“Life-Styles of the Prepared and Famous,” Ensign, July 1989, 66
“They’re getting prepared, and we’ll see how!” exclaimed Robin Peach. Thus began our ward’s “Life-Styles of the Prepared and Famous.”
It all began when our bishop in Mesa, Arizona, directed us to devote a homemaking meeting to emergency preparedness. As a homemaking committee, we wanted to use a novel approach that would spark interest in the topic and motivate the sisters to prepare their families. We also wanted to give them positive reinforcement for what they were already doing.
We decided to make a videotape demonstrating preparedness skills, and then show the tape at homemaking meeting. We came up with the following ideas for the tape:
Giving a tour of a garden and an orchard, showing how a family can organize, water, weed, and harvest produce.
Showing methods of home storage.
Demonstrating water storage.
Showing the contents of a first-aid kit.
Demonstrating how to prepare for travel in the desert in summer or in the mountains in winter.
Grinding wheat and baking bread.
Telling why a teacher should keep her teaching credentials up-to-date.
Explaining how helping a self-employed husband to manage his business keeps a wife prepared to take over in case of his illness or death.
Telling how a single parent can use her education to provide for her family.
Explaining how keeping out of debt and keeping financial records can prevent economic stress, especially after a husband dies.
After getting approval from the Relief Society president, we chose sisters in our ward to feature and adapted our idea to fit their situations. We taped our interviews using a different woman for each segment of the videotape. Each shared her own experience; there was no major preparation involved and no pressure to speak as an expert. At the end of the tape, we recorded the bishop giving his counsel on preparedness.
On the night of our meeting, we set up the cultural hall to look like a movie theater and served popcorn and snacks made from food-storage items. “Life-Styles of the Prepared and Famous” was a huge success. It not only taught us about emergency preparedness, but it also helped us to experience an extra measure of fun and deep feelings of sisterhood.—Beth Black Esplin, Logan, Utah