The 700 Club with Pat Robertson

When All Plans Fail

Author, When All Plans Fail (Mountain View Publishing, L.L.C. 2008)


Board certified in
Pediatrics and Neonatology.

Founding Director, HealthCare Ministries of Assemblies of God World Missions, 1984 to 1994.

First medical director of Operation Blessing, 1994 to 1997.

Founder, Yeshua Medical Ministries, 1997 (now International HealthCare Network), facilitates and networks organizations in humanitarian outreaches and ministry.

M.D. from Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri

guest bio

Disaster, Don't Make It Worse

By Heather Salon
The 700 Club BE PREPARED

Dr. Paul Williams has felt a calling to use medicine and compassionate ministries as a way to express the love of Jesus to hurting people around the world. His experiences during his more than 25 years in medical missions in 105 nations gives him a very unique perspective on world events and human suffering, including in the United States. Whether man-made or natural, the word “disaster” seems more and more a part of our lives. He felt a stirring to write When All Plans Fail to challenge individual believers and churches to become prepared for disasters, and then during times of crisis, to be the “salt and light” the Bible speaks about.

Dr. Williams has organized and led medical teams in a number of major world disasters since the early 1990s. From cyclones devastating Bangladesh, to the refugee camps created by the Rwandan civil war, to hurricane-ravaged Nicaragua and Honduras, to tsunami devastation in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, and earthquakes around the world, he has been there. He has brought the healing gifts of a physician, his Spirit-led leadership, and a Christ-like love for those who are suffering in the middle of some of the greatest disasters this world has known.


Dr. Williams says that 85-90% of people are not prepared when it comes to a common disaster. Most people are too dependent on FEMA or government help groups, the fire department, police, etc. Usually when a disaster strikes, these groups are in fact overloaded and don’t have enough manpower or supplies to help everyone in a timely manner. It is important that people have two to three days’ worth of water and supplies.   Usually, that is enough until help does come. It would be safer to have a week's worth of supplies. For long-term preparation, people should have supplies for six months to a year.  Many times, most people don’t prepare because the fear of the future paralyzes them, it takes too much time or costs too much to prepare, and they have fatalistic attitudes.

It can seem overwhelming to start to plan for disasters, whether hurricanes, fires, earthquakes, floods, etc.  Here are some tips to start:

  • Most of the preparation is in the mind, try not to panic.  A little planning makes a big difference.
  • Get into better shape.  If you are overweight, you are at greater risk not to survive.  It will be harder for rescue squads to get you.
  • Be prepared for fire.  Get a fire alarm system that detects carbon monoxide too.  Get smoke hoods.
  • Know your neighbors – so you can share resources and work as a team.
  • You need a personal pouch for around your waist to keep important documents, money, etc.
  • You need 3 “Grab and Go Bags” for your car, your work, and your home, with the greater amount of your supplies at home.
  • You need practical shoes to protect your feet.
  • Have water filtration system/water purification tabs.
  • Handle your own family’s needs. For example, single parent families need to plan for their kids at school. Family communication must be prearranged.
  • You need alternate routes planned other than the government planned routes, because people get stuck in traffic.
  • You need to plan routes in case you get stuck and you need to travel on foot.
  • You have to be the judge if you have to evacuate early.  Take into consideration the elderly, physical disabilities, traffic, level of danger, etc.  Be realistic in your plan to evacuate.  Don’t wait until the last minute.
  • Periodically, you need to review and update your plan.
  • Know your plan. Plan ahead. Review your plan.



For a “Grab and Go Bag” (a supply kit for two-three days), Dr. Williams suggests you start with these items:

  • Any special dietary foods, one gallon of water per day per person, portable water filtration/water tabs
  • Portable TV, radio (wind-up is preferred over battery power), flashlight, solar recharging units
  • First aid kits and manual, duffle bag (larger, soft sided, strong, waterproof), whistle, nylon cord
  • Mosquito netting and insect repellant (for U.S. residents), smoke hoods, duct tape
  • Portable crowbar (4-5”), moist towelettes (U.S.), hand sanitizer (small bottle), toilet paper
  • Waterproof matches, waterproof containers, lighters, small tool kit
  • Heavy duty plastic bags (the netting kind that stretches)
  • Toiletries (for women, feminine pads, super)
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