspect fraud should call the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at 1-866-720-5721. Complaints may also be made to local authorities or through the Louisiana Attorney General’s office at 1-800-351-4889 or online at

For more information on Louisiana disaster recovery, click or You can follow FEMA on Twitter at or on Facebook at Also visit our blog at

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status.  If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Last Updated: November 7, 2012 - 14:04

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Goal Zero - Hurricane Sandy Relief

Here is a way you can help those affected by hurricane Sandy to have a power the same time as you prepare for yourself.  Check it out...

Millions of people lost power as a result of Superstorm Sandy, and we're calling on all the members of Goal Zero Nation to be a power of good in this dark time.

Beginning Thursday, November 1 through Thursday, November 15, we will match all sales made on and send the same amount in Goal Zero products to the areas that need power most.

With "You Buy One, We Give One", you'll be preparing for tomorrow and helping victims of Hurricane Sandy today.

In addition to sending desperately needed power, several Goal Zero team members are heading east to give much-needed man power on the ground. You can follow their journey by visiting the Goal Zero Storm Center where they'll be posting photos and videos.

It doesn't matter how far away you live, you can help those affected by Hurricane Sandy today.

Link to their website:

If you’ve been thinking about buying a power pack, solar panels, or even some lights or speakers to go with your existing Goal Zero™ products, now is the time. You’ll not only get the products you need and want, but you’ll help restore power to those who need it most.

Emergency Essentials has teamed up with Goal Zero™ to spread the word about their ‘You Buy One, We Give One’ relief program. All Goal Zero™ products you purchase at an Emergency Essentials store count toward this program!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Safe and Well Website - American Red Cross

After a disaster, letting your family and friends know that you are safe and well can bring your loved ones great peace of mind. This website is designed to help make that communication easier.  

Register Yourself as “Safe and Well”
Click on the “List Myself as Safe and Well” button to register yourself on the site.

Search for Loved Ones
Concerned family and friends can search the list of those who have registered themselves as “safe and well” by clicking on the “Search Registrants” button. The results of a successful search will display a loved one’s first name, last name and a brief message.

Click on the link and check it out...even click on the buttons to see what information they will ask for.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

MOU - The American Red Cross and the LDS Church

Partner Opportunities Bulletin from the American Red Cross

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the American Red Cross

On March 27, 2012 a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the “Church”) and the American Red Cross (the “Red Cross”). The MOU provides a broad framework for cooperation and engagement between the two organizations with respect to (among other activities): supporting each other’s efforts to create prepared communities; actively participating in disaster planning such as training, drills, and identifying shelter locations; encouraging volunteer participation; and supporting Blood Services in efforts to collect blood. The purpose of the MOU is to facilitate the desire of both the Red Cross and the Church to expand their mutually beneficial relationship to enhance community disaster preparedness, to coordinate disaster planning and response activities, and to ensure a safe and ample blood supply.

Organization Information
Since its founding, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has cared for the needy, including people affected by disaster. It encourages its members to be actively engaged in community causes, such as those promoted by the Red Cross. Church members are encouraged to live providently, as well as to prepare for emergencies.
Founded in 1881, the American Red Cross is a humanitarian organization led by volunteers and guided by its Congressional Charter and the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. The Red Cross provides relief to victims of disasters and helps people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. The Red Cross provides services to those in need regardless of citizenship, race, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status or political affiliation.
Benefits of Collaboration

  • Standardized facilities forms for shelters and blood drives included as attachments to the MOU.
  • Church facilities can be used as Red Cross Shelters
    • The MOU provides in Annex D a Shelter Agreement that describes the allocation and responsibility for joint expenses, cost reimbursed expenses or any other mutually agreed upon reimbursable process.
    • Facilities may also be suitable used for warehousing or other collaborative disaster related activities.
  • The Church recognizes the right of legitimate licensed organizations to collect blood.
    • Localities where the Red Cross operates a blood center or regularly collects blood, the Church will encourage stake presidents (local leaders) to provide opportunities for regular blood drives within their jurisdictions, at their discretion, even if other blood donor organizations are used as well.
    • It will no longer be necessary for the Red Cross to obtain written approval for individual blood drives.
For more information, please refer to the MOU, Attachment A – Organization Contact Information.

