Whatever his reason, these emergency packs arose out of Hurricane Katrina (2005) and how many congregations lost track of their members and how little the elders knew about them, addresses, phone numbers, and more importantly contact information. No emergency packs even for 1975, 1984, 1994, 2000.
*** km 5/08 p. 3 Announcements ***Bodies of elders should review the July 6, 2006, letter regarding disaster preparedness and ensure that they have up-to-date contact information for each publisher. In disaster-prone areas, additional emergency contact information should be obtained. Of course, in addition to emergency situations, it is helpful when publishers communicate with their Congregation Book Study overseer or another elder if they will be away for extended periods, such as when traveling on vacation or business, during a hospital stay, and so forth.
*** km 1/07 p. 4 Are You Prepared for a Natural Disaster? ***
1 Each year, millions of people around the world, including many of our brothers and sisters, are affected by earthquakes, tsunamis, monsoons, hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods. Since natural disasters occur unexpectedly and could affect any of us, it is the course of wisdom to be prepared.—Prov. 21:5.
2 In Advance: Sometimes the authorities are able to warn of impending disasters. It is important to pay attention to those warnings. (Prov. 22:3) In such situations the elders will try to contact all in the congregation to help them to make necessary preparations. After a disaster, the elders will also endeavor to contact all who are associated with the congregation to see if they are safe and to discern what assistance may be needed. Valuable time can be lost if the elders do not have up-to-date contact information. So it is good for publishers to keep the secretary and their book study overseer informed of their current address and telephone number(s).
3 If the congregation is located in a disaster-prone area, the elders may ask publishers to provide the name and telephone number of a relative or friend who does not live in the vicinity and who should be contacted in case of an emergency. This will enable the elders to locate those who have evacuated. The elders may also wish to develop a contingency plan for the congregation that includes such things as a simple checklist of emergency supplies to keep on hand, evacuation arrangements, and plans for assisting those with special needs. Cooperation with these loving arrangements is important.—Heb. 13:17.
4 After a Disaster: What should you do if a disaster strikes in your area? Make sure that your family’s immediate physical needs are cared for. As you are able, give necessary assistance to others who have been affected. Endeavor to contact your book study overseer or another elder as soon as possible. This should be done even if you are safe and do not need help. If you need assistance, be assured that your brothers are making every effort to help you. (1 Cor. 13:4, 7) Remember that Jehovah is aware of your situation; rely on him to sustain you. (Ps. 37:39; 62:8) Be alert to opportunities to provide spiritual and emotional support to others. (2 Cor. 1:3, 4) Resume your theocratic routine as soon as possible.—Matt. 6:33.
5 While the threat of disaster causes the world much anxiety, we can look to the future with confidence. Soon all disasters will be a thing of the past. (Rev. 21:4) In the meantime, we can take reasonable steps to prepare for times of trouble and difficulties as we maintain our zeal in declaring the good news to others.