Stake / Ward Tools

Regional Response Coordination

In the event of an area wide disaster, LDSEROC will assist the local Area Authority Seventy and Welfare Services to coordinate the Church's Orange County multi-stake response. Assistance includes communications and logistics with access to regional resources and man-power. Contact can be made through Area Authority Seventy or directly by whatever means is available.

Preparing Stake and Ward Plans

LDSEROC has prepared prototype Emergency Preparation and Response Plans that may be easily adapted for stake and ward use.  These templates incorporate those plan elements described in the Stake and Ward Emergency Planning Guide. Other elements of planning, such as "geo-coding," mapping your members into smaller areas for faster response and reporting are also available.

Available Emergency Assets 

A Member Resource Survey has been designed to assist stake presidents and bishops collect and maintain valuable information relative to member readiness levels.  In the event of an emergency, the information may also be used by stake and ward leaders.

In addition, LDSEROC is compiling a database of Regional Assets and Resources within the region to identify members having special training, abilities and heavy equipment. This also includes a list of all General  Contractors and those that with knowledge and expertise to assist in the Response and Recovery phases of a disaster.

Emergency Communications

LDSEROC has assembled a Communications Team to assist stakes and wards in preparing communication plans. During an actual emergency, the Communications Team will be actively involved in facilitating communications between LDSEROC, local stakes, Area Authority Seventy and Church Headquarters.

The Communications Team has prepare a website with prototype Communications Plans that may be easily adapted for use by stakes and wards.  In addition, the Communications Team has collected a wide variety of information pertaining to emergency communications that it will provide to stakes and wards as well as personal training and assistance. Members of the Communication Team have been assigned to work with specific stakes as requested.    

GETS Cards

Leveraging LDSEROC's partnership with the American Red Cross in Orange County, we have obtained for each stake president a GETS or Government Emergency Telecommunications Service card. This will allow priesthood leaders to have priority access to telephone service when it has been shut off and reserved for emergency personnel only.

Use of Church Buildings and In-Home Shelters

LDSEROC has established a strong relationship with the Orange County Chapter of the American Red Cross. Working together, LDSEROC and the Red Cross have developed a class of shelters referred to as “Independent Shelters” that is consistent with Church guidelines.  Each year, LDSEROC hosts a Shelter Training Program that is designed to help stakes prepare for using church buildings as Independent Shelters if needed.

Conducting Training Conference & Exercises

To assist stakes and wards in carrying out their emergency response plan, LDSEROC sponsors an annual Leadership Training Conference in the Spring.  Past conferences have focused on the basics of emergency planning and technology that can assist in preparing for and responding to emergencies. 

Group Bulk Purchase Cannery Program

Many stakes in Orange County are participating in a Group Bulk Purchase Cannery Program, which allows members to purchase products on a monthly basis and distribute to their members. Program includes and interactive website with over 100 recipes and cooking classes to demonstrate how to use the products.

Emergency Response

“Stakes and wards should develop and maintain a simple written plan to respond to emergencies.” (See Handbook of Instructions 5.1.1 and 5.2.11; see also Stake and Ward Emergency Planning Guide)

The Stake Plan

“The stake president directs the stake council in preparing a simple written plan for the stake to respond to emergencies.  This plan should be coordinated with similar plans of other stakes in the coordinating council and with plans in the community.”  (See Handbook of Instructions 5.1.3)

The Ward Plan

“The bishop directs the ward council in preparing a simple written plan for the ward to respond to emergencies.  This plan should be coordinated with similar plans in the stake and community.”  (See Handbook of Instructions 5.2.11) 

Emergency Assets

Stakes and wards should “compile and maintain the following information:  contact information for all members and missionaries living within stake or ward boundaries; a list of members with special needs, such as the disabled and the elderly, a list of members with special skills, such as medical training or the ability to operate heavy equipment; contact information for public safety agencies (e.g. police, fire, medical); and contact information for community organizations (e.g. the Red Cross) that provide emergency services, such as food, shelter, and medical care.”  (See Stake and Ward Emergency Planning Guide)

Emergency Communications

“During an emergency, normal means of communication may become inoperable. Priesthood leaders should consider: how to contact missionaries and members following a disaster, how to communicate the status of missionaries, members, buildings, and other necessary information to area leaders; and available communications personnel and equipment.” (See Guidelines for Emergency Communications”)

“During an emergency, the stake presidency receives reports from bishops on the condition of Church members and Church property. The stake presidency then reports to a member of the Presidency of the Seventy or the Area President.” (See Handbook of Instructions 5.1.3)   

"When emergencies arise, the bishop should receive reports from quorum leaders concerning the conditions and needs of members. Quorum leaders receive these reports from home teachers.  The bishop then reports to the stake presidency on the condition of members and Church property. This system may also be used to communicate messages from the stake presidency or bishopric.” (See Handbook of Instructions 5.2.11)

Use of Church Buildings

“With approval from a member of the Presidency of the Seventy or the Area Presidency, Church buildings (except temples) may be used as shelters, first-aid stations, feeding locations, and recreation centers during emergencies.” (See Handbook of Instructions 5.1.3, 8.4.4 & 21.2.3; see also Guidelines for Use of Meetinghouse as Emergency Shelters)

Stake / Ward Councils

“The stake (ward) council makes assignments for carrying out the stake’s (ward’s) emergency response plan.  The council periodically reviews and updates these assignments."

Mock Drills & Exercises

“Care should be exercised so emergency planning does not promote fear.  Mock emergency exercises should not be conducted.” (See Handbook of Instructions 5.1.3 & 5.2.11)

Home Storage

To help care for themselves and their families, members should build a three-month supply of food that is part of their normal diet. Where local laws and circumstances permit, they should gradually build a longer term supply of basic foods that will sustain life. They should also store drinking water in case the water supply becomes polluted or disrupted. (Church Handbook 2, 6. Welfare Principles and Leaders)