SLC Community Preparedness Workshop

4th Quarter 2012 Community Preparedness Workshop

Saturday, November 10, 2012,
8:00 am – 11:30 am
Pioneer Police Precinct
1040 West 700 South

Dear Salt Lake City Community Members,

The 4th Quarter 2012 Community Preparedness Workshop (formerly Community Emergency Response Coordination Workshop) has been scheduled. Please join us at the workshop on Saturday, November 10, 2012. Continental breakfast will be offered at 8:00 am. Welcome and opening address will begin at 8:30. This workshop will include a presentation from JaLae Thompson, Emergency Services Manager, American Red Cross – Greater Salt Lake Area Chapter, about community involvement in the Salt Lake City Mass Care Strategy.

John Flynt, Community Preparedness Coordinator for the Salt Lake City Office of Emergency Management will brief workshop attendees on Salt Lake City government’s participation in the ShakeOut providing lessons learned, planning for the future, and projects that are being implemented as a result of the findings. The office of Emergency Management will also be bringing equipment to issue CERT member ID badges. If you wish to receive your ID please bring proof of CERT course completion. For those who have completed any NIMS ICS courses or who are hold current HAM licenses, proof will be required to add these certifications to your ID.

Though CERT Team and Mobile Watch members are strongly encouraged to attend, this workshop is for any individuals, families, civic, religious, or volunteer groups interested in community preparedness in Salt Lake City. It is vital that we coordinate in a unified effort among all groups and organizations to successfully prepare and protect our city.

We ask the community councils for assistance in finding and encouraging representatives in every neighborhood to participate in these efforts.  Didn’t attend the previous workshops? No problem. Please join us at this one! Pass this on to anyone you feel would have an interest in emergency response.

Please visit as soon as possible to register to attend the work

Please click here for the AGENDA.

Battery Discount

For those in the Foothill area, we have an opportunity to purchase new Rayovac Ultrapro batteries sizes AA, AAA, C, D, and 9v at a discounted price.

Quantities are limited.

Please contact Paul Reyonlds at 801-583-3627 for more details.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Utah Food Bank

For over 100 years, the Utah Food Bank has stayed true to its mission of serving those in need throughout our state. We work tirelessly with community partners and volunteers to continue making an impact.

Mission Statement: 
Utah Food Bank Fights Hunger Statewide

Hunger in Utah

  • 1 in 10 Utahns, and 1 in 8 Utah children, lives in poverty.
  • An impoverished family of four makes about $22,000 a year to cover health care costs, shelter, food, and other household expenses.
  • Utah is ranked fourth in the nation for the highest rate of very low food security in the nation. About 400,000 Utahns risk missing one meal every day.   
  • More than 134,000 Utahns receive food stamps, and 63,000 eat dinner at a soup kitchen.
  • 1 in 7 Utah children is at risk of hunger, and nearly 40 percent receive free or reduced school lunch.

Food Collection & Distribution

Utah Food Bank staff, volunteers and agencies work together to gather and distribute emergency food to individuals and families experiencing the pain of hunger in Utah. The organization started in 1904 and, since 1977, Utah Food Bank has been the central hub for food collection and distribution in Utah. Our resources include a large warehouse, four semi-tractors, and eight box trucks, as well as our valuable affiliation with Feeding America. With these resources, Utah Food Bank is able to collect, store and distribute large quantities of food for the entire state of Utah.

