Tools to Catalog Resources That, Known,
Would Be Useful in an Emergency

Cataloging Family Storage: An Empty Family Storage Database

  • 1. Click on the "An Empty Family Storage Database" above to automatically download the ZIP file.
  • 2. Right click on the ZIP file and choose 'Extract' to extract the the database file.
  • 3. Download Libreoffice from
  • 4. Install Libreoffice from the file you just downloaded. It is a reasonable replacement for Microsoft Office, and is free.
  • 5. After installing Libreoffice just click on the extracted ODB database file to use it.
  • 6. Enter your 'Categories' which you will need to determine yourself. "Grains" for me include not just wheat but seeds because I am gluten intolerant.
  • 7. Enter your 'Measures', and that could result in very different units of measure than just pounds, ounces, quarts, gallons, etc. My wife has her own units of measure like certain cans or jars that represent servings to her.
  • 8. Enter your 'Locations' of storage. My wife stores lots in the 'Toy Room' on numbered shelving units.
  • 9. Now you can enter your items and select the appropriate 'Category', "Quantity", "Measure" and "Location". All but the 'Quantity' are selected from dropdown lists.
  • These dropdown lists save a lot of typing when it has already been listed in their corresponding table. A number linking the Category you have chosen from the table is all that is entered in the Item table. That Category name appears in the database only once. It saves a lot of space in the footprint of the database. You need to remember that the number corresponds to a set place in a table. Any changes in anything in those dropdown lists are reflected in the Items based on that number.

    When you print a report you will see all the data for that Item ordered by the name of the report. You can go back to the Query the report was generated from and see a table of all the sorted data. That can be copied into a spread sheet where you can add up the quantities for that Item to see what you really have. The sorting by Item will be much more useable if you have paid attention to keeping Item entries consistent throughout the database.

    There are storage calculators that help you figure out how much you should need for a given time, like a year. That is your budget and you can see how much you need to reach you budget, if you wish.

    Cataloging Interests Database: Interests Database
    You deal with the database just like you did for Empty Family Storage Database. I do not recall there being drop-down tables to fill out. The idea is to just list all the people and their interests so that you can print them out in a sorted manner to see what groups together. My wife, a Relief Society President, has facilitated the forming of interest groups to work together to help each other develop their shared interest. This engages more sisters together over all.

    Cataloging Ward Critical Resources/Needs Database: Resource Database

    You deal with the database just like you did for Empty Family Storage Database.

    This database has what I felt are a good set of resource/needs categories. You can fill in the tables of Resources, Needs and Miscellaneous as you wish or use the downloaded database with those tables filled in based on my previous work using this. Each Person/Family in Table 1 must be added first before you can link the drop-down categories from the other tables. The detail of the entered resources/needs should be added in a meaningful manner. A truck needs the pertinent details added like 4x4, (make)1500, 6 seatbelts, rack, etc. Some training in how to collect and enter the details will make all the difference in the usefulness in an emergency.

    I suggest that you not hand out the complete lists of resources/needs. Pick what you feel is most important first and work through from there. Use the ministering to collect and further update the database so that it becomes and remains current. The hard copy reports are what make this effort a great blessing in an emergency. It simplifies finding the resources needed to meet the needs that will arise. The leaders will realize another blessing in that they will better know who they really have in the Ward. They can more easily recognize greater possibilities for engaging their members more effectively in building Zion and becoming a more Zion people.

    You can get my contact through leaders in the Marina Ward of the Sparks Nevada West Stake. They know me as Dick Smith.

    If you choose to change the tables of Resources, Needs and Miscellaneous make sure you do it before using the database. Any connections you make to a changed field will also be reflected everywhere it was previously connected. You may add, and should add as needed, to the end of any of those tables used for dropdowns with no problems. The table, Miscellaneous, was added just for that. Just remember that when you change a field already linked to someone in the database, everyone linked to that field will show up as changed in the printouts.

    There is no easy way to accomplish what the Church has asked us to do with respect to this emergency preparation prior to an emergency without such a database. I have seen it tried before and have destroyed stacks of old (10+ years) data collected that could not be used because it was not organized for simplified finding of the data in an emergency. You would need a real expert with spreadsheets to, maybe, get what this database can provide by simply clicking on the reports already included. The redundance of data in spreadsheet form would make the footprint of the spreadsheet extremely large and combersome.

    Later, I may add a field for Stake/District so that a spreadsheet of all the Wards/Branches can be passed to the Stakes/Districts. I can create a database query to provide the same reports for the Stakes/Districts should anyone be interested. We are reticent to adopting a way more consistent with the true doctrine of the priesthood because we are taught by the precepts of men that there should be a simpler way to make it happen. I believe that is what Nephi saw and Joseph Smith was seeing of us in our time now.

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