Welcome from the Newsletter Staff
Welcome to the late summer/early fall edition of the newsletter.
We think you will find this issue to be unlike any we've published before, and in fact it could arguably be considered one of our most important to date. As you will see, the time has come for us as Waves to be aware of, and prepared to meet, the challenges facing our world today. Changes are happening in our world, and like the proverbial virgins waiting for the bridegroom, we must have our lamps trimmed and ready.
We think you'll find many interesting articles and a wealth of information around the subject of Preparedness. We hope that if you have never read a Waves Newsletter cover-to-cover that this will be your first time to do so. We encourage everyone to read all the articles carefully, and even consider printing them out for reference.
Also in this issue are reports from the Boston Waves Gathering, which was a special and blessed time for all involved. The site for the next Waves Gathering has already been chosen: Seattle, Washington! In upcoming issues, we will have more details as they become available. Remember, it's never too early to start planning!
As always, be sure to let us know your thoughts at email@example.com. And feel free to forward this very special issue to others you think would enjoy and benefit from it.
Jim Fly & Kristen Foley
A Note from Betty
by Betty J. Eadie
My Dearest Friends,
Many thanks to Kristen, Barbara, Jim, Debbie, and Tom, and the many others who gave of their time and talents to make the Boston Conference an outstanding success. If you attended you know what I mean. Our musical team brought tears to our eyes more than once as their song and music welcomed the Spirit of God into our gathering. Hearts filled with joy of being together and sharing love not only for each other but with those who attended the public event. In one way or another everyone was blessed. And all who gathered in like mind and heart have grown more because of the experience. Our dedication to God and service to one another is more complete. We have greater determination to push forward as a people concerned about our world and its condition. We have greater understanding of prayer, and as prayer warriors, we pray for peace to reign over all humanity and we eagerly await that day to come. And, it will come. Change will bring us there.
When praying for guidance and instruction for the WAVES Boston Gathering, my focus was brought to preparedness. So strong were my feelings that it was difficult to express my utmost concern without creating fear. Let me make clear that while preparedness is important in our lives it is not a time to be fearful. It is, however, a time to be aware of changing times and to be prepared mentally, physically, and spiritually for it.
First, and foremost, ready yourself spiritually. Draw closer to God through your personal study, prayer, meditation, and course of action. No matter what religion you practice; your faith is your greatest strength. Talk to your children. If they are old enough to read, give them a copy of Embraced and discuss it with them. Many of my greatest fans are under the age of twelve. If your children are not old enough to read, talk to them about death and the afterlife as a natural passage. Teach them the general principles as taught in Embraced. Let them know that life continues after the death of our mortal bodies and that as spirits (our natural selves), we return to our Creator and gather as friends and family in heaven with him. We continue life with those we love. They must know this to either put to rest or minimize their fears.
Next, focus on your family’s physical needs; though we are spirit beings in mortal bodies, should any disaster strike we must survive our living conditions. The bottom line is: you are fully responsible for your own safety and preparedness. Those first precious hours or days may be in your hands alone. Do not place this responsibility on others. It may be days before help can get to you. Too many people expect outside help that may not be available to anyone.
Prepare a 72-hour kit for yourself and for each member of your household. Personal needs vary from person to person and place to place. Check with your own state or county for their suggestions. What to place your supplies in will also vary from one part of the country to another. For example, in Georgia where flooding is likely to occur, a 72-hour supply is best placed in plastic buckets with lids that seal out water but that are light enough to carry; about five-gallon size buckets.
After preparing your 72-hour kits, gather other supplies that will last you for six months to a year to keep in your home. The web is a good place to glean information regarding food storage. Soon, we will have pages dedicated to preparedness on this site that will help you as well.
Other practical things that you can do are to acquire new or improved skills, such as first aid. Take classes in survival or other courses of that nature.
The day after I came home from Boston I read in a newspaper that volunteers were needed to form a preparedness group that would meet regularly in their communities to discuss disaster planning. Yesterday in another paper I read that a fire department was offering CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training, a Department of Homeland Security all-disaster preparedness course that teaches citizens fire suppression, disaster medical aid, light search and rescue, disaster psychology, team organization and a session on terrorism. The article continued to make known that in the event of a significant disaster, it will rely on citizens who have completed the CERT Academy course to utilize their training to safely help themselves, their families, neighbors, and fellow citizens. The course is a three-hour, once a week for seven-weeks course. If you do not have one in your area and are willing to promote such a training plan, contact your local fire department and ask about their current plans and whether they would be willing to promote and implement this type of training. Use your knowledge and wisdom to help others prepare.