Food Collection
Utah Food Bank gathers food through a variety of means:
  • Food Drives (9%): Utah Food Bank collects about 8% of its food items from community food drives, coordinated statewide with local agencies. More than three million pounds of food is collected from annual drives.
  • Grocery Rescue (25%): Building partnerships with local grocers has allowed us to receive needed food items that are nearing expiration dates. This highly effective and fast-growing program increases access to perishable foods, including fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy products. Last year, the Grocery Rescue program collected nearly 7.8 million pounds of food through 137 stores and 18 participating agencies.
  • Local Commercial Donations (36%): Local commercial food distributors include growers, manufacturers and retailers. The donated food may consist of seasonal, surplus, discontinued items, or food in damaged containers.
  • National Commercial (9%): As a member of Feeding America, Utah Food Bank has access to food items made available from national vendors, producers and other food banks in the United States. Pickups provide many food resources at the cost of shipping only.
  • Government Commodities (20%): Utah Food Bank is a distributor of USDA commodities allotted for programs and agencies that provide emergency food assistance to Utah residents.
  • Purchasing (1%): On occasion, the Utah Food Bank Services purchases needed food items for distribution. For example, during our annual turkey drive we supplement donated turkeys with a bulk turkey from community donations.

Food Distribution
Utah Food Bank distributes food through a variety of methods:
  • Emergency Food Network: Food is sorted in the Utah Food Bank warehouse and then distributed throughout the state to more than 129 emergency food pantries, agencies, churches, senior centers and after-school programs. Find your local food pantry here.
  • Senior Food Box Program: Through the Senior Food Box Program, Utah Food Bank volunteers deliver monthly supplemental food to low-income, homebound senior citizens who are unable to access the emergency food network. Currently, we deliver about 2,100 food boxes monthly. A food box contains up to a week's worth of non-perishable food, along with milk and produce when available.
  • Kids Cafe: The Kids Cafe program provides free meals and snacks at 21 after-school programs. Sites include Boys & Girls Clubs, public schools, and community centers. Each weekday, Utah Food Bank's in-house chef prepares 1,300 meals for children who might not eat until the following morning.
  • Mobile Pantry: The Mobile Food Pantry program distributes food such as fresh produce, dairy products, deli products, and non-perishables to 24 low-income neighborhoods throughout the state of Utah. Last year, over 763,000 pounds of food was distributed through the Mobile Food Pantry program.

Your Contribution Makes a Difference
Utah Food Bank can turn a $1 donation into $8 of food and services. This is made possible by wonderful volunteer support and generous food donations. To make a donation, click here.

Information posted from:

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Proposed Museum To Teach Preparedness

A place to have "fun" with disasters and learn at the same time: that's the premise of a new kind of museum that's in the works for Utah, the first of its kind anywhere in the world.

"This would be like Universal Studios meets disaster readiness," said Darlene Turner, executive director of the Disaster Discovery Center project.

Whether it's with fires, floods, tornadoes or earthquakes, nature has lots of ways to ruin your whole day, or your life. The proposed museum would offer a way to experience such events, in perfect safety, through elaborate simulations and special effects.

The goal would be to teach visitors how to deal with a disaster and how to prepare in advance.

Click on the link below to view the whole article from

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Wonderful Ways to Woo Your Wife with Wheat

Wheat has been used for millennia as a dependable staple, proving itself as a great food storage item. But did you know that you can use wheat to show your wife that you love her?

Now, we’re not just talking about using wheat to bake your wife a loaf bread or something. Instead, you can use wheat to keep her warm, pamper her or even keep the kids entertained while she relaxes.

Click the link below for the full article from

Saturday, October 13, 2012

SL Tribune Article on Important Docs

Being ready to grab things in a hurry can prevent loss of irreplaceable items.

From torrential floods in Louisiana to blistering Western wildfires, this year’s weather-related calamities are a reminder that disaster can strike anyone, anytime, anywhere.

If a natural disaster hit your household, would you be ready? Everyone has important paperwork to safeguard: insurance policies, loan papers, marriage or divorce documents, even the vaccination records for children or pets.

Not to mention personal family photos, videos and music sitting on computers.

Knowing what to grab in case of a hurried evacuation could prevent the loss of irreplaceable family mementos, as well as documents that could be tedious and time-consuming to replace.

Click the link below to view the complete article posted on

Square Foot Gardening for under $50

How to start your own square foot garden

Starting your own garden is a great way to be prepared for any situation.

You can start with less than $50. Square food gardening is the perfect introduction to growing a successful vegetable garden.

