Goals for Previous Months

2016 Themes Archive

 January : El Nino Preparedness and MLK Day of Service

          The start of a new year often motivates us to set goals and resolutions of things we want to do to improve the quality of our lives and be better prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. We don't know everything that we may face, but there are some things that have a high probability of happening and causing loss of life and/or property. The potential for loss is greater when we are caught off guard and find ourselves unprepared when these situations arise.           
          We've been advised to get ready for El Nino, and there is no better time to start preparing than right now. We can learn more about what it is and how to prepare for it on Ready San Diego's El Nino Preparedness page. A major concern with this weather pattern in our area is the potential for flooding, mudslides and debris flow.            
            Last but not least, hopefully we haven't lost the spirit of service we felt this past holiday season. January 18th is the National Martin Luther King Day of Service. There are many opportunities to provide service in our communities.  Local opportunities can be found through JustServe.org and the InterFaith Service website. Curious about what the National Martin Luther King Day of Service is ? For more information visit  nationalservice.gov. Below is a video from the website that explains how Monday the 18th, and every other day for that matter, can be more significant to all of us:    


February through March : Have Your Go Bags and Sand Bags Ready   

            El Nino still has a way to go before it reaches it's peak as late as towards the end of November. So for the rest of this year, we can expect more extremes of warmer than usual weather with increase risk for wildfires, and dark rainy down pours that cause flooding and mudslides in our region. For more info on how to be El Nino Ready, check out this article from the San Diego County News Center and the links it contains.
             As the article points out, the first steps for being disaster ready apply to El Nino, fire, earthquake, and pretty much all other types of disasters. I've updated the First Steps welcome post, which now focuses on four basic goals we'd like to challenge every household to meet as early this year as possible.  
            While we are laying out those sand bags, let's not forget our "go bags" are just as important to have available in case they are needed for either of two very likely scenarios in a disaster : evacuation or shelter in place. Let's get ready, get set, and have our "go bags"!

** Reminder : There is a CERT academy coming up in Oceanside starting March 3rd. If you would like to take advantage of this local  Emergency Response Training opportunity, consider turning in your application as soon as you can since space is limited. **


        APRIL 2016 - National Preparedness Month

           As disasters and terrorist incidents increase in frequency and intensity, it is concerning to think how complacent we can get. At times, we may find ourselves postponing our preparation for some future, more urgent time, when we feel we are more likely to be affected. I feel the recent Brussels attack really hit home for many, who previously felt somewhat removed from what was happening in other places, besides their own backyard.

         When a couple of missionaries from the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints were injured and could have lost their lives in the blasts, it reminded us that not even those who are out in the service of God are immune to the dangers that will be faced. Nevertheless, we not be alone during those difficult times as Elder Mason Wells, one of the missionaries injured, shared during his interview which I've embedded below:( See Video of Elder Mason Wells' survival experience below )

           How many of us in the United States can actually say that we are ready for an experience similar to that of Elder Wells? Luckily, we are not alone in our preparedness efforts. There are various organizations and resources in our community that are helping our citizens be more prepared. Participation in the National PrepareAthon on National Preparedness Month is a great opportunity for individuals and organizations to further recognize the importance of being prepared. To participate this month or in the near future, all we need to do is choose an activity, formulate a plan and carry it out. Not as hard as us procrastinators make it out to be :).   


          June -  July  : Earthquakes, Fires, Terrorism,      Guns, and Let's not Forget About Pets

          So much has happened this month, including strange cell phone outages across the country, false alarm bomb threats, earthquakes, and fires ( See article regarding recent Wildfire in Temecula).

