How Prepared is the Average Latter-day Saint Ward?

It has become cliché for people to suggest that their preparedness efforts consist of a gun and ammo, so that in the event of an emergency they can forcefully demand that their Mormon neighbors give up some of their food storage. But do Mormons store as much food as people think they do? Do we all have a year supply of wheat, beans, rice, and freeze dried snacks?

A few weeks ago, I was called by my Bishop (pastor) to be the new emergency preparedness coordinator for our ward (congregation). In order to better serve those in the ward and help them prepare, I thought it important to begin my efforts with a survey to gauge where our ward stood. I had a fairly good idea due to previous surveys conducted over the past couple of years in our community (see here and here), but wanted a bit more detail, and with the high turnover in our ward, needed updated information.

With the Bishop’s consent, I circulated a brief, anonymous survey through the ward and got responses from over 50 families. Our ward is a fairly average ward in terms of income, being squarely “middle class,” thus the results are probably pretty indicative of the average (American) Latter-day Saint household. I don’t consider any of this statistically accurate, but it’s close enough to be reliable and representative of the average family, in my opinion.

Below are the results of this anonymous survey.

My impressions? This is about what I expected. It’s not encouraging, of course, when a few families skew the results upward with their year supply of food; far too many families responded that they only had a few days or a couple weeks worth of food in their home.

Time to roll up my sleeves.

10 Replies to “How Prepared is the Average Latter-day Saint Ward?”

  1. It just goes to show you that even when it is part of the culture that people put off preparedness. The church needs to reaffirm the need for food storage and preparedness. Maybe we will see it at this annual conference.

  2. Be ever so careful to not discourage people this type of article can and does make many members angry. They choose to not follow a prophets counsel. It is their lack of faith and none should point that out publicly.

  3. urgh… I have to admit that cooking anything besides MREs without our stove is an area we struggle… We do have lots of wood around us, though….

    I’m surprised that water storage isn’t higher in utah, though, since water isn’t that plentiful. we have a barrel, but we also have a couple filters, and around here, honestly water isn’t too hard to come by. In the worst case, we live within 3 miles of the ocean and could filter/sterilize water from there for cleaning tasks, reserving stored water for drinking, if for some reason we had to last more than 2-3 days without rain…

  4. I read that most LDS members are not prepared just 20% are, so I did a survey in my Branch and 77% had over a year supply and only 1% had nothing. I teach a lot of Prep classes to our non-member neighbors and I think over the last two years our members started stocking up lest a disaster came and their non member neighbors were prepared and they weren’t! I had various Branch members come out and help me with handouts, ect each time so they know their neighbors are excited and are now prepping. if you don’t have anything at all better lay in some dry beans and rice at least! fill those washed out juice & pop bottles with good tap water and set them aside! Better a little prepared than not at all!

  5. I’m a little confused about the bar graphs…are those percentages of the families, or actual families…for instance, were there like 12 families that had 0-2 weeks of food, or was that about 12% of the families?

  6. We did a similar survey in our ward. We are also a solidly middle class ward. If I remember the numbers correctly less than 5% had a year supply of food, and the rest had closer to a week or less. It was SO discouraging. Way less than 5% had water stored, in any measurable amounts. Hope your efforts have been successful. When people see my food storage, they think its SO MUCH FOOD, but in all honesty, it’s less than a full year supply in a few areas. I think there’s a disconnect between how much we eat, and how much we think we eat.

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