In a square-foot garden, plants thrive in raised boxes...

Follow the link below for the entire article from

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Milk Jug Emergency Light

Make an Ambient Lamp Out of a Milk Jug 

This portable lamp is just a gallon milk jug filled with water, with a headlamp pointing into it. It's a clever repurposing trick that creates a great soft light perfect for reading, writing or illuminating indoors or out.

A headlamp is usually a square light with a band that goes around the head. The lamp itself is then positioned on the forehead. The strap is adjustable and the light is fairly bright. You can find a headlamp at a discount department store, or a store that sells tools, or you can order one online. A single lamp - and a gallon of water - is all you need to make one camping light.

Fill a gallon jug of water and make sure the lid is screwed on tight. If the cap only snaps on, wrap a piece of tape around it to secure. Since the band on the headlamp will easily adjust, slide it over the jug of water, and adjust it to fit. Rather than position the light so that it points out from the jug, turn it the other way. When the light shines into the jug of water it makes a much brighter light, and the light shines all around the jug.

Go ahead and wear the headlamp when it first gets dark. Later, it's no trouble to remove it from your head, and strap it around the gallon jug of water. Then, you'll have light for the whole room. Make a couple for your living room, the bedroom and the kids room.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Foothill Area Emergency Response Exercise
Saturday, September 29, 2012

Dear Resident,

The Foothill Area in coordination with the Bonneville Hills Community Council, and the Salt Lake Foothill Stake will be conducting an emergency response exercise on Saturday, September 29, 2012 from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. A part of the exercise will be to practice the assessment of residents needs and the reporting of these needs to command centers.

We invite you to assist us on the day of the exercise by taping this flyer to a door or window clearly visible from the street. Block Captains and volunteers will be going through the neighborhood counting the number of flyers that are being shown in the windows or on the doors. In an actual emergency, placards will be used to indicate a need for assistance or to let others know that all is OK. Please have this flyer taped to your door or window by 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 29, 2012. (You could even tape it the night before.)

We also encourage you to go to the Foothill Area emergency preparedness website at and download the packet titled, “Household Emergency Packet” Parts 1 and 2. This packet provides information on how the emergency response in our area will be conducted. It also provides information about how to prepare for a future emergency. The last page of Part 2 has a sheet showing “OK.”  If you print this sheet and tape it to your window or door in place of this flyer, it will provide us with a new item to track as we perform this exercise.

On the day of the exercise (or prior to the exercise) we invite you and all members of your family to do the following:
  1. Find the location of your main water shut-off inside of your home and know how to shut off the water.
  2. Find the location of your gas meter and know the location a wrench that could turn off the gas if needed. Know how to shut off the gas.
  3. Find the location of your electric circuit breaker box, and know how to turn off electrical power to your home.
  4. Locate your 72 Hour kit and make sure that it is up-to-date.

For more information on the emergency response exercise, please contact your Block Captain or send an email to this blog at the following address:

Thank you for your participation.

SLC Foothill Area Prep Committee

Sunday, September 16, 2012

CERT Training - Training Positions Still Available

A note from the local CERT training going on right now.

We had 9 people begin the training class Thursday night. We are looking for 11 more people to attend or the class may be postponed. Please push the word around. I would like to be able to keep the class going.

Please come and register at the class -- First time individuals and those looking to refresh their skills are welcome!!

Thursday the 20th of September
Monument Park 1st and 2nd Ward Building
1005 South 2000 East
6:30 to 9:30pm.

Original posting from our the CERT blog page:

Dear Friends,

Are you prepared to save yourselves, your families and your communities when disaster strikes? When fire, flood or shake/rattle/roll starts, you'll be glad you've trained in CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), a national FEMA course! 

The schedule for Fall 2012 Salt Lake City training is posted at; click on "Register for CERT Training." The opportunities include two locations close to residents of the Salt Lake City Southeast Division. 

  • On Tuesdays September 11 through October 23, a course will be presented at the LDS Richards Ward building at 860 Downington Avenue.
  • On Thursdays September 13 through October 25, a course will be presented at the LDS Monument Park 1st and 2nd Wards building at 1005 S 2000 E. 