Not long after being woken up from an earthquake around 1:00 am last week, I searched for a site with a real time world wide earthquake map and came across quakes.globalincidentmap.com  (Thank goodness I had cell data at the time). From this online map I was able to see that their were 5+ earthquakes that had occurred all along the Pacific Coast of both North and South America within minutes to hours of each other, including the 5.2 Earthquake near Borrego Springs which I had just felt.  That earthquake was reported to have been felt from San Diego County all the way up the coast  to areas of LA County.  Luckily there was no significant damage, and no loss of life resulting from it. On the same web page I noticed tabs to other similar maps with data on life threatening concerns such as disease outbreaks,  Hazmat related occurrences, and terror related incidents.

         Speaking of terror related incidents,  today we experienced the most catastrophic mass shooting in U.S History, resulting in almost twice as many deaths than the Brussels attacks that occurred just a few months ago. According to the murderer in a conversation between himself and a 911 dispatcher, he was acting out of loyalty to  Isil on behalf of their leader ( whom he referred to by name). He also proclaimed his affiliation with the Boston Bombers ( which he had also done previously in 2013 ). President Obama publicly declared that the murderer was not actually connected to any specific terrorists organization and that he was a mad man acting in isolation. I'm sure Isil is pleased with what has occurred, whether he was an associate of theirs or not. It's probably wiser to err on the side that there was an affiliation , as far as making preparations to better defend ourselves from future related incidents is concerned.

        What if the next time their is a fire or earthquake we are not that lucky ? What if a shooter or bomber decides to carry out something horrific in our own town ? Besides having an evacuation plan and updating the basic emergency supplies we have on hand, you know "the usual" , we may want to seriously consider adding to what we have handy to further increase our chances of survival. For example, we may want to consider having  a gun handy, just in case. Oh yeah, and let's not forget about our pets. After all it is National Pet Preparedness Month .


 August is Anti-Terrorism Awareness Month

 Did you know that the city of San Diego ranks #4 in the nation as far as top spots for having suspected terrorism related links is concerned ? In 2014 a top secret document was released and discussed on Channel 10 News with information related to the numerous links to terrorism in  San Diego and possible reasons for it.

Every August, the Army promotes its antiterrorism awareness program, iWATCH. This program is designed to encourage soldiers, family members and civilians throughout the community to become familiar with and report suspicious activity or behavior to military, police or local law enforcement. The responsibility for being prepared for these threats lies within each one of us. If each one of us gives heed to this advice we can curtail the number of potential threats and increase our families chance of survival when faced personally with one.

Below are a couple of online resources to help us get started in our terrorism awareness and response efforts:

Army OneSource

Ready Vista Active Shooter Safety Blog

iWatch Army Website


2015 Themes Archive

July: First Steps

Fire Preparedness:

1. Check out the focus for this month : Working on your General Preparedness and Fire Safety Plans.

2. If you have not done so already, prepare and practice your disaster plan and read the personal survival guide.  Prepare your communication plans with the help of these family communication plan resources.

3. Learn what to do in case of a wild land fire. You can print the 13- page  Fire Hazard Guide Book published by FEMA and discuss it with your family.

 August: Hurricane Season is Here

Floods and Power Outages:

1. Keep working on preparing your 72 hour emergency Kit (See July's personal survival guide).

2. Be Prepared for a flooding emergency. For a great website to help you teach your kids and prepare them for a flood emergency, click here.

3.Be prepared for a lengthy power outage (3 days minimum). The 2011 San Diego County Power Outage Report highlights what happened during the 2011 power outage and advices on steps we can take to be better prepared the next time a power outage comes around.

4. Carry out a household preparedness drill  this month.

September: National Preparedness Month

This month we will be following the National Preparedness Month educational themes and action plans as follows:

 Week 1:  September 1-5th:  Flood
          This week will either be a review of what you learned in August, or a one week crash course on flood safety. After this week you should know how to:
In addition you can:
  •  Be counted and submit your preparedness activity on www.ready.gov/prepare.
  •  Take action and participate in a preparedness activity on or around the National    PrepareAthon!  Day on September 30 by visiting: www.ready.gov/prepare.

