Emergency prep: Preparing for the unexpected and learning to prep

Apr 1, 2023, 12:45 PM | Updated: Apr 3, 2023, 8:11 am

Emergency prep is important for preparing for the unexpected...

SALT LAKE CITY — In the past few years we have learned to expect the unexpected — especially in emergency prep. From the pandemic, earthquakes, a possible recession, drought and now the possibility of flooding.

Utah Morning News hosts, Tim Hughes and Amanda Dickson, spoke with several experts about what we need to know to prepare. 

How to “Be Ready”

One of the areas all families should start with is coming up with a family disaster plan. That’s according to Wade Mathews, Public Information Officer for the Utah Division of Emergency Management.

“Talking [with your family] about what are you going to do if you are faced with any given scenario,” said Matthews. “We should have an all-hazards plan.”


Matthews also says emergency kits for every member of the family are a must to be ready.

“Having a disaster supply kit for everybody in the family; food, water, clothing, tools, medications, and special items… in case you need to go to a shelter,” Matthews said.

Part of the disaster plan is also communication. Texting might be the most reliable and convenient way to communicate with your family in an emergency. But also work to have meeting places in case phones are not working. 

“Maybe we can’t communicate by phone — have a meeting place we know to go look for each other,” he said. “One outside of our home and another outside of the neighborhood in case you can’t get back home.”

Matthews recommended listeners register and participate in the Great Utah Shakeout coming up on April 20, and plan for a possible earthquake with the whole family.

Lessons to learn about emergency prep

In the Turkey and Syria region, a magnitude earthquake of 7.8 devastated the region, leaving thousands without a home and seeking shelter.

Hughes and Dickson spoke with three members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who are part of the church’s humanitarian efforts and assisted in aiding people in Turkey and Syria.

Gilles Francois, Humanitarian Specialist for the Church, says the readiness in Utah compared to countries like Turkey are are key. He pointed at the construction of 10-12 story buildings that were leveled to the ground by the earthquakes, and the severe cracks from recently newer buildings were a determining factor.

Getting the help you need might not always be able to get to you in emergency situations. Steve Dobb, Humanitarian Services and Emergency Response Manager for the Church reminds us it is up to us to be prepared and take care of ourselves, so we can help take care of others.

Actual emergency prep: Food and water storage

“Having an emergency food storage with 25-year shelf life will really help check the box for providing your family with peace of mind,” said Brandon Eriksson, vice president of sales at ReadyWise. He also recommends having 3 months’ worth of food always stored in a cool dry area.

According to Eriksson, it is important to have water stored, but he also recommends having water filtration options too.

“We have 28-ounce water filtration bottles that will filter out 99.9% of the contaminants out of a lake.”

Find more information on food and water storage here.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

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Emergency prep: Preparing for the unexpected and learning to prep