Thirty dollars and seven weeks of classes from 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. gets you instruction, a manual, a great CERT starter kit and new friends in preparedness. 

If you want to attend but have a conflict for one or two of the nights of your selected course, you may coordinate with the instructors to make the unit(s) up. For instance, if you're signed up for the Thursday course but have to miss one, you could attend the Tuesday course on the appropriate day for that unit.

Please sign up soon; registration is required a week ahead of the start of the first class for each course. Get the word out to family, friends and neighbors as a minimum of twenty students is required to carry each course. These courses offer people previously trained in CERT to refresh and update their skills and, with $30 and attendance at all seven nights, an extra CERT kit for automobile or work!

Best regards,

Susan Smith, Volunteer
Salt Lake City CERT
Southeast Division Supervisor

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tips on how to begin food storage for emergency preparedness has another great posting on emergency preparedness about beginning food storage.
"The easiest way to begin is to set aside a few items each time you grocery shop. Little by little your pantry will fill up and give you that feeling of security."
Check out the complete story at the following link:

Friday, September 7, 2012

Diabetic Ecase from Essential Preparedness Products

As I watched the events of Hurricane Katrina unfold, I remember so vividly a news clip of a person stranded on his rooftop. The word “DIABETIC” was spray painted on the roof. I knew at that moment what his needs were and felt helpless.

Being Type 1 diabetic for over 28 years and having a son who was diagnosed as a Type 1 diabetic at the tender age of 16 months, the question that ran thru my mind after Katrina was “How would I remember to grab all the necessary supplies we would need if we had to evacuate our home for any reason?” Diabetics use many supplies on a daily basis but also have emergency supplies on hand for sick days and such.

Diabetic Ecase™ is designed with this purpose in mind.

I am thrilled to introduce a very much needed product for those who suffer chronic illnesses such as Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, asthma, and heart disease.

- Jennifer Lindley, Founder

Click on the following link to view a video of the product:

For more information, visit their website:

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Millcreek Township 5th Annual EP Fair at Home Depot

5th Annual Emergency Prepare Fair 

Millcreek Township presents the 5th Annual Emergency Prepare Fair 2012. Open to the entire community, the Emergency Prepare Fair will be held at the Millcreek Home Depot at 3398 South Highland Drive from 10am to 2pm on Saturday, September 8th. Demonstrations, exhibits, fun, and educational presentations, suitable for the entire family, will be available.

Come see and visit the following booths:
• St. Mark’s Hospital HazMat and Decontamination Presentation
• UFA Fire Protection
• ARES Communication Trailer
• CERT Instruction Teams
• Earthquake Preparedness Training
• UHP Seat Belt Crash Test Demo
• Salt Lake Red Cross Disaster Training
• Prescription Drug Drop
• And MORE exciting activities!

Millcreek Township, an unincorporated township in Salt Lake County is a vibrant and growing community of more than 65,000 residents on the east side of Salt Lake County. More information on our residents and township may be found at:

The 5th Annual Emergency Prepare Fair 2012
Millcreek Home Depot

3398 South Highland Drive
Saturday, September 8th, 10am – 2pm

Emergency Essentials Preparedness Month Activities

Following is an email advertisement from Emergency Essentials about some great activities they are sponsoring during National Preparedness Month.

National Preparedness Month Activities
Brought to you by
Emergency Essentials

The following is a list of events happening at our stores during the month of September to celebrate National Preparedness Month.

Readiness Relay – Sept 1st through 30th
Come test your speed in building a small emergency kit, packing food storage boxes, and suiting up in some emergency gear. The overall best time will win a $50 gift card. So stop in any of our four store locations to participate any time in September.

Sample Saturdays – Every Saturday in September
You’ve wondered how food storage items and emergency foods taste, so come try a free sample. We’re confident you’ll be amazed at how familiar tasting shelf-stable foods can be.

September 3rd (Labor Day) – Scratch and Dent Sale 10 am - Noon
Some of our best values are found in our scratched and dented inventory items. We hold these items for special sales such as this and mark them down 50%. These items go fast, so don’t miss out!

