Roughly 254 million people were affected by natural disasters this last year. That number is almost 3 times higher than the number of people affected in 1990. That increase is likely due to the increased frequency of natural disasters: 337 were reported in 2003, which is almost one hundred more than the 261 disasters recorded in 1990. While the cause of this trend is unknown, it is impossible to ignore the increase. In the wake of Hurricane Felix's strike in Central America earlier this month and an 8.5 magnitude earthquake that shook Indonesia two weeks ago, many are feeling the need to be prepared for what the future may bring. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, emergency preparedness has been emphasized for many years. Church members are counseled to acquire a year's supply of food, clothing, and, if possible, fuel. These provisions are meant to safeguard families and individuals from the possibility of harm in a natural disaster as well as potential unemployment. The United States government has also expressed an interest in emergency preparedness, marking its desire to help safeguard America by declaring September 2007 as National Preparedness Month. "National Preparedness Month is an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of emergency preparedness and to encourage all Americans to better prepare their homes and communities for emergencies," said President George W. Bush. "Protecting America's homeland and citizens is the shared responsibility of the entire Nation. Individuals can prepare themselves and their families for emergencies by taking simple steps such as organizing an emergency supply kit, making a personal preparedness plan, becoming informed about different threats, and getting involved in preparing their community. These activities create a culture of preparedness and can help save lives." The Department of Homeland Security promoted preparedness by organizing conferences for business managers in Los Angeles, sponsoring camps for children in Alabama, and distributing informational pamphlets in New York City. The purpose of the activities is to help Americans be aware of the need to prepare, and encourage them to take the necessary steps to assure the long-term safety of our families, businesses, and homes. You can prepare yourself by building up your food storage and having an emergency kit in your home. If you are short on time there are more convenient solutions than the traditional mass shopping excursions. The National Survival Supply provides ready-made emergency survival kits for your home, car, and even business. Visit SurvivalSupplys.com for more information.
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