Last but certainly not least, “Where is God during all this?” you might ask. He is right there beside you every step of the way. For years we have known of these coming events. He has sent many to comfort and guide us through it all. Modern-day prophets, and prophets of old, have been telling us to prepare and they have predicted the coming of upheaval with some accuracy. The time and the hour are unknown, but we are wise to ready ourselves for whatever might come. What if you go through all this preparation and nothing happens at all? Well, then, praise God. But, if some emergency does occur, praise him even more if you have prepared, for you will be in greater control of the situation and will be able to use the powers within you to survive. The ability to organize thought and evaluate a situation, then act upon it through wisdom, is God blessed and given to us all. And all things, especially challenges, empower us to help us grow into maturity of spirit by exercising the use of our freewill.
My love and prayers always,
Special Report: Preparedness
Editor's Thoughts: Preparing for Preparedness
by Jim Fly
As readers of EBTL will recall, during her heavenly visit Betty was shown scenes of future cataclysmic earth changes, widespread chaos, and world-wide devastation. "...I saw our mountains, the majestic peaks that once stood solid and firm, burst into runny streams of molten rocks that smoothed out like melted chocolate. A shimmer of deep water glistened on land that was once desert, and a dark brown fog covered all else that I could see." (The Awakening Heart, p. 8) It would, at first blush, seem that God is going to give up on the earth; a more cynical person might even categorize it as God’s punishment on a sinful world.
But the truth lies elsewhere. There’s no denying that we as a human race will reap what we have sowed in terms of abuse and misuse of the earth’s resources. We know the earth’s atmosphere is “saturated with combustible components”, and that, as a result of our ignorance, we have set the stage for unimaginable global upheaval.
But God is not a God of vengeance and retribution. He understands that we “know not what we do”. His greatest desire for us is that we should every day grow to be more like Him in every possible way. Merely allowing our misunderstandings and carelessness with the resources He’s given us stewardship over to effectively wipe us off the face of the earth wouldn’t accomplish much. He loves us, and this earth, far more than that; in truth, we love this earth far beyond our current remembering, because we all had a hand in creating it. He is a God not of destruction, but of ongoing creation.
And so our wanton abuse resulting in seeming cataclysm becomes, in His eyes, an opportunity for rebirth, re-creation, and renewal. Rather than mourn the fading light of day, we must turn and rejoice in the sure promise of the coming dawn, which will usher in a new and glorious reign of love as we draw ever closer to realizing Heaven on earth.
But the process of this new borning will not, as with any new birth, be painless. And we as Warring Angels can’t rest on our laurels, turning a blind eye to the reality of what is to come. We must be prepared.
We are now floating peacefully along on the river of life enjoying the view, but the churning rapids are just around the bend; how far around the bend, we don’t know. We’ve already had some hints of what may be coming in the recent spate of natural disasters. These were, however, merely shots across the bow compared to the all out full-cannon war that will be engaged. As an example, Betty shared at the Gathering in Boston the prediction of respected doctors that the virus known as the bird flu is continuing to mutate, and that within as little as six months it could become infectious to humans, setting off a worldwide epidemic on a scale not seen in the last two centuries.
Are we prepared for this? If you’re like me, you’re not. Truth be told, few in this world are. We can, however, no longer remain complacent. We WAVES chose this time in history to come to earth so that, as Warring Angels, we could enjoin the battle as we stand in both prayer and service at the four corners of the earth. As in Betty’s “boat” dream about WAVES, humanity is drifting toward the precipice of oblivion, and we, as mighty and valiant spirits, promised God we would do all we could to keep this from happening.
As we enter this new era of change and transformation, we must begin preparing. In this issue of the newsletter, we will start addressing the specifics of what steps to take. We begin with focusing on a 72-hour emergency backpack kit, something Betty strongly encouraged us to have on hand as soon as possible. In future issues we will explore the whole gamut of emergency preparedness, led by our resident preparedness coordinator, Eri Izawa.
I encourage you to read and seriously reflect on these articles. Discuss them with those you share your life with. Pray about them. And most especially, put them into action. Betty has flatly said that the time is now – we can put it off no longer.
