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“This is going to kill people,” warned Florida Gov. Rick Scott as Hurricane Matthew, a Category 4 storm, approached Thursday.

As the storm bore down on the Southeast, residents in its projected path were being urged to evacuate. For those who need to prepare for disaster, it’s almost too late.

Pastor Carl Gallups, the author of “Be Thou Prepared: Equipping the Church for Persecution And Times of Trouble,” is a Florida resident and a veteran of several hurricanes during his years as a minister and a law enforcement official.

“We have been through a myriad of major storms in my 30+ years of ministry along the Gulf Coast: Katrina, Ivan and Dennis being some of the most recent devastating storms,” he told WND.

He’s learned from bitter experience the necessity of equipping both his church and immediate family to handle the emergency needs of people in his area when disaster strikes.

“Some people balk at the idea of ‘prepping,’ but in reality – this is how our ancestors in America lived every day!” said Gallups. “They did not have the convenience of a drug store, grocery store, service stations, government assistance programs, etc. And, in a devastating emergency situation like a major hurricane, these same conveniences that we often take for granted could easily be down for days, if not weeks.”

Disaster could strike at any moment. And if you aren’t ready, you and your loved ones will pay the price. Don’t be caught unawares. Find out how to survive and thrive with “Be Thou Prepared” by Carl Gallups. Don’t miss it in the WND Superstore.

Indeed, the Florida governor is warning residents of his state on the Atlantic coast they should expect to lose power “possibly for a long period of time.”

Even those who aren’t being told to evacuate are being instructed to have sufficient supplies to survive on their own for several days.

Government officials and meteorologists expect Hurricane Matthew’s impact to be catastrophic.

President Obama has already declared a state of emergency. The National Weather Service’s Jacksonville office warned that if the hurricane makes a direct landfall, it will be “unlike any hurricane in the modern era.”

Gallups said churches and families should always have what he called the “minimum of emergency preparedness supplies on hand.”

He listed:

Many of these materials are available from the WND Superstore.

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Gallups, who has experienced disasters as both a police officer and a civilian, cautions that the materials above are only suitable for what he calls a “normal” disaster scenario. In more severe situations, more advanced planning is needed.

“What do we do in the case of a major and long lasting civil unrest situation, a monumental terror attack on our own soil, or if transportation and communication and government emergency assistance is sparse, interrupted or eventually non-existent?” he asked. “Churches and families would be wise to consider such things and at least make a minimum of preparations and plans.”

The pastor said Christians need to think critically about what they will do if they can no longer count on reliable government assistance.

“We must also think about ‘sheltering in place’ scenarios,” he said. “What if you could not get the police, or other emergency services to your home? What if your normal water supply was polluted and the roads were impassable, resulting in grocery store shelves being emptied within hours? What if government relief assistance could not get to you in a timely fashion?”

Finally, the pastor argued “preparedness” is not just a question of material consideration.

“Beyond logistical and material emergency preparation, there is also a need to prepare spiritually, mentally and emotionally,” he explained. “There are many biblical principles, as well as out-and-out commands, for God’s people to prepare for dangerous and/or tough times.

“The bottom line is that God’s people are called to ‘live by faith,’ but also we are called to be prepared. Both the Old and New Testaments underscore this truth. We should not live our lives in a state of daily anxiety, but at the same time – we should be smart, thoughtful, prayerful and prepared.”

Disaster could strike at any moment. And if you aren’t ready, you and your loved ones will pay the price. Don’t be caught unawares. Find out how to survive and thrive with “Be Thou Prepared” by Carl Gallups. Don’t miss it in the WND Superstore.

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