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Latter-day Saint Ministering: “You don’t need anything? WATER you talking about?”

Ministering idea water storage

Do the people you minister to have emergency water storage? Here’s a few thoughts and ideas of how you can help!  

As we approach the new ministering way of caring for each other as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have been counseled to get to know the individuals and families we serve. By knowing about their lives, we can better seek guidance through prayer on how to bless them.

It’s nice to know someone well enough to intuitively understand what they need, and it’s great to be so in tune with the Spirit that we can clearly see how to best serve someone. Of course, there will also be times for most of us when we need to simply ask the classic question from home and visiting teaching days of yore: “Do you need anything?”

Naturally, we will frequently get the time-honored answer of “no, I don’t need anything,” to which most ministering brothers and sisters can reply with some confidence, “you don’t need anything? WATER you talking about?”

Because one thing that all Latter-day Saints have been counseled to have is emergency water storage, and many Latter-day Saints simply don’t have it. Both the Church and the CDC recommend storing enough clean water to last for 2 weeks, at the rate of 1 gallon per day for each person and pet. One gallon per day may seem like a lot, but this includes water for drinking, food preparation, and hygiene.

A great ministering idea for the family who hasn’t indicated they need anything would be to drop off a water bottle or two, with a reminder about water storage. You could even make a cute label with a quote or scripture and glue it over the brand label.

Other emergency water storage tips and ideas that ministering brothers and sisters can use:

  • Non-store bought water storage should be rotated every 6 months. If your family or individual tells you that they already have 2 weeks of water stored, offer to help them rotate it. Those large blue barrels many folks use can be awkward to move, and if they’re using smaller containers, such as 2-liter soda bottles, the rotation can be time-consuming. They might appreciate the offer or reminder to rotate their water.
  • A family in a smaller home or apartment might need some help finding creative ways to make room for water storage. A family of 4 with 1 pet would need 70 gallons of water; that’s gonna take up some space.
  • Those who feel there is no way to find room for 2 weeks of water storage should be encouraged to have at least 3 days worth.
  • Plastic 2-liter soda bottles make great water storage containers; take your family some of their favorite soda with a note about water storage. Even if they already have plenty of water stored, they can enjoy the pop. (Soda bottles should be washed and air-dried before using for water storage).
  • Families who use those large blue barrels should also have some portable water in smaller containers in case they have to evacuate their home. If your family has 2 weeks of water storage, ask if some of it would be easy to throw in their car trunk if they had to leave quickly.
  • Because a portion of water storage is meant to be used for stuff like hygiene or washing off dishes, some of the water can be stored in containers not appropriate for storing drinking water, such as empty laundry soap jugs. Make sure they are marked as ‘water for cleaning only’ so that no one forgets and drinks from them.

Even if the folks you minister to have the perfect emergency water storage system, and don’t need any encouragement or help from you at all, you’ve just given them a great idea of something they can do for their own ministering assignments!

Read more about emergency water storage—

Drinking Water Guidelines at The Church’s website

Creating & Storing an Emergency Water Supply at cdc.gov

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