September 8th – Murray Fire Department 1 pm – 3pm – Murray store only
The Murray Fire Department will be on site to talk with you one on one about fire safety.

September 11th – Patriot Day Observance
Get 10% off when you show military ID. Exclusions are year supplies and combos, products from Bosch, Nutrimill, Wondermill, L'Equip, water storage containers, and Mountain House cans.

September 12th Food Storage Class at 2pm and 7pm
Topics covered- types and varieties of food storage, their shelf life, and tips for smart food storage shopping. Attendees who register are entered into a drawing. Register at

September 19th Water Class at 2pm and 7pm
Topics covered- water storage, water rotation, impurities to guard against, popular treatment methods. Attendees who register are entered into a drawing. Register at

September 22nd – Bountiful Fire Department 1 pm – 3pm – Bountiful store only
The Bountiful Fire Department will be on site to talk with you one on one about fire safety.

September 26th – Emergency Kit Class at 2pm and 7pm
Topics covered- defining disasters and their terms, ways we are reliant, and suggested components you’ll want to consider in order to be self-reliant. Register at

Store hours – Mondays 10 am to 6 pm, Tuesdays – Saturdays 10 am to 9 pm, closed Sundays.

Orem Store
– 216 E University Parkway
– (801) 222-9667

South Jordan Store
– 968 W South Jordan Parkway Suite A
– (801) 254-6510

Murray Store
– 6356 S State Street
– (801) 268-2226

Bountiful Store
– 70 S 500 West
– (801) 298-5487

Prices and promotions are good through September 30, 2012 and while supplies last
Prices and availability are subject to change without notice

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Remote Alaska to Stockpile Food, Just In Case

Another interesting article from, written by Becky Bohrer, Associated Press.

"Alaska is known for pioneering, self-reliant residents who are accustomed to remote locations and harsh weather. Despite that, Gov. Sean Parnell worries a major earthquake or volcanic eruption could leave the state's 720,000 residents stranded and cut off from food and supply lines. His answer: Build giant warehouses full of emergency food and supplies, just in case."

Read the full article at the following link:

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Utah Fires Remind Us to be Financially Prepared for an Emergency

With wildfires affecting every corner of our state this summer, many families have seen their homes threatened and, in some cases, have been forced to evacuate. These situations should prompt us to think about whether we would be prepared to handle a similar situation. contributor Rob Brough shared his ideas in this KSL article. Click on the link below:

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Water Container Order Followup

Thank you to all who have participated in our group Water Container Order.  I appreciate all of you that prepare yourselves for emergencies.  Because we prepare, we WILL be better able to deal with emergencies as they come our way.

Some of you were asking how to prepare your water for storage. I would probably give your new containers a good rinse out before filling them up...

  • I fill mine a couple of inches with water, pour in a little bleach, shake them up really, really good, drain, and rinse one more time with plain water, just to be sure.

Some have inquired if you need to add anything to the water - like bleach.  Be really careful with the bleach...if you use too much in your water, it can cause diarrhea! 

I got this from an article on the web:

How should I treat the water for storage?
Be sure that the water you are treating is drinking-quality water to begin with. To treat water for storage, use liquid household chlorine bleach that contains 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite. Do not use bleach with soaps or scents added. Add the bleach according to the table below, using a clean, uncontaminated medicine dropper.

4 drops bleach per quart or liter container of water

8 drops bleach per 2-quart, 2-liter, or ½ gallon container of water
16 drops bleach, or 1/4 teaspoon, per gallon or 4-liter container of water

When treating larger quantities of water, use the following table to convert drops to standard measuring units.

8 drops = 1/8 teaspoon

16 drops = 1/4 teaspoon

32 drops = ½ teaspoon

64 drops = 1 teaspoon

192 drops = 1 Tablespoon

384 drops = 1/8 cup which is equal to 2 Tablespoons

Stir the water and allow it to stand for 30 minutes. Chlorine should be detectable by odor after the 30 minute waiting period. If the water does not smell like chlorine at that point, repeat the dose and let it stand another 15 minutes. Place caps on containers and attach labels describing the contents and when each was prepared.
Water stored in metal containers should not be treated, prior to storage, with chlorine since the chlorine compound is corrosive to most metals. Therefore, only very pure water should be stored in metal containers.