As Warring Angels, we choose to walk forward, not in fear of what may be coming, but in the sure knowledge of God’s love for all of humanity and this beautiful planet we created with Him. If ever there was a time to stand in the strength of God and become a light to the world, it is now. United as Waves, God’s purpose in this wonderful world of ours will be fulfilled.
Preparedness: The Importance of Being Ready
by Tom Racanelli
Alas, I am back home from attending the WAVES Gathering in Boston. This was my third, following Chicago and Sacramento. All three have been gatherings of love. No doubt, the emphasis on loving one another and on loving God and ourselves permeates the atmosphere. It was a gathering in the sense that intimate connections are made and strengthened. With a unified purpose and vision, there is little room for an us-and-them mentality. All are welcomed with the unconditional love of our Heavenly Father.
Of course, much has been written about Preparedness. The wise father does not hold back discipline of his son. Indeed it is the father who loves his son, who will take the time and effort to teach him the right and wrong in his behavior. How does this relate to Preparedness? It is obvious. We live in times of tumultuous change. We are at the breaking-out point of a spiritual renaissance and renewing. For example, when I look at the systems in which our modern society relies upon, it is very evident that relying on these methods of man-made wisdom (whether it be the functioning of our electronic banking or the intricate web of meeting food supply) is truly a teetering business. If food supply chains were cut off by natural disaster, war, terrorism, or a peripheral reason (e.g., no oil), then I would starve as would many other city dwellers. We are not connected to the earth; we do not live that way. We have become connected to our man-made inventions and shallow wisdom. Deep wisdom relies upon God openly and sincerely. Preparedness offers a way to lessen the fall of a trying time or disaster. It is like buying insurance for the car; surely nobody wants to get in an accident, but when one experiences it, they are happy they are covered by it.
Preparedness is a wakeup call. At the gathering, I saw it as Betty telling us to eat our broccoli!! It is good for you, not much of a hassle, you need it. So what if it doesn’t taste good like sugar coated candy? That is not the point! The point is health - spiritual health - and sustenance in times of upheaval, and the ability to carry on as WAVES when the opportunity presents itself. Having the wherewithal to provide a comforting hand comes easier when you are taken care of already.
Not only was the gathering about Preparedness, but the deeper message was love. We prayed sincerely for each other in a truly unified fashion sacrificing our “zzzz’s” and exercising patience, humility, and unity. The message is love. Love is responsible.
One more thing… It seems to me that the energy of our post-gathering meeting in Betty’s hotel room blew out the circuit box on the fifth floor, the floor we were gathered on. This caused a fire alarm to go off, and all hotel guests had to leave their rooms at 4:00 in the morning. I saw this as God’s way of saying, “Yes, be wise, prepare for emergencies. They will come."
Lastly, as the Preparedness coordinator, Eri, said: Be prepared in your heart; bring God first; put a spiritual book in your backpack.
Again, though, all of this is for the purpose of preparing us to love.
Preparedness Series, Part I: The Most Important Thing
by Eri Izawa, Preparedness Coordinator
To start off the Preparedness Series, I'd like to remind you of the most important aspect of preparing for any stressful event, the primary ingredient of survival and success, whether it be an emergency or a board meeting. More crucial than air, more life-sustaining than water, more vital than food: We need God. Our best laid plans can go astray, as the saying goes. This does not excuse us from having plans or doing our human best, but we know, and God knows, that we don't have all the answers. We don't even know what might happen, or in what way, when, where, how. In college, while preparing for my science degree, I had no idea that the hours and hours I "wasted" playing online games was actually preparing me for the industry where I would eventually find employment? God knows. God prepares. Our primary job is to listen.
That brings me to the first and foremost item we must acquire on our preparedness list, which I'll illustrate by relating an experience that happened to me.
Once upon a time, a well-meaning stranger, who was legitimately angry at me for a traffic blunder, followed my car all the way to my house. It really freaked me out; it could've been dangerous had he been ill-intentioned. I was too flustered by the traffic incident to notice he was following me until too late, and once I did, I was too flustered to memorize his license plate, appearance, or anything! I did have SOME presence of a prayerful mind during the event, from habit -- but that is exactly the point: I have a habit of mental prayer. All the worry and what-if thinking in the world, all the "I'll do Y if nasty event X happens" thinking (which I had done a lot of), doesn't mean a darn thing unless one's mind is calm enough to think and act clearly, in other words, if the response isn't already built in.