 Week 2:  September 6-12th          Wildfire

 Week 3:  September 13-19th        Hurricane

 Week 4:  September 20-26th        Power Outage

 Week 5:  September 27-30th        Earthquake

Lead up to National PrepareAthon! Day (September 30th )

October: Earthquake Preparedness

Are we ready for a 7.0 + earthquake, followed by wide scale power outages, fires from broken gas and water lines, with accompanying tsunami approximately 20 minutes later ? What happened in Chile just a few weeks ago is one example of such a disaster. This month we will be getting  ready to participate in the Vista Stake Emergency Drill, which will be related to The Great Shake Out . Our deadline for being prepared for the stake drill is October 15th, the date of the nationwide earthquake drill (the stake drill will take place some time after that date). Between now and October 15th, we will focus on completing the following activities:
  1. Familiarize ourselves with appropriate actions to take during the first initial seconds of an earthquake, no matter where we are. Then discuss these things with our household.
  2. Review how we will communicate with family, friends, and co-workers (See July). The Great Shake Out partner, Safe America Foundation, has kicked off a "Text First Call Later" campaign which can help us evaluate the effectiveness of that plan. Another great resource we can use is an article by Scott Kelley, a former counterintelligence agent, regarding how to communicate when communications go down.

    November: Crime Prevention and Gratitude

              The end of year holiday season will be upon us shortly. This is a great time for participating in bonding traditions with family and friends, and for providing service to others. It is also a time of  year when home burglaries, theft crimes, terrorism, and other crimes are on the rise. So during this month, our focus will be on minimizing our chances of becoming victims to these crimes. Crime and disaster preparedness are closely linked, so you'll find that the actions taken for crime prevention will also be helpful in disaster situations.

               In addition to becoming more crime savvy, we will be focusing on strengthening our relationship with God and others. This we can do by further developing our character and increasing our ability to be grateful for each other and all the blessings our Heavenly Father has blessed us with.

               As we improve our character and collaborate with each other, our neighborhoods will become safer for our families, and we will find joy in the opportunities we have to become better acquainted, become more aware of each other's needs, and help one another.  As we we think about and care for the needs of our family, friends, and neighbors, we will increase our understanding and appreciation for the things that matter most.

    December: Service and the True Meaning of Christmas

             Although November is behind us, we can continue to make an effort each day to develop and deepen our capacity for gratitude and love. As we come to better understand our identity and develop the divine attributes we inherited from our Heavenly Parents , our lives embrace a heartfelt sense of purpose with an eternal perspective. As we grow in our understanding of who we are in relation to each other, our Heavenly Father, and our Savior Jesus Christ, we experience life in a richer and more glorious way.  Our capacity to love The Lord and  each other is increased, and our desires to act upon and share what we know and feel  naturally follow.

      If we truly desire to know of Him and are willing to do what it takes to gain that knowledge,  eventually we will acquire an irreversible conviction as to why the Christmas season is about celebrating the birth of Jesus of Bethlehem. It is about love and hope, and why He matters in our lives. We can know that it is Christ who has made many of Heavenly Father's gifts attainable by each of us, even the gift of eternal life, the greatest of all those gifts. We can rejoice in His light as we enjoy the festive and luminous decorations. And as we participate in the tradition of giving and receiving gifts, we can reflect upon the gifts He has extended to us and choose to receive them with deeply felt gratitude.    

      This month let's seek to increase our understanding of  who Christ really Was and Is through prayerstudy, listening to or reading the testimonies of others, listening to our conscience, and being open to the revelatory influence of the Holy Ghost.  Their were several testimonies expressed regarding who He is and what He has done  during the 2015 Christmas Devotional held in Salt Lake  that we can listen to or watch this Christmas season. Although I enjoyed all of them, I feel the thoughts and testimony expressed by  President  Dieter F. Uchtdorf pretty much said everything that could have been said regarding the true meaning of Christmas  (See the Video "The Generous One" Below).            
    You can view and download the entire 2015 Christmas Devotional here.  Merry Christmas !

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