I have posted some files in the 'documents' tab at the top menu bar of the blog.  Also, you can google terms like 'water storage' and 'water purification' to find additional information.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

620 million Hit By Largest Ever Power Outage

Nearly 620 million are without power in India after three regional power grids collapsed today. The power outage marks the largest ever blackout in world history.

India, which has always had a stressed infrastructure, now can not provide power to more than half the country.

Hundreds of trains stalled and traffic lights went out, causing huge traffic jams in New Delhi. Emergency workers are also rushing to save coal miners who are trapped underground without electricity to get them out.

The power outage has raised concerns about India’s government to meet the economic needs of its people. India’s Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde reported to USA Today that the crisis was the fault of states using more than their allotted amount of electricity.

"Everyone overdraws from the grid. Just this morning I held a meeting with power officials from the states and I gave directions that states that overdraw should be punished. We have given instructions that their power supply could be cut," Shinde said.

The power outage is affecting 620 million people across 20 of India’s 28 states. That amounts to double the population of the United States.

India is prone to regular power outages, however they have never experienced something as widespread. However, many citizens are familiar with the situation and use backup generators. Major hospitals and airports are using backup power sources.

Reportedly, power was later restored to the northeast part of India however, it went down again.

The blackout also coincides with the country’s deadline to file your tax return. Many Indians were worried that they would now miss the deadline due to lack of electricity and transportation. The government has since extended the deadline an extra month.

Article posted from

Sunday, July 15, 2012

How Much Water Do I Need??

Following is contents of an email to a friend that I thought would be good to post here

" you agre with this article (water - most important requirement for life) when it says we should have two 55-gal containers of water PER PERSON? that seems really high for a slightly larger family of 4-6. That would be 1 gal per day for 3 months. But for 6 people, twelve 55-gal containers would take up a large room or half my garage...I also have a couple of filters and some Bleach on hand, but I thought I was in good shape with 150 gallons..."

FEMA recommends the follow on their website:

How Much Water do I Need?

You should have at least a three-day supply of water and you should store at least one gallon of water per person per day. A normally active person needs at least one-half gallon of water daily just for drinking.
Additionally, in determining adequate quantities, take the following into account:
  • Individual needs vary, depending on age, physical condition, activity, diet, and climate.
  • Children, nursing mothers, and ill people need more water.
  • Very hot temperatures can double the amount of water needed.
  • A medical emergency might require additional water.
But in my mind, FEMA is a bare minimum...for example, my family:

5 gal per day X 3 days = 15 gallons – seems way to little
            5 gal per day X 2 weeks = 70 gallons – two weeks is more realistic
            10 gal per day X 2 weeks = 140 gallons – more comfortable living (drinking, washing, supporting other less prepared family members, etc)

I think you are right on.  Sometimes articles from “prepper” websites can be a little excessive.  On the other hand, it is very well worth it to be over-prepared that under-prepared.  Also, remember other sources of water in your home, like the water heater, water pipes, toilet tanks, etc.

And, great job on having filters, bleach and other ways to purify water…!!

I suggest to people that have the big 55gal drums, to also have a few 5 gallon containers placed around the home, in closets or something, for 3 reasons:
1.       if we have an earthquake and half the house lands on your main water supply, you may be able to find a 5 gal container you placed in your house in a separate location.
2.       if you need to evacuate the area, it’s much easier to take 5 gal container with you.
3.       if you run out of water and a water truck is dispatched to the area, you can take that empty 5 gal container to fill.

Just some thoughts…

55 Gallon Barrel Uses

I found some interesting videos on YouTube on what people have done with their 55 gallon water storage drums.  Check them out!!

Multi-level storage system to make:
Multi-level storage system to purchase:
Rain water collection system
A compost tumbler:
A root cellar