I realized after this incident that, rather than what-if thinking and fretting, no matter how "useful" it may seem, one is far better off cultivating a peaceful mind steeped in positive, productive, prayerful thoughts. As with martial arts training, if one makes it a habit, it will stay with one in a real emergency -- and the rest of the time, it will keep one energized, active, productive, and hopeful.
The upshot is this: we need God -- but to make it easier for God to help us help ourselves, we must do our part of the work: practice the presence of God via practicing the peaceful prayer habit.
So, primary item: Peaceful prayer habit. Acquire it. Use it. Practice it. Get to know it. It will serve you well.
Preparedness Series, Part II: Know Your Needs
by Eri Izawa, Preparedness Coordinator
Editor's Note: Details of the 72 hour emergency kit mentioned here follow this article.
When I was preparing the "Preparedness" talk for Boston WAVES, I found it useful to organize preparedness needs by urgency. What do we need second by second? Minute by minute? Hour by hour? Day by day? You might want to periodically review this list, or this way of organizing, and ask God to nudge you on anything you might need to do or learn. The items included below may not be everything you'll need, but they will likely spark ideas about additional items.
Second by second: The Main Ingredient
As detailed in Part I, we need God. As WAVES, we know we need God. No question! So there’s only one item on this list:
Minute by minute: Air, Emergency Supplies, Emergency Medical Help
We can't live without air for more than a few minutes. But air is insufficient if someone is bleeding to death, and that brings us to the issue of medical emergencies. Basic first aid knowledge can save a life - whether it's stopping bleeding, helping someone breathe, or saving someone from injury by just having a flashlight when the lights go out or extra flares when the car stalls. Please stop and pray about this one, and how YOU need to prepare at this level. Things to consider having:
- Emergency first aid kit: at home, in the car, in the 72 hour kit
- Flashlight, flares, batteries, light bulbs, etc.: home, car, and in purse, keychain, pocket, 72 hour kit
- Pocketknife: Useful in general!
- Cell phone to call for help
- CPR and first aid training
Hour by hour: Warmth, Shelter, Emergency Travel, Reassurance
Fact: You can freeze to death a lot sooner than you will die of thirst. Extremes of temperature, whether cold or heat, are dangerous, but so is getting cold and wet without available warmth and shelter. Even in the face of global warming, freak snow storms can still strike - and the warming could always turn into global cooling. What if you're on the road and something goes wrong? And don't forget your spirit: emergencies often force us to act on autopilot, but when the situation calms down a bit, our spirit needs to refresh to be ready for anything else that occurs.
- Emergency heat-reflecting blankets: home, car, 72 hour kit
- Emergency warm clothing: home, car
- Waterproof clothing or tent: car, 72 hour kit
- Duct tape, plastic sheeting: home, car, 72 hour kit
- Some form of warmth, should your usual means not be available (many alternate heating items are fire hazards so be careful!): home, 72 hour kit
- Cell phone to call for help
- Emergency phone numbers, ID, keys (remember your keys!)
- Portable radio so you know what's going on: home, 72 hour kit
- Maps: home, car, 72 hour kit
- Keep your car's gas tank near full in case you have to drive away in an emergency!
- Spare gas or dry gas: car, generator, etc.
- Iodine tablets (if concerned about nuclear radiation)
- Inspirational reminder, such as Bible verse: Good to carry around with you!
Day by day: Water, Hygiene, Health
At last, we get to water. Yes, we absolutely need water. No doubt about it. Even in a minor emergency (e.g., power outage, subway shut down), it's nice to know you won't be thirsty any time soon. In a larger emergency, you will need a minimum of a gallon of water per person per day (don't forget your pets!). But have you also thought about the other side of things? How about getting rid of water and wastes from the body if your home plumbing isn't working? And on the topic of health, do you have equipment to help you and your family if disease is going around? Or the equipment to make water safe to drink and food safe to eat? And do you have vital medicines on hand?
- Bottled water: home, car, purse, backpack, 72 hour kit
- Large scale water storage: home
- Water filters, plain bleach, tablets, heating mechanisms, all for purifying/sterilizing water: home, 72 hour kit
- Knowledge of how to filter and treat water; knowledge of where to find drinkable water at home
- Bucket, shovel, toilet paper, heavy-duty garbage bags for wastes. 72 hour kit
- Soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc.
- Disinfectants of various kinds, for both health and hygiene. Examples: Plain bleach, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide (don't use on healing wounds), betadine, hand sanitizers: home, and some in your 72 hour kit.
