News Story

Emergency Preparedness Gets a Boost in French Polynesia

The island of Takaroa prepares its population for emergencies using the Church’s 72-hour kit model

The Mayor of the community of Takaroa has invited The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to host an emergency preparedness workshop to help islander families be better prepared for possible cyclones. 

Takaroa is an atoll in a remote part of French Polynesia, more than 600 kilometers from the capital Pape’ete. In case of a disaster, it may take a long time for assistance to arrive from elsewhere.


The Church is well known for giving counsel to its members over many years to be prepared for emergencies by asking each person or family to create a “72-hour emergency kit.” This consists of items that might be needed in the event of a prolonged loss of electrical power or reduced access to food or water and the need for temporary shelter. 

Every year before the beginning of the rainy season, the High Commissioner of French Polynesia conducts a test of emergency systems in all the islands in order to determine the readiness of the country in the event of a cyclone or other disaster. On 22 October, a full-scale test of the cyclone alert system was conducted in the islands of Takaroa and Takapoto. Results of the test were encouraging.

However, Odette Homai, First Deputy Mayor of Takaroa, said, "In order to enhance our readiness for an actual hurricane alert, the municipality of Takaroa has decided to provide additional programs to families by organising training on family food storage, beginning with the 72-hour emergency kit.” 

The municipality contacted Rautiare Orbeck, president of Takaroa 2nd Branch of the Church, who invited two local Latter-day Saints, Bernard and Katia Lin Sin, to conduct a workshop. 

“We showed how each person can set aside some basic supplies to create their own emergency kit. We also offered a workshop on how to keep a budget that will really help families work on their financial self-reliance,” said Katia Lin Sin.

In a related project, the Mayor of the Municipality launched a self-reliance program for its citizens earlier this year, in partnership with the Takaroa Faa’a Tahiti Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, focused on food production for self-sufficiency. (See previous Newsroom article.)

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