A 72 Hour Lutheran
(Hat tip to the North Texas – Northern Louisiana Synod for the basis of this article.)
Hurricane season is from June 1 through November 30. We may not be as prepared as we need to be. We encourage each and every one of you to become a 72 Hour Lutheran, a person who has enough supplies in their home to meet their household’s basic needs for 72 hours.
Help the members of your congregation become 72 Hour Lutherans by using the tips below in a newsletter article or bulletin insert.
Being prepared to take care of your own family and your own congregational members allows you to then reach out and help others within your community. Here are some things that you can do to get ready:
- Make sure you and your family have all the necessary supplies to be a “72 Hour Lutheran”.
- If your congregation is evacuated, let the synod office know where you are going. Please include a contact number, address, and the name of a local contact.
- Once a hurricane hits your area, please contact us, 803-765-0590, and let us know how you are doing.
- Make sure you have a system to check on the elderly and their caregivers, being certain that they have a plan to evacuate or shelter in place with food and supplies. Also, include checking on single parents or parents who work in emergency (EMS, medical personnel, fire fighters), who may not be home during a hurricane leaving a spouse and children with needs.
- Plan to respond to needs in your own community once you have cared for your members. Simple responses like offering a place for cell phone charging if you have a generator, child care for parents whose homes are impacted, cold water, grills to cook food (that would spoil in the freezer), or crews to cut trees and help families are all ways to be the church during the first week of recovery.
- Protect congregational records and equipment by wrapping them in plastic, moving items away from windows, and setting them, if possible, on higher ground.
How do I become a 72 Hour Lutheran?
A 72 Hour Lutheran is a person who happens to be Lutheran and has enough supplies in their home to meet their household’s basic needs for 72 hours.
- Discuss the type of hazards that could affect your family. Know your home’s vulnerability to storm surge, flooding, and wind.
- Locate a safe room or the safest areas in your home for each hurricane hazard. In certain circumstances, the safest areas may not be your home but within your community.
- If necessary, determine an escape route from your home and designate places to meet. (Note: these should be measured in tens of miles, rather than hundreds of miles.) Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact so all your family members have a single point of contact.
- Make a plan now for what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate.
- Call the church and make sure that they have all your information.
- Create a disaster supply kit
- Proper identification
- Immunization records
- Moisture wipes
- Radio – Battery operated and NOAA weather radio
- Full charged cell phone with extra battery
- A traditional (not cordless) telephone set
- Cash (with small bills)
- Extra keys
- Tools – keep a set with you during the storm
- Vehicle fuel tank (kept filled)
- Pet care items
- Stock up on non-perishable emergency supplies
- Snack foods
- Foods for infants or the elderly
- Cooking tools
- Non-electric can opener
- Paper plates and plastic utensils
- First-aid kit
- Hygiene items
The South Carolina Emergency Management Division has made their annual Hurricane Guide available.