- Disposable gloves, flu masks, mosquito nets: home, 72 hour kit
- Prescription medicines or other needed medical items: keep on hand, and in or near your 72 hour kit
Week by week: Food, ID, Papers
Food… yes, we come to food, finally. And on a weekly basis, in a large-scale emergency, you may need access to cash, or to identification papers, and so on. And don't forget "comfort food" for the body and soul - whether it be canned spaghetti or a treasured photo album or your flute, have it ready to grab and go!
- Short-term emergency food (like snacks): home, car, purse, backpack
- Long-term food, such as MREs (meals ready to eat), dried goods, canned goods: home, 72 hour kit
- Equipment to heat food, or sterilize foods (consider things like Sterno, firewood, or even solar ovens): home, 72 hour kit
- Cash: May not be bad to hide some in your 72 hour kit
- ID, important bank and investment papers and bank keys, photos for identification (including looking for relatives and pets): have these ready to grab with your 72 hour kit and take with you in case of emergency!
- Irreplaceable items of great sentimental value, to strengthen the spirit.
- Don't forget your inspirational reading!
If an emergency persists for longer than anyone would've dared thought: well, who knows? God knows. Ask God what else might be needed. Here are some thoughts, but remember, if an emergency does last a really long time, we will find ourselves relying more and more on just God and ourselves - our God-given strengths, talents, and skills.
- seeds, gardening equipment
- basic survival skills
- advanced survival skills, such as medical expertise, building, gardening, cooking, animal husbandry, etc.
- Peaceful prayer skills - no doubt about it, this is what you need most, from beginning to end!
Creating a 72 Hour Preparedness Kit for Your Home
compiled by Dave Colelli and Kristen Foley
Editors’ Note: You may want to print this article to refer to as you build your kit.
In Betty’s article, she recommends that each WAVE create a 72-hour kit for themselves, and each member of their family. This is also recommended by disaster relief organizations such as the Red Cross and FEMA, as well as state and local governments. In an emergency, it typically takes emergency response teams 72 hours to get set with supplies; therefore, it is our responsibility as informed citizens to be prepared to provide for our own needs for at least that time period, and to be ready for the possible interruption of the services and conveniences that we often come to rely upon, such as electricity, heat, transportation, and easy access to food, water and medical help.
There are, by the way, many websites that provide excellent suggestions on what to include in your 72-hour kit, as well as how to plan for specific types of emergencies (such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, etc.), and regional disaster agencies will often have their own websites that provide lists of priority items for specific locales. Consider using all of these resources to arm yourself with the knowledge and supply lists that will be of greatest benefit to you in an emergency. A list of some useful websites, one of which includes a handy checklist, is provided at the end of this article.
According to the Red Cross, during and right after a disaster it is vital to maintain your strength. To do this, they suggest these tips in an emergency:
~ Eat at least one well-balanced meal each day.
~ Drink enough liquid to enable your body to function properly (two quarts per day).
~ Take in enough calories to enable you to do any necessary work.
~ Have vitamin, mineral and protein supplements to assure adequate nutrition.
The purpose of this article is to help you get started with the basics.
These are the six basic items to stock in your home in case of an emergency:
- First Aid Supplies
- Clothing and bedding
- Tools and Emergency supplies
- Specialty items
In addition, you will also want to plan for:
- Sanitation needs
- Important family documents
- An Emergency Car Kit
Here is some info to help you prepare for the priorities of each of these categories:
Having an ample supply of water is a top priority in an emergency. It is recommended to store one gallon of drinking water per person per day. If water is to be used for hygiene and cooking, then 2 additional gallons per person per day will be needed. A normally active person needs two quarts of water per day, but this amount can be doubled in hot environments and for children, nursing mothers, and those who are sick.
Keep water in thoroughly washed plastic, fiberglass, or enamel-lined containers that do not decompose or break easily. You can also purchase food-grade plastic drums or buckets. (I found a 6-gallon water container in the camping section of my local Wal-mart store. This is at least movable when full by a strong person. There are also 52-gallon water drums sold by Preparedness websites.) Seal water containers tightly, label them and store in a cool, dark place. Rotate your water supply every six months.
Keep at least a 3-day supply on hand for each person in your household, more if you are able. If your supplies of water run low, it is recommended that you never ration water. Drink the amount you need today, and try to find more for tomorrow. You can minimize the amount you need by reducing activity and staying cool.
If disaster catches you without a clean water supply, you can use the water in your hot-water tank, pipes, and ice cubes. If your need for water outlasts your supply of clean water, there are ways to treat contaminated water, and these are well detailed on the Red Cross’ website at this link: http://www.redcross.org/services/prepare/0,1082,0_91_,00.html#sources
Store at least a 3-day supply of food in your home. The best foods to store are those that are non-perishable, familiar, compact, lightweight, high in calories and nutrition, require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking, and require little or no water. If you must heat food, pack some cans of sterno for this. Store your food in air-tight, waterproof, re-sealable containers.
If you lose electricity, use perishable foods from your refrigerator first, then foods from your freezer, and finally foods from your non-perishable supply. Also, try to store foods that are low in salt (such as unsalted crackers, nuts and peanut butter), so that they will not increase your thirst.
Here are some food suggestions for your 72-hour kit:
~ Food for infants (well-stocked supply of formula and baby food)
~ Ready-to-eat canned or packaged meats, fish, fruits, vegetables and juices
~ High energy foods
~ Vitamins and/or vitamin drinks such as “Ensure”
~ Some familiar comfort/stress foods
~ Foods that will meet the needs of each family member
~ MREs (meals ready-to-eat); these high-calorie meals are perfect for emergencies and have a shelf life that vastly exceeds typical non-perishables.
First Aid Supplies
Consider having a first aid kit in your home and car. First aid kits of varying size can be purchased in most grocery and drug stores. To assemble a kit on your own, consider including the following items: adhesive bandages of various sizes, sterile dressings, conforming roller gauze bandage, triangular bandages, gauze pads of varying sizes, a roll of cohesive bandage, germicidal hand wipes or waterless alcohol-based hand sanitizer, antiseptic wipes, large medical grade non-latex gloves, adhesive tape of 2” width, anti-bacterial ointment, a cold pack, scissors (small), tweezers, and a CPR breathing barrier, such as a face shield. (Taking a First Aid Course is also an excellent way to prepare.)
Note: Since the threat of a bird-flu pandemic is now very real, it is wise to inform yourself about this possible emergency-health situation and consider what you may want to have in your 72-hour pack to prepare accordingly. While in Boston, Betty recommended getting some medical-type face masks and goggles for family members to wear if they have to leave home during such a pandemic. This helps prevent droplets from the coughs and sneezes of others from going into one’s lungs or eyes. Disposable medical gloves would also be useful. There is more info about how to prepare for the possibility of a bird-flu pandemic on http://pandemicflu.gov/. (Although this website recommends a minimum 2-week food and water supply if such an outbreak were to occur, Betty suggested a 5-6 week supply for such a case.)
Non-prescription Drugs: Pack medicinal items together, in a well-sealed, childproof container. Consider storing aspirin and/or non-aspirin pain reliever, a thermometer, fluids with electrolytes, antacid (for upset stomach), anti-diarrhea medication, syrup of Ipecac (used to induce vomiting only if advised by Poison Control Center), laxative, activated charcoal (use if advised by Poison Control Center).
Clothing and Bedding
Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person. You will want to include sturdy, comfortable shoes or work boots, rain gear, blankets or sleeping bags (you may want to have a few sleeping bags designed for colder weather in case your heat supply is limited), hat and gloves, thermal underwear, sunglasses, and in a hotter climate a wide-brimmed hat and lightweight, light-colored clothing.
Tools and Supplies
There are many tools and supplies that are good to have in an emergency situation. Here is a list of some recommended by the Red Cross that you may want to include in your own kit: mess kits, and/or paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, emergency preparedness manual, battery and/or crank operated radio and extra batteries, flashlight and extra batteries, heavy-duty work gloves, cash (preferably in small denominations, and change), traveler’s checks, manual can opener, utility knife, fire extinguisher (small canister ABC type), tube tent, pliers, tape, compass, matches in a waterproof container, aluminum foil, plastic storage containers, signal flare, paper, pencil, needles/thread, medicine dropper, unscented liquid household bleach and a medicine dropper for purifying water, shut-off wrench to turn off household gas/water, whistle, disposable camera, plastic sheeting for covering broken windows, and a map of the area (for locating shelters).
Consider the special requirements of your family members, such as:
~ Infant needs (formula, diapers, wipes, bottles, powdered formula/milk, and medications)
~ Heart and blood pressure medication, supplies and monitoring equipment
~ Prescription drugs (ask your physician/pharmacist about storing prescription medication)
~ Denture needs
~ Contact lenses and supplies
~ Extra eye glasses
~ Entertainment/Uplifting items (based on ages and preferences of family members)
~ Pet needs (food, water, pet carrier, leash, medicines, etc.)
~ Children’s needs*
*When planning for your children’s needs, consider ways that you can reduce the stress they might experience during an emergency, by packing small games and toys, a portable, battery-operated music device and small stuffed animals in your family’s 72-kit. Also, when choosing foods, remember to include some familiar foods that will help lift your children’s spirits during a stressful time, such as animal crackers, Crackerjack popcorn/peanut mix, and some candies that do not spoil easily.
Here are some items that will help meet your sanitation needs: toilet paper, moist towelettes, soap, dish-washing gloves, liquid detergent, feminine supplies, personal hygiene items, heavy-duty plastic garbage bags (for personal sanitation uses), plastic bucket with tight lid, disinfectant and household chlorine bleach.
Important Family Documents
Keep your family’s important records in a waterproof, portable container. Keep individual items in airtight plastic bags. Have your important-documents container in a convenient location known to all family members. Consider putting all of your family’s important records together in this container, including wills, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds, passports, social security cards, immunization records, bank account numbers, credit card account numbers and companies, an inventory of your household’s valuables, important telephone numbers including relatives and disaster relief organization phone numbers, birth, marriage and death certificates.
Some other items you may want to store in the same container as these items might be: personal resumes, emergency supply of cash, store gift cards, children’s report cards and a small photo album with up-to-date photos (facial photos are best) for each member of your family, including pets.
Have your 72-kit packed and ready in a convenient location in your home in case of an emergency evacuation. Consider ways that you can distribute the weight of heavier items, and consider purchasing containers and backpacks with wheels for easier transport, as well as having a portable metal luggage/travel cart such as the kind business travelers use. Betty also recommended purchasing certain types of items second-hand when you see them, such as sturdy boots and portability items with wheels to carry items, injured persons or small children to safety if needed (sturdy, well-made items that could traverse rougher terrain if needed).
Emergency Car Kit
It is wise to plan for emergencies that could occur while you are in your vehicle. Keeping a backpack in the rear of your car can be an easy way to have the supplies you may need in an emergency. In addition to items that you may already keep in your car, such as a first aid kit and/or auto-safety kit with emergency road flares, etc., consider additional items that you may need in order to keep hydrated, energized and warm in an emergency. Also, whenever possible, keep your car’s gas tank full in case you must evacuate quickly.
Here is an abbreviated list of some items that may not be found in a typical auto-kit that you may want to keep in a backpack for an emergency: cell phone, day’s supply or more of water, extra formula if you have an infant, high-energy, lightweight, read-to-eat foods, such as nutrition/energy bars, a first aid book & kit, a flashlight with extra batteries, work gloves, a waterproof wind-breaker coat with hood and rain-gear for your lower body as well, a baseball hat or visor, sunglasses, some warm-weather gear, a small blanket from home and/or solar blanket (see the camping supply section of any superstore for a solar blanket – they are tiny and cost about $3.), a pair of comfortable walking shoes or sneakers (especially if you are a woman who wears heels to work), pocketknife, local map, a change of comfortable light-colored clothing, a reflective vest and/or reflective decals for night-walking, insect repellent, extra emergency cash, compass, signal flare, and a small battery-operated radio.
For more information on emergency preparedness and what to include in your 72-hour kit, you might try these websites:
You can also find other useful websites by doing a Google internet-search using any of these terms: 72-hour kit, disaster-preparedness, emergency preparedness, or disaster kits.
Lessons in Preparedness: A Real-world Example
by Eri Izawa
While in Boston for the WAVES Gathering, many of us came face to face with the importance of being prepared. Here's what happened Sunday night/Monday morning, at 4:00 a.m
The WAVES (still remaining) were gathered in Betty's suite, talking and getting ready to do prayer requests. About then, the power went out. Some WAVES smelled ozone (sign of electrical shorting), which made us concerned. Luckily, a number of WAVES had flashlights.
There was some back and forth with the hotel staff as they tried to fix the power. We got through our circle of prayer, and were back at the suite preparing to move Betty to a different room (using the handy flashlights) when the fire alarm went off.
The WAVES went into action. A few WAVES manned the stairwell, helping and soothing bleary-eyed and sometimes alarmed hotel guests as they went streaming down the stairs. Stan was calmly giving out information; Kristen helped a scared young girl who was nearly panicking; I smiled and nodded at people and watched them smile back, their spirits brightening a bit.
Yes, fire alarms go off regularly at hotels. But you know what was really impressive this time? The way the WAVES in the stairwell went into action. We weren't rushed. We were in charge. We calmed, we led, we informed, we smiled, we reassured.
Next, the WAVES gathered downstairs and looked around at the milling, bewildered crowds. Betty remarked something like, "Isn't it amazing that on the day we talk about Preparedness, we have this occur? Isn't it like God is sending us a message?" And indeed, it was.
The hotel staff wasn't completely set up to handle them. They needed bullhorns, but were shouting instead. The PA system was impossible to understand. There were guests lined up at the counter, as some had forgotten to grab their room keys. Many were tired-looking and unhappy.
Earlier, when the blackout occurred, I'd had my tiny flashlight in my pocket, so I had light. I also had my valuables and my tools (computer, camera) and supplies (water, food) on my back - many times I had thought about putting down my pack because it was a burden, but I hadn't, and now I was glad. I would not have had time to go back and get it. I was thirsty, but I had water to drink. If I were hungry, I'd have had food enough to share. I'd had training dealing with tense crowds in stairwells late at night, so it was very familiar to me, and I was relaxed and able to extend blessings. The one thing I lacked was clear knowledge of what not to do in a fire (like leave doors open), which hit me in retrospect.
There were WAVES who had no water and were thirsty, or who had no flashlights and could not have moved in the dark, but there were other WAVES who had extra water and enough lights.
But most importantly, we had been awake while the masses slept. We were the first to move. We prepared the way. We helped spread smiles. We blessed the anxious crowds. We were ready to step in and lead.
So, anyway, think about it. We were being shown, the VERY NIGHT of the Preparedness talk, what Preparedness is all about.
We were awake while the masses slept, and we were ready.
Anyway, it was too powerful to ignore, too amazing to describe. Please, think about the experience we had. Please think about how it could apply to your life. Pray for guidance. When it comes, please act on it.
God bless. ~ Tamago
The Boston WAVES Gathering
With great anticipation, I packed my car up and headed to Boston for our annual WAVES Gathering. I made a quick stop along the way to pick up our fellow WAVE John Harvey, and we continued on our journey. While driving, John and I discussed how exciting it was to be heading to Boston to meet once again with so many gifted and talented people, all of whom seemed to be filled with so much love and compassion.
Since I attended my first WAVES Gathering in Chicago in July 2004, I have been blessed with the opportunity to meet several people who have turned out, in such a short period of time, to be some of my closest and dearest friends. I have shared personal stories with them that I have not felt comfortable sharing with people I have known my entire life. From the beginning, I have felt the unconditional love of these people, a love that I never knew existed before.
The weekend flew by, and the time I hoped to spend with my dear friends was brief. I felt that an eternity with just one of them would still not be enough time to share our love and compassion for each other. When the time came to say our goodbyes, I felt a deep sorrow and emptiness in my soul. As I embraced my dear friends for one last time, I knew it would be awhile until I could see their smiling faces once again. I headed back to my home in New York wishing I could take each of them back with me to be my neighbors. Then I would be able to have them by my side at any time.
At that moment, a thought came into my mind, reminding me that each of us was placed in specific locations on this earth in order to perform our personal missions. I was reminded that at this time in life, if we all lived together it would make completing our missions more difficult. I thought of the difficulties and challenges I would be facing in performing parts of my mission without the closeness of my dear friends at my side. I was then reminded of a wonderful quote from a very special woman named Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, who was a pioneer on death and dying. She said, "If we live in a beautiful garden and eat expensive food we will not grow, but if we experience pain, suffering and loss we will grow to our greatest potential."
I know that some of the times ahead are going to be difficult challenges filled with many obstacles, but I find comfort in knowing that before my earthly life began I agreed to come here at this specific time to assist others. I am well aware that once our missions are complete I will be reunited once again for eternities with all those I hold dear to me. When I feel the absence of those I love, I am reminded of the following verse from the hymn, “Amazing Grace”:
Here are a selection of comments, from Waves board posts, of some of those who attended the Boston Gathering.
Also, a very special word of thanks goes to our copy editor, Barbara Diaz, for her years of service to the Waves Newsletter. Since its very first issue back in 2003, Barbara has been there with her sharp pencil and eagle eye. While Barbara has left to follow other paths in her life, she will never be far from our hearts. We will miss you, Barbara!